A cluster is defined as a geographic concentration(a 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 Kesihampat Top Leirerk Cluster:-
Kesihampat Top Leirerk Cluster falls under Manipur State in Imphal district.
The Kesihampat Top Leirerk cluster is able to form above 280 Artisans and 20 SHGs supporting the strong work force.The mobilisation gains momentum day by day. Keishampat Top Leirerk Cluster is famous for Embroidery, Grass, Leaf, Reed & Fiber.
Manipur has a unique type of embroidery that uses one stitch, in deference to the weavers in the area. This is done in dark matching shade with untwisted silk thread on the border of the phanek (a lungi or lower body wrap worn by women). Colors in dark red, plum or chocolate are usually used. The embroidery is so artistically done that it does not clash with the weave and is often mistaken for it. Akoybi embroidery is done in an elegant snake-like pattern or design, derived from the legendary snake, pakhamba (killed by the husband of a goddess, who later tried to atone for this act by imitating the pattern). Akoybi means circular and the design involves one circle joining the other, each broken further with a significant motif in shades of shades of red along with black and white. Hijay is another pattern where black and white, along with shades of pink thread are used in a continuous pattern. Angami Naga shawls have animal motifs in black. This was previously called sami lami phee (which means warrior cloth of wild animals) and was given to brave distinguished warriors by the royalty, in recognition of their prowess and ability. The colours are bright green, red, yellow, and white. Abhala or mirror-embroidery work is done only on ras dance costume. The indigenous inhabitants of Manipur are the meithei community. Their designs, called tindogbi, are inspired from a silk caterpillar sitting on a castor leaf and eating it. Possession of Shamilami fabric, which is a combination of weaving and embroidery, is considered a status symbol. Maibung is a natural design inspired from the natural finish of the wood.
Colours, threads, pearl. Mirrors, stylised flowers.
Manipur has only one style of embroidery which is exclusively its own with practically no variety in stitches, so overwhelmed does this region seem by its rich weaves. The phanek is the plain fabric in a dark shade or with plain stripes in three colours. Akoybi is the most significant design having two shades of red with the reflection of the other, with a little black and just a touch of white. The abhala (mirror) embroidery is found only on the raas dance costume. Among other embroidered designs, mention of the animal motifs seen on the black shawls must be made which are called Angami Naga Shawls.
The embroidery is the border of the phanek, a women lungi, which is woven in dark stripes against pink background, with silken untwisted thread. The colours usually being dark red, plum or Chocolate. The phanek is sometimes a plain fabric in a dark shade or with plain stripes in three colours. Akyobi is another significant design in embroidery. Akyobi means circular and in it one circle joins the other, each being further broken into patterns each with a significant motif. The colours used in the design are two shades of red with a little black and a touch of white.
Embroidery displays a combination of the cross-stitch and the line or double running stitch.Embroidery designs are prepared by fixing small round shaped mirrors to the material with the help of the buttonhole stitch, the outline being sketched by hand. Silken thread is used for the stitching done in stem or herring bone, closely worked.
Grass, Leaf , Reed & Fiber :- Several products are made out of the different parts of the palm trees in Manipur which include baskets in various patterns from Palmyra fibers and leaves as well as mats from the stem of the date palm. Tender palm leaves are separated from the strips and joined together by winding a running strip over them which is then folded like a ribbon and fastened by a thin strip of leaf to connect the layers at intervals, thus yielding a uniform and rhythmic pattern with pleasant colors in fine texture to include products like suitcases, boxes, bags, baskets, screens, chiks, mats, glass holders, vases, hats, beautiful sieves, hand fans, square mats and trinket boxes. 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. Jute’s Raw Materials:- 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. Jute’s Process:- 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 fibres 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 mattings with 5 / 6 mts width and of continuous length are easilly 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 Powerloom & 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.Jute has many advantages as a home textile, either replacing cotton or blending with it.It is a strong, durable, color and light-fast fibre.Its UV protection, sound and heat insulation, low thermal conduction and anti-static properties make it a wise choice in home décor.Also, fabrics made of jute fibres are carbon-dioxide neutral and naturally decomposable.These properties are also why jute can be used in high performance technical textiles .Moreover, jute can be grown in 4–6 months with a huge amount of cellulose being produced from the jute hurd that can meet most of the wood needs of the world.Jute is the major crop among others that is able to protect deforestation by industrialisation.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. Jute’s Techniques:- The practical course is to introduce modernisation 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:-
From Guwahati daily on the NH 39 via Dimapur and Komiha. Manipur State Road Transport Corporation(MSRTC) and many other private buses available.From Dimapur daily on the NH 39 via Komiha. Manipur State Road Transport Corporation(MSRTC) and many other private buses available.From Silchar daily on the NH 39 via Jiribam. Manipur State Road Transport Corporation(MSRTC) and many other private buses available.