In total, 11 Geographical Indication (GI) Tags have been granted to Himachal Pradesh, the latest being “Chamba Chappal” and Lahaul Socks and Gloves”.
Chamba Chappal is a handicraft product whose application for a GI Tag was filed by the Himachal Pradesh Patent Information Centre on 25th May 2018 and the product was certified on 14th September 2021 [click here to read all documents]. The application details of “Chamba Chappal” are mentioned below-
|Geographical Indications||Chamba Chappal|
|Applicant Name||Himachal Pradesh Patent Information Centre|
|Applicant Address||Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, Technology & Environment, B-34, SDA Complex, Kasumpti Shimla – 171 009, Himachal Pradesh, India|
|Date of Filing||25/05/2018|
|Geographical Area||Himachal Pradesh|
|Registration Valid Upto||24/05/2028|
Chamba Chappals (slippers) are a tradition that date back to the times of King Charat Singh (in the early ninth century). The traditional Chama Chappal (slipper) was ‘nok-wali’ or ‘nokdar’ for both ladies and gents. But the creativity of the artists has brought them to this point where they have about a dozen varieties to sell. They are namely Pathu, Slipper or V-shaped, fish-design, teen Patti wali, ek patti wali, Chandani and balu for women and nokdar and bina nok-wali scandal type and even Pathu for men. The major raw material is sheep and goat skin, fancy leather, swede leather, locally made ordinary sole leather, chrome leather for upper portion of slippers, silver and golden threads locally known as ‘russi-tilla’. The designs on these chappals (slippers) consist of leaves and flowers.
The handcrafted leather foot-wears both plain and embroidered manufactured in Chamba district are known as “Chamba Chappal”. The striking feature of Chamba Chappals is the embroidery done on them. The embroidery, known as “Chamba Kadhai” is done separately on a velvet cloth or piece of felt using various bright coloured silk threads such as pink, blue, yellow, purple, firozi, red, orange, brown, black, and green etc. The embroidery done with silk and golden threads is called russi-tilla. The motifs usually are of lantana flower and leaves. They are light weight and well within the budget. Also, it remains one of the best preserved heartlands of the Himalayan arts.
The main production area of Chamba chappals consisting of embroidered outdoor slippers, embroidered bedroom slippers, Salooni embroidered leather socks and shoes etc. are the Mehla, Bhattiyat, Tisa and Salooni areas of Chamba district.
The following are the main products manufactured by artisans in various working centres-
- Embroidered outdoor slippers
- Embroidered bedroom slippers
- Embroidered Chamba chappals
- Embroidered leather socks worn with Chamba chappals
- Embroidered village type shoes-Juta
- Embroidered pani-juta
- Fancy embroidered ladies footwears
- Plain Chamba Chappals- ‘Nokdar’, ‘Jalidar’ and ‘Khopa’
- Plain leather socks worn with Chamba Chappals
Thus, the well known Chamba Chappal is unique for its artistic details and beauty. It is different from Kolhapuri Chappal of Maharashtra due to the embroidery done on it. The footwear so made is not only beautiful, but also very comfortable and sturdy. The National Footwear Institute is now trying to brand these slippers for export purposes. They are also providing training to the artisans so that they can make export oriented footwear.
Lahaul Socks and Gloves is a textile product, whose application for a GI Tag was filed by the Save Lahaul Spiti Society on 14th May 2019 and the product was certified on 14th September 2021 [click here to read all documents]. The application details of Lahaul Socks and Gloves are mentioned below-
|Geographical Indications||Lahaul Socks and Gloves|
|Applicant Name||Save Lahaul Spiti Society|
|Applicant Address||Keylong, Lahaul & Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India, 0|
|Date of Filing||14/05/2019|
|Geographical Area||Himachal Pradesh|
|Registration Valid Upto||13/05/2029|
The tradition of wool weaving in Himachal Pradesh is very old. The local wool for knitting of Lahaul socks and gloves is obtained from sheep breed in Lahaul and Spiti. These are available in natural white, black, grey, and brown. The local wool is generally rough in texture. Besides, Cashmere/Pashmina wool is also used in knitting wool products in Lahaul valley. The Cashmere/Pashmina is obtained from the sheep and goat rearing in high altitudes of Himalayas. The name is derived from an archaic spelling of Kashmir. Cashmere is characterized by its luxuriously soft fibers. The products of Pashmina are of super fine quality. They are sheer and light, yet extremely warm. Owing to their superior quality, they are very expensive but coveted at the same time. Besides, Yak wool and Merino (Cross Breed) wool are also used for knitting of woolen products in Lahaul and Spiti.
The women of Lahaul and Spiti are experts at making woolen products. They are experts in knitting woolen socks and gloves. The designs are very attractive while maintaining the functionality of providing warmth. The socks and gloves are knitted using rough as well as soft wool and are not very expensive. The finished products are characterized by colorful geometrical designs. The Lahaul socks mainly comprise three parts namely, the neck, the main body and the heel.
The socks and gloves knit in Lahaul and Spiti are made of indigenous wool sheared from local sheep. A Lahauli sock is knit in parts, using four double pointed needles. First the cuff is knit, second the leg, and at last the heel. The upper part of the foot is knit using eight colours into a traditional eye catching design called “Dashi” which comprises of pattern made of 7 to 8 motifs. Each dashi is laid out in 4 to 5 rows using either of the motifs in different colours. Once the front portion with dashi is ready, the sole is built and the two are joined together up till the tip of the toe. The sock is then carefully sealed with ties or knots running inwards. Some motifs are used both in the heel and dashi, while some exclusively on the dashi.
The dashi on the socks and gloves in Lahaul and Spiti have unique characteristics of their own thus, making the craft of knitting different from local cultural craft forms elsewhere in the Himalayas. This uniqueness has to prevail and has to be preserved. The names of a few motifs vary valley wise with Lahaul but they are essentially the same design.
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