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Monthly Archives: March 2016

  • Tamil Nadu Looms

    Textile plays a very important role in Tamil Nadu’s economy. Tamil Nadu has a wide range of looms to facilitate the weaving of wide range of textiles and fabrics. The textile industry has both handloom and power loom, and employs 11.64 Lakh weavers in the state. There are 3.20 lakh registered power looms covering 24,000 looms. The state houses the country’s largest spinning industry accounting for almost 80 per cent of the total installed capacity in India. When it comes to yarn production, the state contributes 40 per cent of the total production in the country.

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    Weaving is a special skill which only certain communities living in certain specific areas of Tamil Nadu possess. These techniques are usually handed down from generation to generation. Thus Handlooms are an integral part of the livelihood in many of the villages and towns in Tamil Nadu. In fact, it is the family tradition for many of the households in various regions. Loom products are not only environment friendly, but they also represent the glorious cultural heritage of India while providing employment and self-reliance to the rural population. What differentiates power loom and handloom products is the level of intricacy and detail that can be achieved manually in a handloom. Each region in India specialises in unique products like Kancheepuram silks, Madurai Sungadi, Pochampalli tie and dye, Chanderi silks, and Banaras silks. In the world of handlooms, Madras checks from Tamil Nadu are world famous.

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    The region around Coimbatore, Tirupur, Karur, and Erode is referred to as the "Textile Valley of India". Salem too is a major textile centre of Tamil Nadu with more than 125 spinning mills, weaving units and garment units. Today you see large-scale cooperative handloom weaving and marketing units in these regions making loom products globally popular.

    The latest fashion can be fused with tradition. Designer products can be made to specific order using only handlooms. Coimbatore is often referred to as the "Manchester of South India" due to its cotton production and textile industries. Tirupur is the country's largest exporter of knitwear for its cotton production. Kanchipuram and Arani are world famous for their pure silk sarees and handloom silk weaving industries.

    Tamilnadu Handloom Weavers′ Co-operative Society Ltd., popularly known as Co-optex, was established in 1935. Co-optex is engaged in marketing of Handloom fabrics produced in Tamil Nadu. This body has helped to keep alive the rich tradition of handloom weaving of the state. The organization helps to boost the unique range of fabrics in hundreds of designs, colours, and textures and the well-honed skills of the weavers of Tamil Nadu.

  • Hand Block Printing

    Very elegant yet very simple, block printing is one of the most traditional forms of printing. It originated centuries ago in Rajasthan in India. It is basically applying of color on fabric in definite designs and patterns. Fabrics printed with block printing gives exquisitely beautiful designs and look as this technique can even give a three dimensional effect to the fabric.The range of designs that can be imprinted vary from very fine and intricate designs to very bold images.These include geometric shapes,floral designs, patterns and many more., offering women the choice to wear block printed dresses accordingto their style and occasion. Block printed sarees are widely worn by women in India.

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    Apart from fabric, it can be done on paper, canvas, wood and on other materials as well. At home, block printing can be done without any specialized tools. Hand block printing is the process of printing different patterns on textiles with the help of carved wooden blocks. The blocks are stamped and pressed against the cloth. Though the process is labor intensive but does not require heavy machineries. All you need is a wooden block, dye and fabric. The wooden blocks are carved with beautiful designs with the help of chisel and hammer. The blocks are filled in with colors and then stamped onto the cloth.

    For block printing lovers, such items are can be bought online from the official shopping portal of Poompuhar. Poompuhar has a variety of hand block printed stuff to offer. As per the popular demand, it offers beautiful hand blocked sarees. Apart from the beautiful sarees, block printed bed sheets are also available.

    Traditionalblock printed clothes are very much in vogue and are extensively worn by women. Additionally, to suit the tastes of working women and college goers, a lot of contemporary and geometric designs are created to serve both formal and chic dressing purposes.

  • Popular Handicraft villages in India

    No other country in the world can boast of its rich art and culture like India can. It is a country overflowing with various indigenous forms of art and handicrafts. Here artisans with special skills blend a myriad of colours forming hues of effervescent vibrancy.

