BRIEF STATUS REPORT ON PROMINENT CRAFTS OF KOLHAPUR DISTRICT
The precious white pure silver metal has been preferred by the smith community next to gold. The artisan of Hupri started silver jewellery about more than a century. The government's policy of co-operativisation, nationalisation of banking industry etc., channelised the requirement of all inputs like credit, raw material etc., and hence the industry reached its Zenith. The office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) also played a pivotal role in putting the industry on the road to prosperity by providing all extension services, market support etc. Even today the Hupri artisans of Kolhapur district, maintain the quality of the jewellery made by them. As on today three societies viz., (i) Nvs Chandi mal Utpadak Sahakari Sanstha Ltd., Hupri; (ii) "s Chandi Audyogik Sahakari Sangh Ltd., Hupri and (iii) Mls Chandi Audyogic Sahakari Seva Sangh Ltd., Hupri are functioning for the common cause of the artisans.
The other craft pockets are Kolhapur, Nasik, Pune and Mumbai. There are about 10,000 artisans directly and about 8,500 indirectly engaged in about 1200 units spread in Maharashtra, especially in these districts of Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nasik and Kolhapur. Annual production is estimated about 500 crores.
Principal items of production are Payal (anklet), necklaces, bracelates, eartops, ear-rings, rings, Pendant, Kamarpatta, key-chain, Bangles etc.. Oxidised jewelleries are also made in numerous designs, according to taste of the customers and to give antique effect.
The main problems of the industry is availability of basic raw material silver, generally supplied by the merchants place order and artisans get only wages. The ancillary raw materials required like zinc, wax etc. are being supplied to them by co-op. Societies on subdised rates. The required gas and kerosene are also to be supplied to them on subsidised rates. If Govenunent allot quota to all artisans, they can produce independently and they would be free from the clutches of the traders and merchants.
Clay being the most abundantly available versatile and organic, lending itself to any shape and responsive to even slight touch, became the natural choice of the artisans to produce marvellous artefacts with his deft hands. The discovery of baking, provided an element of permanency to clay, which otherwise has very uncertain and transient life, leaving his work to posterity. Glazed terracotta, ceramics etc., are the advancement of the clay craft. The quality of clay used (i.e. white clay, China clay, red clay etc.) and the temperature under which the articles are fired decides the quality of end products. Higher the temperature, more decarbonisation takes place; yield Titie variety of articles nomenclatured ceramics, teffacotta, art pottery, etc., in the descending order of temperature under which they are fired.
While terracotta craft is being practised at many places through out the country, each craft pocket of the region has its own characteristic and excellence. For eg. the teffacotta being produced at Mumbai, Delhi, Ramnagara (Mysore) etc., have paved way for modem influence, while the Bastar is confined to only tribal oriented. Yet the craftpersons have conceived only two distinct varieties - one for the utilitarian purpose like flower pots, containers etc., the other for art representation depicting motifs of God, Goddess, animal figures etc., visualising life style, socioreligious customs/ceremonies of the contemporary period.
Suitable clay is collected from ponds/lakes or river beds and stored in shade. Before use, the clay has to be pulverised, sieved to get fine powder. The powdered clay is mixed with water upto required level and kneaded thoroughly to get dough. Mostly women folk engaged in this labourous process of pulverising, sieving kneading and making clay balls ready for throw on wheel. The man usually sits for operating wheel, while woman maintains supply lime of clay gonde (clay balls).
The clay kept on wheel transfon-ns into exquisite articles like flower pot or figure purely on the imagination and mere manipulation of fingers of the potter; the real skill he attained through tradition. After the items are created, it is cut by means of metal wire and allowed to dry under shade. Thereafter the dried wares are baked properly in country kiln by using cow-dung, straw etc. as feul. Now-a-days, electric kilns are used for firing. So also, motor driven electric wheels are used by potters to avoid drudgery. In some cases, design are etched on the surface of the items, before they get dried by means of metal wire or a special kind of small chisel made for this purpose. So also, extra ornamentation is done on the figures before they are put for drying.
