THE CRAFTS of INDIA
HAND BLOCK PRINTING
The cotton fabric is first washed and designed. Then it is dipped in mixture of camel dung groundnut oil and CHAJJI KHAR to remove all impurities of the fabric and make it soft which helps the dye to penetrate better. Then the fabric is washed, and dipped in solution of HARDA and dried in the sun, both sides are exposed to the sun as reversible printing is to be done. Now after marking a pencil layout of design a paste of lime and gum babul is printed with wooden blocks. Iron scrap with gram flour and JAGGERY are kept in the earthen vessel for three weeks and make to rust. Tamarind seed flour is mixed with it and boiled to make a thick paste. This colour is the black which is then printed on the fabric.
Hoshiarpur in Punjab specializes in wood inlay. Here mostly SEESHAM wood is used, occasionally black wood, both as ground, and sometimes with ivory inlay. Originally only ivory pieces were used but now due to ivory scarcity and very high cost, substitutes such as old piano keys, even badla (zinc) are utilized for the inlay work. Of late plastic is also being widely used for this purpose. Examples of inlay articles produced in this region are table tops, teapots, trays, table legs, screens, bowls, cigarette cases and chessboards. The designs are largely of the traditional Moghul variety with emphasis on flora, fauna and geometrical patterns.
KASHMIRI WOOD CARVING
Special kind of wood such as sandalwood, rosewood and ebonite wood etc. are chosen for producing intricate carving work. The wood is first cut to the required size and thereafter its surface is smoothened using planer. Thereafter the required design is made on paper which is used as a stencil. And then that particular design is engraved using self made special tools on the wood. Finally the entire piece is polished to give shine.
The Kani shawls are woven with special wooden needles called Kanis, hence the name Kani shawls Made by special weaving techniques with fine wood sticks which takes one Kani shawl at least a year or two to make depending on the design. It is virtually a piece of art woven into a shawl. These exquisite Kani shawls have been a favourite of Mughal emperors. These shawls owing to heir extraordinary beauty and time consuming process, are very exclusive as well as quite expensive, purchased mostly by the very affluent. Over the years by the early 20th century the production of these shawls became a thing of the past. Attempts were made to revive the Kani shawls making but did not yield desired results.
The word miniature of the Miniature painting comes from the word 'minium' which is used for the red lead paint used in illuminated manuscripts and 'miniare' is a Latin word which means 'to color with red lead'. The Miniature Paintings are the popular form of painting. It depicts the beautiful images inspired and taken from the Hindu epics and mythologies, Hindu deities, God and Goddesses and royal court scenes. The miniature painting is depicted on pieces of glass, paper, marble, silk and leather. Miniature painting is always appreciated for the magnificent display of rich colors and dazzling effects. Some of the popular sequels of original miniature paintings are The Rajput School of Miniature Paintings, The Deccan School of Miniature Paintings.
Kantha stitch is the kind of embroidery which has been traditionally practiced in West Bengal. The history of the craft is about 300 years old. The craft is becoming more and more popular in India and abroad due to immaculate stitching design on various items like saries dress material, shawl, bedcover etc. the main used is cotton, tussar and silk and stitching is done with colorful anchor threads. The process requires a lot of time. First of all the required design and drawn on a paper sheet and then traced on the fabric. There after stitching is done to draw the outline of the motifs. Finally the inside motifs are filled with colorful kantha stitch.
The most prevalent method of making paper mache is by making pulp made from soaking waste paper for 10-20 days. The soaked paper is squeezed and placed in a stone container and is repeatedly pounded with a wooden stick till it forms a thick paste. Out of thick paste, a mould of desired shape size and design is made. To prepare the dried pulp surface for painting, a coating of old lime mixed with glue is applied and after drawing, the surface of the article is smoothened with a special stone made of hard, burnt brick call "KARKOD". Designs and motifs are then painted with a brush.
