Leather Chappal


Accessible design language using minimal material

National Institute of Design, India

During a two week open elective, we explored the leather chappal - a famous icon of Mahatma Gandhi. Addressing the symbolic power of this footwear, we designed our own alternatives that are relevant to today’s context. My chappal was inspired by the draping of sarees. Like the saree is made from a single piece of cloth, the upper part of this chappal is made from a single piece of leather and draped over the foot. Only two patterns are required. It is fit for people of all gender and age and can be easily made by local artisans through an accessible design language. We were taught how to accurately measure the size of our feet and to apply this to a last. Having created the paper templates, an artisan from Rajasthan made the design using Ahimsa leather. (Pictured: process sketches made by me and Marie Jouble)