After firing the articles, red-oxide coating is given to get dark brownish-red colour, to give more appeal.
The major items of production are motifs of God, Goddess, Boothas, Gram Devatas, Masks, and utility items like lamp shades, flowerpots, hanging pots. Decorated jars, animal figures like Camel, Bull, Elephant, Goat etc.,. Some skilled artisans produce themes of Ramayana, Mahabharata like Geeta upadesh, etc., in teffacotta.
Of late, terracottajewelleries are having an excellent market in domestic and abroad as well.
Apart from pooja articles, Pandan@ Tabak, Shields, turned decorative pooja and kitchenw are are also produced in Nasik district.
Silver sheet is mostly used by embossing method but for ornamental or decorative items where silver thread is specifically required to be used.The required gauge silver sheet is spread over the floor and with the help of marking tools the descriptions are drawn by marking, and there after desired shape is obtained by beating the sheet and joined. Designs are embossed by filling up wax on the reverse. After the designing and embossing process completed, final touches made by small/fine chisels. Later it is washed in acid, buffed on machine for shine. Mythological, figurative, geometric and floral designs are embossed by skilled defthands.
The main tools required are Lathe, crusibles carving tools, dies, marking gauges and casting equipments, files, chisels of different types and sizes and small wooden planks for sitting.
The major problems are ever increasing price of silver and wages of the skilled artisans who are attracted towards other trades, otherwise.
Now-a-days prices of other raw materials like zinc, kerosene etc., are also increased substantially in the open market.
Channalised distribution of raw materials and ancillary material required have been suggested to ensure production in full swing.
In Kolhapur two units employing about five persons are practising the craft, producing dolls worth Rs. 60,000/-.
Among the dolls, cotton dolls are the prominent ones. Rough cotton wool, costume etc. are the raw materials required. Scissor, needle, nail are the main tools used for the production of dolls. With the use of wire the basic structure is formed, then cotton is rolled as per the shape of the required figure. Wool is used to highlight fingers of hand and legs. For face cloth moulds are used. Later costumes shall be adomed. Dressing and finishing require more skill. Character dolls, dolls of Gods and Goddesses, animal figures, saints, decorative items are the articles being produced. Co-operative society is fon-ned at Khadakwasla, Pune and training classes for the purpose of increasing the skilled artisans being run. The articles produced are marketed in big cities like Pune, Mumbai, Bangalore, Madras, Delhi and Calcutta through Design Centre Mumbai. Soft toys, festival hangings diversified dolls etc., are being tried with better success.
income in middle class, while it serves as a hobby in affluent class.
There is good scope for the increased production provided market for the finished
items are ensured. Mostly, the dolls are marketed seasonaly before the festival. The
Formulating training scheme and finding out increased market sustaining throughout the year will go long way in improving the craft.
Lacquered toys are manufactured at many places in Maharashtra, of which Kolhapur produces durable toys for fun like miniatures of trains, car, bus, tractors, jeeps etc.. Also creative toys for children like, numerical toys, alphabets, geometrical and arithmetical figures etc., are produced at Kolhapur.
These toys are produced on light wood coated with Lacquer. The total
production at Kolhapur is estimated at 1.5 lakhs. The toys are salable
at trade fairs, exhibitions and the state owned Emporia by placing regular
The main raw material used is the dealwood (wood used for making packing boxes), easily available in the market.
The figure or shape to be made is drawn on the surface of the wood. Then liquid ammonia is applied on the surface of the wood. Then the wood is burnt with the help of blow lamp. The portion where ammonia is applied burnt completely leaving black stain on the grains of the wood, which is the main characteristic of the craft. Then the item is polished with clear varnish, after the finishing touch is given to get fine finish.
Various items are being made in this process, especially animal motifs like, horse, camel, elephant, peacock, etc., have good market. Of late, landscapes are also made by this process and put in frame.
In Kolliapur, one artisan took specialised training in chemical etching on wood at Bangalore and now practising the craft.
