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Chamush

ChamushChamush

Chamush is the traditional and authentic footwear of Gilan Province, made from natural leather.

Chamush is flat and has no heel. Similar to the Dutch klomp (a type of clog), it tapers at the tip, and curves upward. In the past, chamush came with straps, which wrapped around the shins, as stated in irandeserts.com.

The chamush worn by men, is made from buff leather, while women’s is made from goat leather. Because it served as a practical footwear mainly for herdsmen and farmers, it is not dyed.  On the rare occasion that it was, probably for ceremonial functions, it was dyed using organic colors such as pomegranate peels.

Wherever chamush was made, tanneries flourished – places like old Masuleh in Fooman County; this was prior to it transforming to the modern town it is today. The process involved salting the leather and dipping it in lime. The fur was then removed to make it ready for dyeing.

To dye the leather it was dipped in boiling tincture of sour pomegranate peels. The imbued salts were then washed away. Tanners waited for the leather to dry, before dipping it again in water, making it ready for the beating stage, a technique that softened the leather; soft enough to be worked by chamush-makers.

Masuleh is among the rare places still active in the chamush-making craft. Today, the footwear only has a decorative function. Miniature sized charmushes are made in Gilan as souvenirs and display items.

 

Financialtribune.com