The Making of the Patiala Jutti

Learn how to handcraft a typical jutti, from Patiala's own craftsmen

Dastkari Haat Samiti

Dastkari Haat Samiti

Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The jutti is the traditional footwear of north India. Originally made completely of local leather, it developed different styles based on variations in climate, materials and usage of different regions. In the north Indian state of Punjab, this traditional footwear continues to be popular, with Patiala being an important production centre and market for the jutti. 

Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The Patiala jutti was once associated with ornate designs on leather, in metallic thread embroidery, as favoured by the erstwhile royal family of Patiala. In the present time, the traditional craftsmen who make the juttis have a wide variety of materials to choose from. The so-called Patiala or Punjabi jutti is thus no longer restricted to leather or to metallic thread-work.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Process of making a Patiala Jutti

Patiala Jutti: Wooden frame workshop (2018-02-21)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The first step in making a jutti is creating a wooden template. This is done out of local wood.

Patiala Jutti: Wooden frame workshop (2018-02-21)Dastkari Haat Samiti

A craftsman with wooden template of a jutti. This will be inserted in the shoe in order to ensure the correct shape and size. Its use also stretches the leather, preventing any unwanted wrinkles.

Patiala Jutti: Wooden frame workshop (2018-02-21)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Wooden shoe templates at a workshop in Patiala. Like the jutti, these frames also do not have a distinct left or right foot. This particular form is popularly used for making men’s juttis. The front is elongated, curving upwards.

Patiala Jutti: Making of the Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The template used for women’s juttis, along with a finished piece. The front is rounded, with a slight depression in the centre.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The jutti is made of essentially three sections: the sole, the front upper and back. In earlier times, different varieties and grades of leather were used for each of these parts. While leather is still used, a large part of jutti production is now done with alternative materials such as artificial leather (referred to as rexine or Taiwanese sheet), rubber, foam, hardboard and fabrics. 

Patiala Jutti: Making of the Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

While traditionally home based, jutti production now mostly takes place in small workshops. Artisans are specialised, each responsible for a particular task.

Here, the craftsman on the left is creating designs on the upper, while the one on the right sticks and presses layers for the jutti's back using a mallet.

Patiala Jutti: Making of the Patiala Jutti (2018-02-21)Dastkari Haat Samiti

An artisan die-cuts material for the sole. Traditionally, tough hide was used for this purpose, after it had been treated and softened. Most production has now shifted to using the so-called Taiwanese sheet, a type of artificial leather.

Patiala Jutti: Tools (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The primary tools of the artisan: a cutter, called ramba, and a wooden mallet used for flattening and applying pressure.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The ramba in use.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

A foam sheet being marked to cut out a layer of padding for the sole. The traditional jutti used only tough leather for the sole, without any padding or softening layer.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Craftsman Channan Lal sticks together layers that make up the insole, padding and sole of the jutti.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

In the video, a jutti maker adds foam cushioning to the sole of the jutti.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

An artisan skims off the leather tips of the sole, for attaching the uppers.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Stencils are also prepared for the front piece or the upper of the shoe, for cutting and tracing of designs. In the image, they are stacked and sorted by size.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Preparing the front upper, called panna. Here, a layer of fabric stuck on the outer side of the panna is being trimmed to size.

Patiala Jutti: Making of the Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Jutti uppers with a circular punched design.

Patiala Jutti: Making of the Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Different types of stencils used to create punched designs.

Patiala Jutti: Women embellish Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

A craftswoman adding a line of metallic thread embroidery to a shoe upper.
While men do the cutting, assembling and stitching of the jutti, the work of adding design and embellishment is done by women artisans.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Uppers for women’s shoes being stretched on their wooden templates.

Patiala Jutti: Making of the Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The third section: the back of the jutti.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

To add stiffness to the back portion of the shoe, a cardboard sheet is stuck to the leather/rexine. After that, according to the design, another sheet of leather, rexine or cloth will be glued to the free side of the cardboard.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

An artisan beats down on the layers that have been stuck together to form the back portion of the shoe.

Patiala Jutti: Making of the Patiala Jutti (2018-02-21)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Making the upturned curl of men's jutti's.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Some amount of mechanisation has also been adopted, making much of the production easier and more efficient. However, some functions, such as the internal stitching in the sole of the shoe, are still done entirely by hand. While the more affordable products, made of cheaper materials, have expanded the market for juttis, the most prized pieces are still the leather ones with fine hand work.

Patiala Jutti: Raw material (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Machine embroidered decoration on artificial leather. Much of the embellishment of juttis has switched from hand done to lower priced designs, greatly reducing the cost of the finished product and making it more accessible to a large customer base.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Machine embroidery on fabric, which will be pasted as the outer layer of the font upper.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Attaching the upper to the sole. The traditional thread used for this was of cotton, and comprised of several strands plied together to ensure strength and toughness.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

An craftsman pins the hind part of the jutti into the sole, before stitching them together.

Patiala Jutti (2018-02-21)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The sewing on the inside of the jutti. Although technological advancements have enabled various processes to become mechanised, the stitching of the different parts of the jutti is still done by hand. No machine can manoeuvre to accomplish the required task.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

An artisan applies a softening solution in preparation to stitching the sole. Buffalo or ox hide was the common material used for the sole earlier; various synthetic alternatives are now available.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Finally, the jutti is stained or painted upon as per the requirement. Here, the leather jutti is stained to a tan colour.

Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

A stack of ready juttis with punched designs on them kept to dry.

Patiala Jutti: Women embellish Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Some embellishment like adding hand painted elements on the jutti, is also done at the end. Here, a woman sits in the courtyard of her home, painting designs on juttis.

Patiala Jutti: Making of Patiala Jutti (2018-02-22)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The final stage: a craftsperson checking the finished pieces and clipping extra unwanted threads.

Patiala Jutti: Wooden frame workshop (2018-02-21)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Credits: Story

Text: Rashmi Sacher
Photography: Subinoy Das
Artisans: Sachin Kumar, Sonu Kumar, Satinder Singh, Omkar Dhaliya
Ground Facilitator: Satyender Singh, Rashmi Sacher, Subinoy Das
Curation: Aradhana Nagpal

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Crafted in India
Meet the makers. Explore their craft. Share their stories.
View theme
Google apps