We were taken to a nearby leather footwear factory where 3 artisans were hard at work. The level of dedication with which they were working had us having second thoughts about asking them about their work and breaking their concentration. Eventually, our mission which was to come to this little village and gain first-hand experience about how leather footwear is made compelled us to interview them anyway. There we met Mr. Gajanand Kanwadi a 25-year-old artisan who has been making leather footwear for about 8-10 years. The skill which he possesses has been bestowed upon him by his father.
How Leather Footwear are Made
Mr. Gajanand told us that they try to make only those footwear that are in demand. Which can be easily sold to the shop owners in Jaipur city nearby. As leather is not a cheap resource these workers try and get maximum footwear done with the piece of leather they have. He also walked us through on how leather footwear is handmade right from scratch. We saw that the base of the footwear irrespective of the design is cut out first with the right foot size in mind. Then the work begins on the top part of the footwear. The top being more design-oriented is made keeping in mind the demand of the current market. After the top part is finalized the dying part comes. Dying the footwear is commonly done by oil-based colors as leather is more prone to catch oil almost immediately.
The finished product is then wrapped and packed with several others. Now, it must travel for about 65kms to Jaipur city where these are sold to shop owners in the market. It’s quite tiring to imagine all this but these talented artisans are making a living for their families like this for about 5-10 years. This reminds us again how hard making money is these days. Our trip to this leather footwear factory was indeed very fun and enlighting.