Craft Leather in Afghanistan

The Craft Leather or leather craft has played an important role in the development of civilization. From pre historic times the concept of leather art came to the human mind when they killed the animals for food to survive. Gradually humans discovered the using leather to satisfy the basic needs and crafts such as: clothing, shelter, carpets and even decorative attire.

It's reported that several pieces of leather arts were found in Egypt and date back from 1300 B.C. It shows that humans made use of leather crafts before the mentioned date. Primitive societies in Europe, Asia and North America developed the techniques of turning the animal skins into leather goods independently. As mentioned in the history, the Greeks used leather garments in the age of the Homeric heroes ( about 1200 B.C. ), and then the use of leather goods has spread throughout the Roman Empire.

From the leather many different types of leather crafts can be fashioned such as: footwear, clothing, belts, shoulder bags, containers for liquid, computer bags, storage ottomans, and much more. Different methods of preserving and softening the leather were discovered by treating animal skins with such things such as smoke, grease and bark extracts. The art of tanning leather by using the bark of tree was probably originated among the Hebrews.

In many societies, like in Afghanistan, the art of making goods is closely guarded and usually passed from generation to generation. Father will pass knowledge on to son and from son to grandson etc. This method continues and it is still common today in most parts of the world and in many different craft fields.

Craft Leather working art, has much history in Afghanistan. In the earlier days leather was also used in the manufacturing of the water carriers known as 'Mashk' and delivered on the wooden carts by people called 'Sakow', which means 'water supplier'.

Foot wear is the main product of leather art in the leather industry. 'Paizar' is one of the men's traditional footwear which is mostly worn with national dress and waistcoat in certain special occasions. This type of shoes is worn by men and women and has a unique look with narrow toe. The other type of footwear is the sandal made of black leather known as 'Chabli Peshaweri'. This type of footwear is mostly worn in the summer in southern provinces of Afghanistan such as Kandahar, Helmand, and Jalalabad city in the east.

In current day, leather is predominantly used in people's lives from leather clothes, leather tote bags and leather craft supplies, to interior home décor such as leather sofas, and different types of other leather materials. Recently popularity and demand for handmade craft leather arts in Afghanistan are spreading due to modern trends and technology.

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