The annual production is estimated about Rs.60,000/-.
In Kolhapur 2 units engaged by employing 15 craftspersons and in Uttur (Tal. Ajra) 1 unit exist producing Rs. 8/- lakhs worth of artware per ' ear. Out of which one society in Kolhapur exist, which is mainly concentrating on brass utensils, than artware, according to demand. Yet the society would like to undertake artwork if sustained orders received. The main raw material brass sheets of different gauges are purchased from open market. sometimes, procured in bulk.from Indore which workout cheaper. The Kansara Karagir Co-operative Society, Nasik supply the required raw materials and also allows the common facility to its artisans. Artisans prepare themselves the tools required for their work.
The metal craftsperson called in local parlance as Tambat/Kansar takes a sheet of brass puts on the floor and on it he traces with compass the marking to obtain the requisite shape of the article to be made, cuts with scissor. The metal sheet is heated on fire for softening and hammered on a anvil as it assumes a hemispherical shape and then beaten in two pieces. These two upper and lower pieces are joined chissled and finished with the hand tools.
Apart from utensils by using brass sheets Mandir, Palki, Kalash, Prabawali, Devara, Mugut, Puja articels, wall plaques, figures, penstand, nameplates, key chains, toran and kumkum boxes are made.
Copper sheet of different gauges is cut to desired size of the article to be produced and joined. Even plain copper articles are purchased. Then the article is filled with wax and allowed to settle there after required designs 'are drawn on the outer surface with pencil. By following the pencil outline designs are worked out with carving tools. Later heated on fire to dewax and washed in sulphuric acid. Then with the application of polishing powder buffed on buffing machine to get shine.
Again washed with soap water and dried. Lacquer mixed with thinner is applied on outer as well as inner surface and cured in electric kiln. Finally rubbed with cloth and packed. Items of production include pots with Astilavinaylika, Astliakkani, plates of 4" to 8" size. 'Foran on Kalash in 5" to 7" sizes, Iota in 5" to 12" sizes, pan supari, Agarbatti stand, kumkum box, powder box, soap box, jewellery box, vase, idols, plaques and key chains etc.
The problem is of tarnishing of the copper. Eventhough lacquered does not last long. In the name of lacquering, oxidation, the prices of the articles are increased and thus affects the market demand. Technique of cheep and long lasting of lacquering is the chief problem which has to be overcomed, Other solution is of providing copper on subsidised rates.
The cloth being tied and dyed is washed, bleached and dried to get ready for work. The designs to be put are drawn on the cloth by pencil. Then with the help of forefinger and thumb small knots are put on the line drawings with equal intervals. The size of the knot and distance between knots to be put are depending on the size of the design. After all the knots are put as per the design, the cloth is dyed in chemical dyes or vegetable dyes, as per the requirement. Then the cloth is allowed to dry under sun shade. After the dyes are set in it is washed with caustic soda and wann water to remove excess dyes. Finally the knots are cut and the cloth is washed in cold water and then dried in sun shade. This craft is generally persued by the women folk during their leisure hours. The skill of the craft depends on the technique of tieing of knots in good speed. For this purpose, the artisans used to grow long nails on their thumb and forefinger.
Generally nepthal, acralic, salt based group of colours are used with diluted acids and caustic soda.
Silver Oxidised Artware
There are 5633 units engaging in the manufacture of Kolhapuri chappals employing 22500 artisans of which 10% are women artisans. Nearly 80% of the units manufacture items for the dealers who arrange supply of raw materials to these artisans.
On an average a unit engages 4 artisans of which 2 are family members. The craftsmen work for the dealers on wage basis, who provides required raw materials to manufacturing units. Average working days in a year works out to 240 days. The male workers undertake the job of cutting, seasoning of leather and fitting whereas the women workers carry the work of making upper belts designs and sole-stiching during the spare time.