Bidri ware, metal decorative objects ornamented with a type of Indian inlay work. The ware derives its name from the town of Bidar, in Karnataka. The metal commonly used is an alloy composed mostly of zinc with a small amount of copper, darkened to achieve a black colour that does not fade. There are two main types of Bidri work. In the first type, the pattern is deeply incised, then silver or gold is cut to the exact size, the shape of the incised pattern is embedded in the incision, and the surface is finally smoothened and polished. In the second, encrusted type, the outline of the deisgn is engraved and shaped gold or silver leaf affixed after the cavities have been filled with lead.
Brass/ metal chitai work is an ancient Indian craft that was greatly enriched by centuries of Islamic influence. Engraving is probably one of the earliest processes of embellishing metalwork. The engraved metal work is highly intricate and decorative. Various tools such as the kalams (a steel pointed pencil) are used to trace the pattern onto brass, silver or copper. A thapi or tipai is then used for the actual engraving. Indian engravers can produce extremely fine and delicate work that is today exported to countries all over the world.
This piece of Worli art is created by a combination of different mediums like silk, jute, mud and terracotta on a recycled wood board. This painting depicts daily life, Culture and festivals of tribal people in the full glory of their village life. lt began by pasting pieces of silk, jute and terracotta on me board; using this as a base of the story of the tribal village. The Worli painting is generally created with bamboo sticks with acrylic, vegetable colours, rice paste and geru (i.e., red paste). The motif at the centre of the painting is called a 'chowk' according to a local belief that it is an invitation. For their deities to bless a couple on their wedding day.
This unique artistic tradition has its origin in the ancient kingdom of Mithila. At present this art form is identified with Madhubani district of Bihar and hence is known as Madhubani Painting. Practiced exclusively by women, the unique paintings are made by them on walls and floors of their traditional homes on auspicious and festive occasions. Since the late sixties, this art form has encompassed the medium of eco-friendly handmade paper: Devotional in theme. These paintings depict scenes from the ancient epics and legends, and are rich with Vedic and Tantric symbolism. They are, in fact, simplistic manifestation of the philosophical heights achieved by Indian civilisation.
Decorative items are prepared with the help of photographs of such items. The decorative item (in this case Taj Mahal) is prepared with the help of match sticks and Fevicol. While preparing it, one belt of match sticks is prepared by using Fevicol. There after the belt is cut in the required shape, i.e., doors, ceiling, windows, pillars, stairs, etc. These small pieces are moulded by giving light pressure by hand. Finally, all small pieces are fixed with Fevicol in the desired shape. The entire process is very labour intensive and requires high levels of skill for making such masterpieces.
PUNJABI TILLA JUTTI
The making of leather tilla jutti is famous and a well-known Traditional working Punjab. Tilla jutti is made only by expert hands. After the design is drawn on paper, it is transferred on leather and stitching is also done with jari and leather thread instead of cotton. These leather Punjabi tilla jutti are today famous all over India and even exported.
Pichawai painting is known for the painting made in Vaishnav Mandir to decorate it with different styles of god. To make the painting first of all the artist purchases a long piece of hand spun and hand woven cotton cloth. The surface of the cloth is starched and burnished so that it cannot absorb pigments. When cloth is ready the light yellow pigment is prepared, the painter sketches the Entire programme. During the sketching process, the total program is defined and decisions about what scenes & Individual figures to include are made and proportions/positions are established. Thereafter successive application of colours begins. Each colour is applied one at a time directly from its bowl to all places where it occurs throughout the picture.
Phad Painting began 600 years back in Shahpura, Rajasthan. lt is based on stories like Rama Dala from the Ramayana and Krishna Dala from the Mahabharata. Phad painters usually prefer the hand woven cloth which is believed to be stronger for painting. The cloth is processed by applying a paste of boiled barley flour and gum, called 'Kalaph Lagana'. lt is then rubbed with a stone to make it smooth and shining. The painter prepares a rough sketch of the whole Painting in light yellow colour called 'Kanchi Likhai' Then he divides the entire scroll into a number of sections and sub-sections. The artist then paints designs and structures, canopies and trees in the subsections. Phad characters are distinguished by their respective colours. The colours are prepared by the artists themselves with traditional stones. Brushes are made with the hair of cow, buffalo, goat and dog.
