- Maya Muralidharan
Craftsmanship of our Leather Bags - Beauty with Purpose
Leather Craft In India
Leather craft of India is a perfect fusion of “fashion & tradition”. It is one of the most ancient forms of craft practiced by our artisans, which reflects their morals, skills and practices. The leather craft has evolved to reflect the uniqueness and culture of each region, making it attractive and popular not just in India but across the globe.
Balance Between Nature and Livelihood
Our handcrafted leather bags reflect our artisan’s relationship with his environment. Our artisans are incredibly respectful of their surroundings and resources. The specialized skill attached to leather industry is responsible for welfare and livelihood of many skilled and traditional artisans; hence it’s crucial to ensure that there is balanced approach taken when ensuring no cruelty towards animals and preservation of a dying art which is a means of livelihood for countless communities of artisans. The artistic skill of our craftsman plays a crucial role in connecting traditional practices with modern day fashion. They spend years fine-tuning a skill which defines their livelihood and marks a respect to their earlier generations and ancestors. By working with the artisans on ground level, we are choosing to keep our traditional craft alive and providing a platform for artisans to engage and communicate with the global market about the meaning and value of their work.
India's Craft Sector Is Crucial To The Economy
Crafts sector of India is the 2nd largest employer in rural India, after agriculture. It is crucial to sustain and grow our craftsmen, in order for our economy to flourish. By working with the leather artisans, we are introducing and educating them to the changing consumer demands which inspires them to create designs that strike a balance between futuristic and traditional. As we work with leather artisans across India, each handcrafted bag is distinctive in its design and pattern, which also makes it exclusive to its region of origin. Most of our leather artisans are self taught and trained under the guidance of their elders who themselves are leather craftsmen.
Craftsmanship Is Unique To The Artisan
The quality of leather craftsmanship depends on three factors, Quality of leather material used for making the product, Fit of the crafted piece which is achieved by way of precise cutting, skiving, edging and accuracy of shaping the material, lastly Finishing which gives the products their overall look and feel. This includes color, attention to details like embellishments and type of protective finish applied on the leather. This makes the craft stand out and high quality work can garner a good price for the artisan. Some of the most common tools used by Leather craftsman to handcraft our bags are Knife which is used for shaping and finishing the leather. Mallet/Maul which is a striking device used for hitting punches on the leather. The Punches are pre-shaped metal tools which are used to cut holes and make shapes in leather. Also, there are burnishers & edgers which help to bind, smooth and finish the leather respectively.
If you notice, the artisans of Rajasthan specialize in leather work that involves colorful embroidery, beads, sequins, metal elements etc. The leather artisans of Gujarat love to work with bright colors and traditionally printed fabrics. Their bags reflect their choice of ornamentation. The artisans of Bengal create their own form of leather craft which are well detailed and hand embossed to achieve the desired patterns. Leather artisans of Tamil Nadu are skilled at hand tooling/carving the leather and their designs reflect their choice of embellishment.
Craftsmanship Is An Expression Of 'Humanity'
In the present world of automation and fast consumption, slow handmade craftsmanship is comforting. It’s personal and an expression of 'humanity' that respects our origins. It keeps us grounded to our roots.
In the modern era where almost everything is mechanized and uniform, the Craftsmanship of our artisans imparts wisdom which helps us connect and respect our surroundings. It is creativity with a strive for beauty. The imperfections as a result of human involvement make the products unique and adds a charm to them. Embracing products that are reflective our culture and roots has never been as important as today.