The Pantoffel | “Kultobjekt”
The house slipper has been worn for many centuries and was first brought to the european continent in the 15th century. For a very long time human beings have adapted to wear something under their feet when walking around in the great big outdoors. In ancient times it was a luxury to possess an item that would keep your feet warm. As the concept of wearing shoes became more widespread and accessible around the world through knowledge and innovation, it did not have the same standing as it did only a few centuries before.
To set themselves apart the nobility and wealthy of the communities would oftentimes purchase brightly decorated slippers designated to be worn only indoors, some of these even showing off gold linings and rich embroideries, trying to distinguish themselves from the rest of society.
In today's day and age a simple shoe or house slipper is not only for the nobility anymore and we now have access to more options and colours than the kings and queens of the medieval ages could ever dream of. The word “Pantoffel” was firstly used in the german language around the 1900’s deriving from the french word for house slipper pantoufle.
Over the next decades to come the Pantoffel grew more and more in popularity among the working and middle class becoming a staple of the traditional german home life. Gaining further in popularity the word became part of German culture in form of sayings that the old and young would soon come to know so as: “PantoffelHeld” - To have the wife be in charge at the house, or “Unter dem Pantoffel” - To be under someone's thumb.
Reaching Cult status The Pantoffel could be seen in many homes all around Germany and everyone could tell you what the word Pantoffel ment. Through the industrialisation of the world many small shoemakers went out of business nationwide many among them Pantoffel-Makers that were forced out of business, due to the driving competition of cheap goods from Asia and industrial efficiency of even bigger german companies. Having been commercialised by the large industry that brought their own idea of a house slipper to market the Pantoffel lost much of its traditional craftsmanship in the manufacturing process and as a result the cult status of the Pantoffel was fading in the 90’s and early 2000’s.
Today we are the last Pantoffel Maker that produces original handmade german house slippers in all of Berlin Germany, the fourth largest city in Europe. We are seeing a clear comeback of our Family Pantoffel, because we have stayed true to family tradition for over 100 years. Many young people are buying our house Slippers with the “Hipster”, “Retro” and “Handmadelovers” communities popping up all around the world through the internet.
We are excited to be part of this fast growing community and would love to share a little bit of our German family tradition with the world having you slip into the moment to experience The Pantoffel for yourself!