Carving on bone is a new development and this is inspired by the ban on trade on the ivory products. The erstwhile ivory carvers diversified into using their skill with other materials. Bone is very hard to carve on it. Carving on bone takes a long time & there is every possibility that it can break by the time the last stage of carving is completed. The item is made out of camel bone fragments. Formerly when there was no ban on ivory, this work was done by making use of Ivory. The work is done by making use of simple hand tools and the idea/inspiration of the art is derived from the Mughal Art. Since this work is very minute and artistic, it requires very high level of skill and craftsmanship.
Sandalwood carving is widely practiced in many parts of India. Motifs from Rajasthan largely include Gods and Goddesses, mythological figures and animals mostly camels, horses and peacocks. The wood is first cut into the desired shape and then fine tools are used to carve out intricate details of the design giving immaculate attention to the minutest details. The fragrant wood is then profusely carved with scenes from epics, nature and from craftsman's own creative imagination.
MEENAKARI ON GOLD
Meenakari or enamelling is one of the most extraordinary art of India. ln the end of the 16th century Raja Man Singh of Jaipur invited fine skilled enamel workers from Iran. Their descendants today are some of the world's best Gold smiths and enamellers. Traditional Meenakari has a Freeway to be worked upon Gold and Silver Articles and Ornaments with traditional designs, depicting Indian Culture. The leading exporters of the country and Jaipur are associated with Meenakari work. Enamelled ornaments and articles are exported, which bring in a sizeable amount of foreign exchange.
Meenakari or enamelling is the most extra ordinary art of India. In the end of the 16th century Raja Man Singh of Jaipur invited fine skilled enamel workers from lran. Their descendants today are some of the world's best goldsmiths and enamellers. Traditional Meenakari has a freeway to be worked upon Gold and Silver Articles and Ornaments with traditional designs, based on traditional Indian cultural motifs. The leading exporters of country and Jaipur are associated with Meenakari work. Enamelled ornaments and articles are exported, which brings in substantial foreign exchange.
Traditional method of Gold Leaf Painting in Tanjore style, involves stitching the unbleached cloth on seasoned wood, with a paste made of neem gum. Limestone powder and chalk powder mixed with tamarind seed powder. This glue is applied four or five times after which stitching and embossing is done with semi-precious stones with the same glue. Gold leaf is used as a further embellishment followed by colouring this colour (powders) is ground to a fine consistency. The finer, the powder is, deeper is the colour. The relief work in such paintings gives a three dimensional effect to them. The pictures are of varied sizes mostly with figures with round faces, which gives a divine feeling. Nowadays, semi-precious stones are used in place of real ones, but the use of gold foil has not altered.
SHAZAR STONE TABLE LAMP
Banda (U.P) has the distinction of having craftsmen nationally famous in Shazar. It's really a matter of pride that this stone is crafted only at Banda in India. It is crafted in a very old traditional fashion with a wooden bow and a thin steel wire called 'Kaman'. Stones are mounted over a wooden stand called 'Khunta' and sliced by this bow with the help of silicon carbide powder in 2 to 4 mm thickness. These stone slices are then designed, trimmed, shaped, and polished with utmost care and precision as the deposition are in micron thickness only. An ordinary useless looking pebble when cleansed and crafted by skilled artist becomes a beautiful 'SHAZAR Stone' with impression that goes beyond imagination.
Jute craft is popular in West Bengal. The warm, humid climate here is ideal for jute cultivation. Once the plant is ready, it is cut very close to the ground and left for a day or two for the leaves to fall off. lt is then dipped in water to separate the fibre from the plant. The separated jute is dried and given various forms to make the items. This jute Craft item is made using jute thread. Here Devi Durga appears in the form of Ashur Dalani Devi Durga. Durga killed the demon, Mahishasur lt represents the conflict between good and evil. Devi Durga has been invested by the gods with supreme power to destroy evil incarnated in Mahishasur and save the world from destruction. Durga has ten hand, with a weapon in each hand. She killed Mahishasur with the trishul. It took one month to complete this award winning craft object.