    Handicraft is a way of life and primary source of income for the thousands of skilled workers all across the country. Handicraft villages are remotely located away from the hustle and bustle of big cities and it is here that artisans weave magic into articles that are so unique to the region.

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    The rich diversity of India can be clearly seen in the wide range of handicrafts produced all over the country. Metal craft, wood craft, embroidery, woven fabrics, pottery, shell craft, glass craft, terracotta, paper craft and so much more. Some of these handicraft products can be used daily while some are for decorative purposes. Some of these handicrafts even have global approbation.

    Some of the popular handicraft villages include

    Brass handicraft of Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh is famous the world over. The city is also known as Pital Nagri or Brass city. Metal engraving is a fine and a delicate art popular in this area. This can be seen in the enamelled jewellery as well as enamelled utensils produced in the area. You will find wine-cups, finger bowls, pillboxes etc., in both gold and silver sometimes studded with jewels.

    Thanjavur is another popular place for brass handicraft. The villages in Thanjavur have a rich tradition in making metal objects. Items like lamps, shallow dishes, and plates are characterized by designs of deities, birds, flowers, and geometric patterns beaten out from the back of copper and silver sheets and subsequently encrusted on a brass tray, kudam or panchpaathra.

    Kanchipuram is world famous for the finest silk produced in this area. Kanchipuram sarees are treated as priceless heirlooms by the women of the country as gold and silver threads are used for weaving patterns on the silk. Located in Tamilnadu, these sarees are source of income for most of the households in the village.

    Shilpagram is a popular handicraft village located in Agra. This craft village is an open emporium where craftsmen and artisans bring their unique and ethnic craft to sell. Being in the city of the Taj Mahal, this village attracts both domestic and international tourists to see and purchase the wonderful crafts of the region.

    Pipli in Orissa is famous for its appliqué work. This village owes its existence to this craft where motifs of Gods, animals, birds, flowers, leaves and shapes are stitched on to fabric within no time. Here you will find busy streets flaunting rows of shops selling appliquéd handbags, bed sheets, wall hangings, purses, pillow covers, canopies, garden umbrellas etc.

    Dakshinchitra located in Chennai is a centre for the living traditions of art, folk performing arts, craft, and architecture of South India. This village inspires to connect the rich traditional culture to the present and future.  The artefacts in the museum reflect the daily life in the Southern States. The museum contains a collection of books and journals pertaining to the arts, crafts, performance, anthropology, and folklore of South India. Various crafts are also taught at the centre.

    Kutch handicraft is a way of life in the villages around Kutch in Gujarat. Several villages in the area specialize in different kinds of handcraft like mirror inlaid work, different kinds of embroidery –(muthua, ahir, soof), Bhandini, tie and dye, block printing, embroidered footwear and much more.

    Handicraft is a way of life in most villages in India. For many it is the only source of livelihood. Popularising these handicrafts helps to keep the rich tradition and culture alive.

  • Leather Crafting

    Leather goods are a popular choice amongst people because of their durability and suave look. Leather items are created by tanning of animal rawhide and skin. These are further made into different objects by artisans who give them different shapes and colors. The leather industry in India produces 10% of the total leather produced in the world, with Kanpur as the largest centre of the industry. Leather is dyed and painted to make beautiful leather items. It is also carved to give a three dimensional appearance to the leather surface. Leather crafting also involves making leather stamps in various designs and patterns. Leather can also be shaped and molded into different figures and shapes. Very fine detailed designs can also be etched on leather surfaces by laser cutting.

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    Since leather is a durable and a robust material, it has varied usage. It requires low maintenance and is a rugged material. It is resilient in nature and improves with age, making it a long lasting material. Goods made of leather are stylish and have an exquisite look. Popular leather products include shoes, hats, jackets, skirts, wallets, bags and belts. Apart from this, it is also used for bookbinding, furniture covering, upholstery and leather wallpapers using different techniques. Leather seating is done in cars and motor bikes. Leather is one of the most preferred materials for shoes amongst men and women. Formal as well informal leather shoes are made to match the occasion and attire. Variety of bags like duffles, briefcases, totes as well as backpacks are products of leather.

