A cluster is defined as a geographic concentration (city/town/few adjacent villages and their adjoining areas) of units producing near similar products and facing common opportunities and threats. An artisan cluster is defined as geographically concentrated (mostly in villages/townships) household units producing handicraft/handloom products. In a typical cluster, such producers often belong to a traditional community, producing the long-established products for generations. Indeed, many artisan clusters are centuries old Artisan.
About Srikakulam Cluster:-Srikakulam Cluster falls under Andhra Pradesh State in Srikakulam district.The Srikakulam cluster is able to form 200 plus Artisans & 10 SHGs supporting the strong work force. The mobilization gains momentum day by day.
Grass, Leaf, Reed and Fiber:-
Barkas in Hyderabad has lot of artisans working on the date palm leaf craft. These artists make beautiful bags and baskets and many more items. The same craft is also practiced at Nidadavolu in West Godavari district.Jute craft is most popular in this region and is derived from the fibre of a reed like plant. The warm humid climate of West Bengal with plenty of rainfall is best suited for this plant. The plant grows to a height of 3-4 meters and takes upto six months to mature. Jute is the second most popular natural plant fibre and is available in abundance.
Once the plant is ready for harvesting, it is cut very close to the ground and left in the ground for a day or two when the leaves fall off.The cut plant is then absorbed and dipped in water to separate the fibre from the plant.This process is known as retting.The,thus separated Jute is dried and given various forms.The fiber is knit into threads.Sometimes the threads are weaved to make rags and cloths. The cleaned fibre,the threads and the rags all are used to make beautiful craft products like the bags, rags, carpets,hangings,footwear,coasters,jewelry,show pieces,etc.Some very fine quality jute is also used to make furnishing material and dresses.
The articles from tender palm leaves which have their ribs removed and are then dried in the Sun include bags, dinner cases and ornamental hand held folding fans having anything between 37 to 56 blades.The blades are tied together by copper wire through holes on them and sewn together to spread out as a fan.The fans are made attractive in appearance by painting floral motifs on the blades.Palm leaf and stem weaving is a flourishing craft in southern Kerala with bags, hats, and suitcases being made both for the Indian and international markets these days.A reed is a firm-stemmed grass, with a hollow stem that looks like bamboo.It is a sturdy material and reed mats are used as walls for structures and roofs.The reed is first split and shaved before it is woven in a twill weave into mats. They are made starting at one corner and plaiting or weaving is done diagonally.Long strips are folded at the middle and another strip is inserted crosswise, which is in turn folded and the next strip is again inserted crosswise and so on.The creases of the crosswise strips form the edges of the mat.Reeds are also used to make very sturdy baskets.
Raw Materials Used :-
The villages of Tamil Nadu are full of Palm trees, coconut, date and Palmyra. Palm is the major source of raw material for preparing baskets and related products. Other raw materials like bamboo, cane, grasses, fibers and reeds are also used in making baskets, thatch, ropes, mats and many other things.
The jute fiber comes from the stem and ribbon (outer skin) of the jute plant. The fibers are first extracted by retting. The retting process consists of bundling jute stems together and immersing them in low, running water. There are two types of retting: stem and ribbon. After the retting process, stripping begins. Women and children usually do this job. In the stripping process, non-fibrous matter is scraped off, then the workers dig in and grab the fibers from within the jute stem.Jute bags are used for making fashion bags & promotional bags. The eco-friendly nature of jute makes its ideal for corporate gifting.Jute floor coverings consist of woven and tufted and piled carpets. Jute Mats and matting’s with 5/6 mts width and of continuous length are easily being woven in Southern parts of India, in solid and fancy shades, and in different weaves like, Boucle, Panama, Herringbone,etc.Jute Mats & Rugs are made both through Power loom & Handloom, in large volume from Kerala,India. The traditional Satranji mat is becoming very popular in home décor.Jute non-wovens and composites can be used for underlay, linoleum substrate, and more.Thus, jute is the most environment-friendly fibre starting from the seed to expired fibre, as the expired fibres can be recycled more than once.
The practical course is to introduce modernization of technique and improve the skills and make the worker capable of enhancing his productivity and his earnings so as to enable him to meet at least the basic necessities of life and come out of the clutches of poverty within reasonable time.
How to Reach:-The nearest airport is located in Vishakhapatnam, some 106 km away from Srikakulam.Srikakulam is well connected by railway lines to all the major cities and states in south India. Srikakulam is well connected by road to all the major cities and states in south India.