Rangkat is the languishing handloom weaving technique of Banaras. In this techniques the body or ground of the saree is multi coloured obatained by Karuwa technique using different colours of weft woven by interlocking method. These diffrent colours of weft are generally woven in diagonal fashion. When they are interlocked. Extra weft design are woven on it so that it may conceal the interlocking. The weft give the effect of rainbow. This is a very rare and old technique of Banaras. ln the body or ground of the saree, six to eight colours are used. Extra weft designing is done with gold and silver threads with meaana work. In this saree the technique of Rangkat has been applied on leno ground.
KARUWA BUTIDAAR SAREE
Karuwa Butidaris the traditional saree of Banaras. This saree has been woven in combination of Karuwa and Feknwa weaving techniques. Patterns are woven in colourful silk threads amidst the usual gold and silver motifs of the brocade conventions. The design in the pallu and border is influenced by the Mughal style. Jangla widely scrolling and spreading vegetation embellished with beautiful contrast gold leaves. The raw material used is Pure Silk and Real Zari.
NILAMBARI COTTON JAMDARI SAREE
The cotton Jamdani is the rarest and most sophisticated product of the Indian handloom. A cloth that is light to the body that moves to the gentlest breeze, a cloth that is of great beauty recalling flowers, running water and moonlight. Earlier writers on Indian textile history have used word such as 'aberawan' running water and 'shabnam' morning dews, as referring to the fine plain cotton muslins. Jamdani is very fine textured muslin in which floral ornaments are woven directly on the cloth without aid of any form of technical devices. The finest quality of cotton ranging from 100 to 120 counts is used in warp and weft.
VEGETABLE DYED DOUBLE IKAT SAREE
The Saree has been designed by combining contemporary and traditional styles. Special effort has been made to create designs in a more systematic and attractive manner using double Ikat technique. Before the warp is prepared, the designs are developed on the graph paper, so that proper marking on the wrap could be done. And then tying is done. The dyeing is done with natural colours. Special care has been taken to produce 9 designs with 27 steps. The design of three olours are made to fire made to resemble more colours (6 shades), as some portion of the black would merge with white making grey tone and some merging with black and producing jade Black effect and so on.
VEGETABLE TRADITIONAL AJRAKH PRINT SAREE
The silk fabric was first washed, then dipped in mixture of camel dung, groundnut oil and Chajji Khar for removing all impurities of the fabric. This also makes it soft which helps the dye to penetrate better. Then the fabric was washed and dipped in solution of hard & dried in the sun. Both sides were exposed to the sun as reversible printing to be done. Now printing is done with paste of lime and gum babul with wooden blocks on those parts where the background colours is to be kept white. lron scrap mixed with gram flour and jiggery is kept in the earthen vessel for three weeks. Tamarind seed flour was then mixed with it and boiled for a long time to make a thick paste this result in black colour dye which is then used to print on the fabric.
VEGETABLE KUTCHHI INDIGO COTTON SILK SAREE
The design and colour of the saree have been inspired by the indigo dyeing traditions of Kutch. The warp is dyed with natural indigo colour. All other colours used in warp and weft are also natural. The weavers want to symbolise the used in the piece. It reminds us the spirit of festivity and life of Kutch people. The motifs used the piece looks like tie and dye patterns, which are used by the various communities of Kutch during marriage. The Toran designs are used in the border in yellow and red colours, and this provides decorative value to the piece. It is a high value piece which any young women like to wear during her wedding. It is an attempt to move away from typical work and create a high end product.
VEGETABLE ADIVASI PARDI KASBANDI SAREE
To dye in Aal dye (Madden), cotton yarn is first cleaned by treating in Castor oil and cow dung and then drying it in open sunlight. The process continues for 15 days (in fact 30 times, twice a day) Later on, it is washed in the waters of the pond to remove the cow dung from it. "Al Chhali" (Madden) is powered by a wooden mill. After milling the wet powder is dried up. Then the yarn that is already cleaned is boiled in the Aal solution when the threads become red in colour. For black colour Aal powder and Hirakosi are used. The Saree is made with tribal traditional design and is used during special and festive occasions. Extra weft made the help of bamboo sticks.
