In India, the leather industry was initially led by the “Mochi” community, who would process dead animals and take the skin for tanning. People from rural India were primarily involved in the ancestral craft of leather designing and manufacturing. The trade in leather tanning began in the distant past and was established in India by about 3000 B.C.
The primary product of leather art is footwear. Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu are significant manufacturing centres for embroidered boots. Traditional leather chappals come in a wide range of styles, all made of exclusive and finely coloured leather and mostly embellished with brocade or embroidery.
Hand-tool etching on leather is done in Auroville in Pondicherry. The terracotta coloured leather allows the artist to etch and braid by hand, and then colour the item in two main colours, tan and brown mixed with black. Apart from footwear, writing pad holders, passport holders, address books, and brief cases of different shapes and sizes are among the leather items available in the region. The majority of these leather products are sold to other countries.