Friday, 5 February 2016

Rajasthani crafts - hand made paper

Whilst in Sanganer we also visited Salim's hand-made paper factory which makes paper products (carrier bags, covered boxes and books and those paper stars that were everywhere at Christmas) for export. Sanganer has a large paper making community - more info here:

The manager showed us round and explained the process while the workers looked on in bemusement as we took pictures of everything, like kids in a sweet shop. Whilst much more like our idea of a factory, the fact that many of the processes were carried out on the floor makes it typically Indian.

The paper is made from recycled cotton rags, and the colour of the rags determines the colour of the paper. Large two-person frames are dipped and the paper stacked on muslin sheets to dry. These are then removed and the damp paper sheet is pressed, stacked and left to dry.

Inclusions like coconut fibre and rose petals are put in at the pulp stage. The woman is separating the sheets ready for cold pressing. After this they are stacked ready for use.

See what I mean about the sweet shop?

This beautifully carved roller is an embossing press

This machine is for cutting the paper to size. The guy sitting on top positions the paper and the other cuts it. Health and safety would have a field day! These papers are being made into carrier bags, destined for Korea.

Two colours are stitched together, the woman's job seemed to be just to cut the threads. At this stage bags are printed or embossed with a design, and creases are pressed in with a die to aid folding.

And then the really slick bit - these men were folding and sticking the carriers with lightning speed.

Finally the cotton tape handles are added and the bags are ready to go.

The most refreshing thing about this factory was no hard sell, just a chance to look at product examples and a brochure to take away. I suppose this is more industrial India not geared for the tourist market, and probably something that most people don't get to see.


Joanne Crewdson said...

did you get lots of 'samples'?

Terry Donaldson said...

No unfortunately, none at all, which was probably just as well since we were 10 kg over the internal flight limit anyway!