CHITTRAPURI SUTI SAREE
They receive the National Award jointly in handloom saree weaving. The traditional tie-and-dye craft of Odisha is characterised by its bold and unusual patterns in beautiful blends of colours which gives it an individuality of their own. This craft is popularly known as double Ikat weaving and is practised mainly by Bhulia caste (Meher community) in the western part of the state. The thread used in the present sample is 80 (2 ply) cotton and tussar. This is the same thread that was used in the making of fine fabrics some 150 to 200 years ago by the ancestors of these very weavers. The design of the award winning saree is inspired by traditional sarees and is an effort to revive the lost artistic design of the past. It is worn during Nuakhoi or new crop festival.
DOUBLE CLOTH SAREE
The innovated saree has been woven on jacquard loom with 240 hooks. No herald has been woven by harnessing the yarn on a Jacquard loom. Double cloth technique has been applied, 100s cotton yarn in warp and weft has been used. 88s reed and 78 picks per inch are in the cloth. It has 2 different patterns and colours in the face and reverse side of the Saree, rather both side work as reversible.
COTTON JAMDANI SAREE
This Jamdani saree has been woven in a pit loom using 100s cotton yarn in warp and weft. Moreover 2/70's cotton yarn has been used for making Buti. The saree is 5.5 metres X 1.2 metres. Its reed is 72 nos., pick 65 per inch. The award winning 85 days to complete. After that, it is processed by polishing. The fabric with khoi, which makes it looks very attractive and transparent. lt is a traditional product of West Bengal. No designing like jacquard / dobby has been used in this case.
HAND BLOCK PRINT BED SHEET
Hand block printing is the traditional technique of fabric decoration. There are three types of blocks called rekh, gad and data which are used for hand block printing. The outlines of the design are printed with the rekh block. Datta is the filler block and gad is the resist block. Block printing is the tedious technique where number of printing, drying and washing cycles may be repeated sometimes ten to twelve cycles. The traditional vegetables dyes such as harda powder, pomegranate peel are used along with alizarin and indigo for dyeing. This traditional art of printing is being revived and has become a part of the living tradition. There are number of patterns including Chowbundi Ki Buti, Patasi Ki Buti, Kel Ki Buti, etc.
AJARKH PRINT BED SHEET
Hand block printing is a traditional technique of fabric decoration. The outlines of the designs are printed with the rekh block. Datta is the filler block and gad is the resist block. Block printing is a tedious technique where number of printing, drying and washing cycles may be repeated sometimes ten to twelve cycles. The traditional vegetables dyes such as harda powder and pomegranate peel are used along with laagering paste and indigo for dyeing and printing. The use of vegetable dyes is being actively promoted and has become a part of the opulent tradition. There are of geometrical patterns of mirror style, such that the fabric is printed on both sides with symmetrical like Ajrakh prints. This is a speciality of Barmen Rajasthan.
TRADITONAL AJARKH PRINT BED SHEET
The cotton fabric is first washed and de-starched. Then it is dipped in a mixture of camel dung, groundnut oil and chajji khar to remove all impurities and making the fabric soft which in turn helps the dye penetrate better. Then the fabric is washed and dipped in the solution of harda (Myrabolan) and dried in the sun. Both sides of the fabric are exposed to the sun as reversible printing is to be done. Now using a wooden block with paste of lime and gum of babul those parts were printed where the area was to be kept white. Tamarind seed flour is then mixed with it and it is boiled to make thick paste. This produces the black colour which they printed on the fabric.
MUGA BED SHEET
The bed sheet developed in traditional frame loom using Muga silk in the body and dyed art silk for embellishments. The award winning bed sheet has traditional Assamese designs, boro-Miri together with boro (Bonguti) and missing geometrical designs. It is a woven on a frame loom with jacquard. The combination of design are beautifully developed. There is a strongly held belief in the Assamese society that the golden threads of the Muga bed sheet ensure a Gautam Talukdar healthy life.