The wages are paid on piece rate for different process of manufacture. On an average Rs.28/- to Rs. 32/- are paid as wages per pair. The wages paid to different process of job work are:
1) Seasoning and cutting - Rs. 9 to 13/-
2) Sole stiching - Rs. 51-
3) Making of upper belts with veni - Rs. 7/- design work etc.
4) Fitting and finishing etc. - Rs. 7/- Total Rs. 28 to 32/-
The making charges for upper belts and fitting differ from designs of the chappals.
The Kolhapur chappals could be divided in two major categories (i) Export variety and (ii) Fancy variety. The export quality chappals are mainly produced in Miraj, Jat and Kawathe-mahankal of Sangli district whereas fancy variety is mainly made in Kolhapur district. The Miraj units also manufacture fancy variety but total production of these items are less than 10% of total output. Athani in Belgaum district in Karnataka State is also famous for manufacture of Kolhapur chappals.
The total production of export variety of Kolhapuri chappals is estimated to the tune of Rs.2 crore
whereas that of fancy variety to the tune of Rs 10 crore annually . Costing of leather chappals for both export and fancy varieties are furnished below
The main raw material used is different type of leather hides. The type of leather used and its prevailing prices are given below:
1.She-Buffalo (Masadi) used for lower sole - Rs.90 to 100/- Kg.
2.Bullock hide (Baldi) used for upper sole - Rs.90 to llO/-
3.Still born calf (Gavi) used for upper belts - Rs. 80 to 90/-
4.Sheep and Goat skins (Chavani) used for - Rs. 175 to 200/- upper belts.
All the types of leather are available in local market.
There are about 75 tanning units in Kolhapur and Miraj engaging about 500 workers. Both vegetable and chemical tanning is done on she-buffalo and bullock hides i.e. (Masadi and Baldi variety). The other two varieties i.e. Gavi and Charani are tanned at Madras and Mumbai and available locally through dealers.
The Leather Industries Development Corporation Ltd. of Maharashtra State had a raw material depot at Satara and arranging raw material supply at standard rates. Since the concentration of craft is in Kolhapur and Sangli districts, very few artisans are able to avail of this benefit of raw materials depot. It has its own production unit also at Kolhapur.
manufacturing unit is limited to investments in tools and working capital only.
1. Tools and equipments: 8,200
2. Working capital for payment of wages 5,000 for one month for 2 workers @ 15001- approx. and Rs.2000/- for skilled worker for a month
3. Ancillary raw materials such as nails, 2,000 polishin g materials etc. for a month ---------- 15,200
Being a holy place, many of the devotees visit Kolhapur for Godess 'Mahalaxmi' darshan and most of thei-n on their way back purchase Kolhapur chappals at Kolhapur. In Kolhapur city, the centrally located Shivaji Market has a concentration of 150 shops of which about 50% are exclusively dealing Kolhapur Chappals. 40% of the production of fancy variety is sold locally and rest is sold in Mumbai, New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and other commercial centres in the country through dealers and state emporia.
D.R.I. scheme. Besides, the Mahatma Phule Backward Class Development Corporation Ltd., has also financed to the extent of Rs.25,000/- @ Rs.4% interest and 50% subsidy for working capital, as needed,
There are about 15 Co-operative Societies of Kolhapuri Chappals manufacturers exist in the district. The first Co-operative Society of artisans was registered in 1951 at Kolhapur namely Charmakar Samaj Audyogik Sahakari Mandali Ltd., Kolhapur with 80 members and share capital of Rs. 1.19 lakhs and Government share capital assistance of Rs. 0.29 lakhs. The only noteworthy activity undertaken by the Society is allotment of plots for residential-cum-production units to its members with a loan facility to the extent of Rs. I lakh per member. About 160 plots/houses were built, providing residential-cum- workshed facilities to about 250 families. The present position is that many of the craftsmen had let out some portion of their premises to some other needy craftsmen to work.
