Woman wearing juttis.
Woman wearing juttis.

Diversity and Continuity

Field Study: Jutti Making in Jodhpur

In Spring of 1999 the Bata Shoe Museum's research team led by Arun Dutta travelled to Jodhpur in Rajisthan, which, along with the cities of Jaipur, Udaipur and Jaisalmer, are the traditional seats of some of India's famed maharajas. Jodhpur is the second largest city in Rajasthan, founded in the 15th century by Rao Jodha, a leading chief of the Rajput clan called the Rathores. The museum's field researchers visited a small family-owned jutti-making business in this renowned city, where they documented working methods and recorded the workers' descriptions of the many steps involved in the making juttis.

Construction Method

  1. The pattern for the upper and often a lining is traced on dyed camel skin and cut out with a large rounded knife called a rapi.
  2. The embroiderer makes a hole in the upper with a pointed hook or router called an aari, and the yarn is drawn through the hole with a blunt needle.
  3. If used, the upper lining is sewn to the top line edge on a sewing machine with the two right faces together. The seam allowance is trimmed and turned to the inside. Alternately, a narrow leather binding is sewn to the top line edge.
  4. The sole is cut from buffalo hide using a pattern. The leather is between 1.8 and 2.0 millimetres thick. Two or three layers are glued together and pounded with a mallet to make the leather smooth.
  5. A heel of one or two layers of buffalo hide is cut out and glued to the sole.
  6. An insole is cut out from thick leather with a knife using the sole pattern. It is glued to the sole/heel construction and painted red. Then the sole, heel and insole are nailed together.
  7. The sole construction is stitched along the edges with twisted coarse white cotton thread. This forms a distinctive pattern on the sole of the shoe.
  8. The prepared upper is turned in and stitched to the sole with the same cotton thread.
  9. The back of the upper is stitched together and reinforced on the inside with a strip of leather.
  10. A last is inserted and left for a few days until the vamp attains the desired shape.
  11. Extra leather is trimmed off the bottom and any protruding cotton threads are hammered flat. Finishing is done by hand.
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