DAMPACH PANEL (RASHIGUN)
This sample has the twelve astrological star signs that are woven in the extra weft principle on a frame loom. Kora silk, zari and cotton yarn have been used to create this sample. Descriptive details are also woven in that explains the effects of the respective star signs. The sample measures 3 metres x 0.9 metres it has taken three months to weave with the help of one assistant weaver. Hence it has been submitted jointly for the prestigious award.
TIE AND DYE TABLE CLOTH (VIVAH)
The Hindu marriage ceremony is of great social importance. This auspicious Ceremony not only enthrals the bride and the groom, but all the people involved in it. This tablecloth displays the entire experience of this elaborate ritual. The centre of this table cloth shows a dance posture. Ecstatic women are shown dancing on either side of the musical instruments like the Nissan (a precious instrument) and the trumpet (a wind instrument). The design on the border depicts an animated bridal procession with the groom seated on a horse. This is a typical piece of Sambalpuri traditional tie and dye (Weaving) work. Two colours, black and maroon are used here in 2/120s cotton yarn.
PASHMINA KANI SHAWL
This Pashmina Kani Shawl has traditional Gulzar design in multiple colours. Approximately 280 sirkis (tillis) are used in weaving this Shawl. Nearly 10 months' time was taken to complete this shawl by two weavers. This shawl is a revival of traditional design with intricate colours scheme. Gulzar design is the traditional, cultural symbol of Kashmir. The delicate and fine hand spun pashmina yarn is taken in warp and weft and is woven with small wooden tillis in muIti-colour weft, the tillis are changed as per the design pattern. The design pattern is coded into a symbolic language called "Talim".
This Shawl is the combination of typical Kinnori design and woven in the Kullu pattern in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh. Pure woollen yarn has been used for warp and weft and coloured cashmilon yarn is used for making designs. The shawl measures 81 inch X 38 Inch, and weighs 780 Grams. lt is prepared in 40s yarn. The design is woven by hand without help of any designing device in tapestry technique.
TRIBAL SHAWL (HAAT HABOR)
The cotton yarn is completely dyed in herbal dyes in a particular system. The specific natural colours are used in the Cotton yarn for weaving the exquisite shawl. The natural dyes were collected from the forests from specific kinds of plants, roots, barks, flowers, leaves, seeds, etc., and the colours extracted from them in the time honoured ethnic System. It is a traditional product woven by Chakrna tribal community of Tripura on loin loom.
The beautiful quilting stitch. Actually the stitch is simple running stitch. It is the way it has been used that makes it extra ordinary. The cloth was given layers that were kept together by the stitches. The cloth had multiple uses. It could be used to sleep on or as a light blanket. Kantha for the Bengali folk means embroidered quilt. Kantha is said to be Dorukha meaning turning the worn out and old textiles and fabrics to things of beauty.
The Zardozi craftsman in Varanasi specializes in embroidering badges and ceremonial robes. Zardozi is heavy and ornate embroidery in which gold pearls or coils, beads and spangles are couched into fabric with needle and thread. Zardozi work on badges is a very exciting craft as the logo specified must be reproduced precisely. Only the best craftsman in a karkhana embroiders badges. The metal pearls used for badges are much finer than those of Zardozi. Fabric used is either felt, velvet or heavy satin. In Mughal India, Zardozi adorned court costumes, furnishing, and scabbards.
KANTHA HAND EMBROIDERY
Kantha embroidery has been traditionally practiced in West Bengal since time immemorial. This craft that goes back to over 300 years, is becoming more and more popular in India and abroad because of its unique and intricate designs on a variety of products like sarees, dress materials, shawls, bedcovers, etc. The most popular fabrics used are cotton, tussar and silk, while the embroidery is done with multi-coloured cotton threads. First, the design is drawn on a paper sheet and then traced on the fabric. Thereafter, stitching is done to draw the outlines of the motifs. Finally, the inside motifs are filled with colourful Kantha embroidery.