Sant Rohidas Co-operative Society of Kolhapur with about 100 members is arranging raw materials for tanning industry. Of the recently registered societies, the society at Malgaon Tal. Miraj, Dist. Sangli viz., Dhor and Chambhar Samaj udyogik Sarvaseva Maryadit, Malegaon, has also undertaken welfare activities for its members and the work of construction of residential-cum-workshed building for its members as I I acres land purchased by the Society. The other two registered societies, one from Miraj NVs Subha Charmakar Karagir Gramodyog Sahakari Society Ltd., Miraj and Nageshwar Charynakar Audyogik Sahakari Sanstha Ltd.,
Rashiwade, dist. Kolhapur were mainly undertaken production and marketing of products of their members; now under liquidation.
Lace & Embroidery And Patch Work :
Textile weaving is an age old industry of our country. After stone age, gradually man became civilised and leamt the process of weaving to produce materials to cover himself protecting from change of weather and climates. The art of embroidery is as old as textile weaving, since human being has always had the urge to decorate/omament the cloths. The embroidery craft has been practised, generally by women folk in their leisure hours to fulfil their own family needs, rather than on commercial basis.
Different varieties of embroideries are being practised suiting the type of cloth and to the taste of users. The chief styles of embroideries in vogue in this area are Kutchi embriodery, Crochet lace, patch work or applique work.
Generally female artisans who engage in this laborious art of embroidery usually adopt designs depicting their cultural, aesthetic theme of the region. Also geometrical designs are in vogue, irrespective of the geographical area. Women folk usually present embrioded graments adomed with Lace work to babies of their families /relatives during first birth day.
The process of embroidering cloth is synonymous to stiching; the difference being stiching is undertaken at required places according to designs and colour scheme. The cloth being embroided is fit on the wooden frame to ensure that it gets evenly speared and tightly fastened. This facilitates the artisans to put the embriodery stiches firmly and in some types of embroidery to count the warp and weft of the cloth, so as to give weaving effect to embroidery designs.
In some other types, the desdigns are transformed onto the cloth by tracing paper or with the help of carbon sheets and embroidery is done afterwards. Though different types of stiches are performed in embriodery, the basic principle is same. The stiches generally in vogue are chain, cross, morgi, ari, Rebari etc..
Applique/Patch work is a special type of embroidery, wherein different coloured clothes are cut according to design requirement and stiched with the cloth on the contour of the designs. Applique/patch work gives good appeal due to the effective colour combination.
In general, the applique items are used for requirement of shamiana cloth. Also household items like bed-linen, pillow cover, cushion cover etc., are prepare,., by applique method. Even applique blouses and petticoats are made these days according to taste of the customers. Since very simple tools like, wooden frame, needles, scissors etc., are required for this craft, the investment on fixed capital is meagre.
It is estimated that around 600 craftspersons are engaged in this art in Kolhapur district, though most of the ladies practise this craft during leisure hours. Almost all the units are producing embroidery items for their own requirement. As such units producing on commercial basis seldom exist.
Though mankind started using bamboo long ago, the bamboo workers get very meagre income, since they produce only traditional items like Supda, Mats and other articels required for rural people and sold locally.
The office of the Development Commissions evolve and schemes for diversifying the utility value of the articles by introducing training schemes, tie up with production and marketing. The schemes were very much welcomed by the artisans and dealers of handicrafts as well. The elite class residing at Metropolitan cities like the artistic bamboo items like, flower vase, trays, marketing baskets, Pooja baskets, bamboo articles depicting iiiotif-, of boats, decosted peacocks, fish, birds, etc. Also utility items like hair clips, lamp shades, screens, purses etc., are also having very good demand. Now-a-days, the office of D.C.(H) has been conducting training schemes about 50 places throughout country.
There is no derth of market for bamboo articles. So also , market exist for cane items, especially fumitures of different type. The main problems with bamboo workers are that they are not inclined to do artistic items, despite vigorous motivation.
The financial institution should come forward for credit support / loan
by relaxing their normal rules on the factors determining the amount of
loan required, as the items produced are totally value added, and more
than 80% of the investment goes to wage component.