    People fond of leather goods can get variety of leather articles from Poompuhar. A wide range of leather products are available atPoompuhar, which can be ordered online anytime and anywhere from theofficial website. Moreover, Poompuharregularlyconducts sales and exhibitions in different Indian cities, where leather goods are displayed along with other handicraft items to promote the work of leather artisans.

    Leather is always in style.Leather articles never become obsolete and are liked by people of all ages across the globe. Leather goods have a unique style and look and are appreciated for being durable and value for money.

  • Cane and Bamboo Craft

    Amongst various kinds of art, cane and bamboo craft is one of the most ancient forms of crafts in India. Innovative and beautiful items are crafted out of bamboo.Items made of bamboo and canes are light in weight and also lookvery elegant. The items can be beautifully designed and exquisitely styled. Moreover, these products are eco-friendly as well as require less maintenance.

    Cane and Bamboo Craft

    Various utility items are crafted out of bamboo strips like mats, lamp shades, different utility baskets, trays, handbags, knife handles, flower vases, bamboo curtains, walking sticks etc. Apart from these items, jewelry is also crafted from cane and bamboo. Bamboo crafted wall hangings are also one of the most populardecorative items. Cane furniture is also loved by many as it is light in weight and evergreen in its charm. It is often used as tea/ coffee table-chair in backyard gardens supplementing the main wooden furniture kept in drawing room. Flute, a musical instrument is also made out of bamboo.

    This particular form of craft is very simple and inexpensive. It does not require any specialized tools. It does not require huge investments. The raw materials required for making cane products are cane and bamboo,which are available abundantly. Hence, bamboo craft is widely pursued in India.

    With the objective of catering to the tastes of thediverse Indian population, Poompuhar offers a wide range of beautiful handcrafted cane artifacts apart from its other handcrafted products. The items range from cane trays to cane chairs. The other products include ‘moorhas’, candlestands, bamboo mugs, finely crafted room dividers and screens. These items are available at our stores and can be ordered at any time through Poompuhar’s official website. In addition to this, Poompuhar often organizes exhibitions for art lovers in different cities by offering avariety of decorative items including handcrafted cane and bamboo products at discounted prices.

  • THE BANANA FIBRE CRAFT

    Handicraft items have a charm of their own, especially because they are not mass products created in a factory. Each product is a result of individual creativity, meticulousness and patience. The creativity of Indian artisans can never be overstated. Such is their knack of appreciating art, that everyday items or produce which most people would probably consider waste are being embraced by them to create new things. One of such things is ‘banana fibre’ which is obtained from the banana plant. This art of making handicrafts out of banana fibre is mainly practiced in the southern part of India, around the Kanyakumari region.

    Image Credit - The Hindu Image Credit - The Hindu

    A young Banana plant with leaves is considered auspicious in the Indian culture. The banana leaf is commonly used as a plate in the South states. Now, besides serving this purpose, the banana plant is finding its way into people’s homes in the form of handcrafted products out of its fibres!

    Banana fibre is acquired by the local artisans by separating the dark bark of banana plant (known as ‘shorba’) into brown, cream and dark colors. It is then soaked in water so as to make it soft and therefore, easy to work on. Fibre strips are then extracted from the ‘shorba’ and then its twining is done and made into ropes which are then dyed. These colored ropes or yarns are hand woven or are crocheted to make beautiful products out of them. Even mirrors are woven into the rope to make the work more attractive and impressive.

    The artisans who work with banana fibres were initially given training by the Eco Green unit, Coimbatore with the support of the Development Commissioner of Handicrafts and the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India. This craft is mainly being carried out by the rural locals of south India.

    Many items such as table mats, wall hangings, bags and mats are made out of the banana fibre. These items are creatively made using bright colors to give them an attractive look. These products are quite durable also.

    Till some time back, pattu sari was also made out of the banana fibre, but because now it has become obsolete as this traditional sari is being replaced by the modern ones.

    The products made out of the natural fibres of the banana trunk are ecofriendly and have no adverse effect of any kind on mankind, nor do they disturb the ecological balance. Therefore, the use of such natural products should be encouraged to have a safe and happy earth!!

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