The word Jamdani is of Persian origin, derived from Jam, meaning flower, and Dani, meaning vase or a container. Jamdani is the finest muslin textiles of West Bengal and some parts of northern India apart from its place of origin in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The products developed include cotton saree, silk sarees and yardages majorly in combination of cotton-cotton and cotton-silk in the finest count. It is one of the most time consuming and labour intensive form of handloom weaving. Jamdani is fabulously rich in motifs, which is typically developed in grey and white, in a mixture of cotton and gold threads. It has created a global recognition because of its fineness and unmatched quality.
WOODEN BRASS INLAY
The craft of Wood Inlay was conceived and practiced mainly by Muslim artisans. In the beginning ivory was used for the inlay work but as times changed ivory was replaced with bone and metal. Centre tables, wooden boxes, Amirah, jewellery boxes, etc., are made of Sheesam wood, which is famous among wood carvers. The wood is firstly properly seasoned and chemically treated and cut into desired shape and size. The design is drawn on the surface of the wood with a pencil and this pattern cut carefully and after that brass wire or sheet is inlaid in the amities' / engraved portions of the product. After polishing the product has been given its final shape.
The age old textile tradition of Manipur has been practised since the 11th century and is carried forward from generation to generation by the people of Ngangkhalawai and Ningthoukhong. The weaving of Kabrang silk and cotton takes nearly 7 months to 1 year to complete one piece. Extra weft technique is used to weave these fabrics. A large variety of designs like animal, insects and floral patterns are used in designing the fabrics. It is one among the rich and exclusive traditional textiles of Manipur.
From ancient times, Daraj Katav has been a favourite craft of the rulers of Awadh. Daraj Katav was a unique mode of cloth stitching by hand, evolved by artisans when there were no machines for cloth stitching. This craft is practiced on different objects/articles with latest designs. In modern times, before stitching, the cloth is cut according to design and size and then stitched on machines, whereas in Daraj Katav, there is no need for machines to stitch the cloth. In this craft, first the cloth is cut according to size; then, with the help of wooden blocks, temporary colour marks are printed on the edge of the cloth. This design is next placed on another cloth and they are attached temporarily (this is called Shilanga). Next, with the help of a small incisor, it undergoes the process of Turpai. In this craft, the stitching of whole items is done only by hand. Using Daraj Katav, we can decorate the cloth even at the joint and make the dress look more appealing.
Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh is world famous for its range of brass items. The metal enamel work at Moradabad has varieties of fine delicate work called Marori and Shyah kala. The design variations in Marori work includes Chikan Marori, Angoori, etc. The delicate minute floral patterns of the past have now been replaced by large and bold designs. The glittering engraved floral designs stands out against the background. It involves the etching of intricate designs on the metal surface and filling in the grooves with black lac resin. Sometimes other coloured lac is also used. During the process of making the product, the metal sheet is cut into different pieces as per the design by using hand tools like cutter, parker, wooden hammer, etc. After the sheet is cut into different pieces, these are joined by using hand tools to give the final shape to the product. After finishing the engraving work, lac is flushed out by using soft coal heat. After that process, the final touch is given by polishing the item. The ridges of the design stand out and glitter against the background. Marori work has minutely lacquered designs.
Jodhpuri Leather Embroidery Jutti
Traditional embroidered leather Jutti evolved and flourished during the Rajput era. To make the leather Jutti, first the leather is soaked in fresh water to remove dirt and impurities. Then this leather is dried in the shade because drying the wet leather in direct sunlight causes it to become withered, hard and lose its natural colour. After this, with the help of khurpi (i.e. a small scrapping instrument) 'Sals' of the moist leather is scraped to make the leather uniform in thickness. For the upper part of jutti, goat leather is used which is comfortable to wear and keeps the feet warm in winter and cool in summer. For lower soles of the jutti, buffalo skin is used which is pressed and smoothened by light beating with 'sumba'. This type of leather chappals have pointed front and can be worn with any outfit. A unique feature of this jutti is that it can be worn on left or right foot interchangeably. The exotic zari and colourful embroidery on the outer surface gives it the elegance for which Jodhpur Jutti is famous all over.
Mat weaving is an important and traditional handicraft of Tamil Nadu. The material used in the industry is wild Korai grass found in abundance in the banks of rivers and marshy area in Tamil Nadu. Mat weaving is one of the oldest creations done by joining grass and interlacing leaves, with the minimum of tools. The nice Pattu Pais of Pattamadai are the traditional gifts for important functions; they are produced in different shapes, sizes and colours as regular floor mats, small floor mats, designer mats and wall hangings. Pattamadai is famous for its fine quality mats commonly known as "Pattamadai Pai". The local reeds are split into nearly hundred pieces and are woven on a loom with cotton warp. The mats are so fine that they can be rolled and placed in a small box. The Lebbai Muslim community weaves these famous mats in this area. The weavers with their hereditary experience and skill create intricate patterns and designs, mats are multi coloured and often represent the ornate pallav of traditional Kanchipuram silk sarees.
CANE AND BAMBOO
Cane and Bamboo work is one of the oldest crafts done by joining the grass with grass and interlacing leaves. These are essentially rural crafts intimately connected with the everyday life to meet the common needs. Cane plant which is usually collected from the jungle during the season time is washed and then cut, along its length, into pieces of different thickness and made smooth using a sharp knife. For making a basket, the artisan requires skills for intricate weaving with fine cane along the shell made of thicker cane while at the same time ensuring that the required amount of tension is applied on the fine cane in such a manner that the shape of the item remains proportional not only during making but during use as well.
Meenakari is one of the most sophisticated forms of jewelry developed in Rajasthan and North India. It is the art of decorating metal with enameling. The technique has travelled to India during the Mughal times from Persia, during the 17th century. This enameling style had reached its climax at the Persian Court at Isfahan during the Qajar dynasty (1795-1924). Meenakari arrived in Rajasthan, and was brought to Jaipur on Raja man Singh's (r.1590 1614) behest. Skilled meenakars from the Mughal palace at Lahore were established in Jaipur, which became the center of Meenakari.
Dhurrie weaving is essentially a domestic craft that has found an international market for the patterned flat weave structures woven in Mirzapur. In Agra,stripped and panja dhurries with prayer niches were woven by women in the backyard of their homes. Now the craft is a major cottage industry. Under the British, narrative dhurrie depicting village life and native flora and fauna were made. The weavers use the horizontal loom to weave. Weavers now use lighter colours, and brighter colours are given a stone wash.
Lac is made from natural latex of peepal tree which is further mixed with stone powder and heated with the help of raw coal. The colors used are made of natural vegetation and then mixed with the lac to give attractive shades to the bangles, toys etc. Design on bangles is instant innovations of craftsmanship have been ancestral gift. Lac is a resinous substance secreted by an insect called kerria lacca. The insect hosts itself on the branches of certain trees such as kusum/peepal and forms a red encrustation around it.The coated branches are cut and sieved and the material obtained is washed to remove all impurities. The resulting seed lac is used in making several products. Lac is the source of resin, wax, and dye. It is collected from forests in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, West Bengal, and Assam. Lac is available in different qualities dark black, brown, and light golden the latter being the best and most expensive. India is one of the largest producers of lac and its principal exporter. It is widely used in food processing, textile, leather, cosmetics, varnish, and printing industries.
PHULKARI EMBROIDERY Phulkari, an embroidery technique from the Punjab in India, literally means flower working, which was one time used for word embroidery, but in course of time, word "Phulkari" became restricted to embroidered head cloth/odini. Simple and sparsely embroidered Odhni (head dress) and Shawls, made for everyday use, are called Phulkaris, whereas garments that cover the entire body are made for special and ceremonial occasions are known as Baghs (Garden). The most favoured colour is red and its shades, because Bagh and Phulkari are used during marriage and other festivals. Red is considered auspicious by Hindus and Sikhs.