Cluster Detail
Madhya Pradesh     Bhopal     Bhopal



A cluster is defined as a geographic concentration (a city/town/few adjacent village 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 Bhopal Cluster:-


Bhopal Cluster falls under Madhya Pradesh State in Bhopal district.


The Bhopal cluster is able to form 246 plus Artisans & 16 SHGs supporting the strong work force. The mobilization gains momentum day by day.


Grass, Leaf , Reed & Fiber :-


Like any other state Madhya Pradesh also produces wide variety of Grass Leaf items. This art is totally derived from nature and are free from chemicals and are environmentally friendly. The high- tensile strength of bamboo and easy to mould in any shape qualities have made it very popular for architectural uses. These artists give shape to many household items such as baskets, rice and vegetable strainers and brooms. Designer items such as furniture, racks are also in vogue. Bamboo has a great specialty; it does not require much of maintenance as once in a year wood polishing is sufficient for its longevity.


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.


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.



Jute’s Raw Materials:-


The villages of Madhya Pradesh 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:-


Bhopal airport is 12 km from the Old City. Regular flights connect Bhopal with Delhi, Gwalior, Indore and Mumbai. Bhopal is on one of the two main Delhi to Mumbai railway lines. The railway station is near Hamidia road. Major trains going from Bombay to Delhi via Itarsi and Jhansi also go through Bhopal. There are numerous daily buses to Sanchi (46 km), Vidisha, Indore (186 km), Ujjain (188 km) and Jabalpur (295 km).


Leather Craft:-


Mojris (or jootis or pagarkhiyas) is foot wear made in Rajasthan from locally cured leather. They are very well-known for the quality of workmanship and the variety and richness of design. They are entirely hand-crafted and are measured with the fingers.


The process followed is for different layers of the sole to be stuck with home-made glue. Once this is dry, the sole is stitched with cotton or leather thread. The upper portion is then embroidered by women who are very skilled at this. Plain or coloured piping is stitched to the edge of the inside portion of the upper form after the leather is dipped in water to make it soft. At every stage the leather is hammered to make the stitching and the pasting firm.


When the upper form has been attached to the sole it is put on a wooden last to give it a final shape; local dyes are sometimes sprayed on the upper in shades of red, green, and dark pink. Simple tools like a needle, a knife, a wooden block, and a hammer, are used. There is a thin strip of leather attached to the front edge of the sole, curling around the toe and joining the upper form, which protects the toe. On the back portion, a strip of leather stands out by an inch to enable the wearer to pull on the jooti. The stitching on the sole is always done with several strands of cotton thread. The simplest form of the jooti has a plain leather upper form, stitched to a plain sole. There is no difference between the right and the left foot and the jooti takes the shape of the wearer's foot.



Raw materials’s Leather Craft:-


The main raw material that is used for making leather crafts in Tamilnadu is the skin of goats and sheep. The creating of leather crafts specifically the leather puppets follows some procedures like washing the hide, cleaning and decorating it with immense perfection and dexterity. Once the puppets are structured, then the dyeing and outlining of the borders are done. Apart from creating these leather puppets, the craftsmen of Tamilnadu  create leather items that are used for home décor like lamp shades, wall hangings etc.



Leather Craft’s Process:-


Leather is bought from the wholesale market and soaked for two days in huge drums. It is then washed thoroughly to rid it of excess tanning ingredients. While fully wet it is stretched on the floor and left to dry. This process involves some skill as the leather needs to be stretched uniformly to avoid wrinkles. Good stretching can also increase the leather surface area by 5 - 10%. At this stage the water in the wet leather acts as an adhesive and holds it firmly to the floor. As the leather dries it automatically disengages from the floor.After this it is marked and cut to size with scissors and cardboard formats.he piece which needs to be embossed is then moistened with a sponge and rolled out with a rolling pin.A block is made according to the desired design by the acid etching process used in old letter presses. The die is placed in a ball press machine and the leather is sandwiched between the die and a sheet of hard rubber and strongly compressed.The leather is again cut according to patterns and assembled to make bags or boxes. Boxes are made using cardboard stiffeners and everything is pasted together using a rubber-based glue. Cardboard is cut using a die, because the cutting has to be very precise. Even a slight error ruins the final shape of the bag.



Leather Craft’s Techniques:-


Various other techniques are involved in making a complete product, the most important of which is skiving (to disguise the edge of the leather without increasing thickness though fashion pundits have opposing views on this), creasing (to ensure an even fold), beating(with a mallet to increase effectiveness of the adhesive) and polishing (rubbing the leather hard with a smooth piece of stone or glass to give the leather that shiny surface, the pressure and heat involved also closes the pores and gives the leather a high and even density). Bags are made by stitching together the pieces using a sewing machine. Unlike fabric stitching leather has to be stitched with a more heavy duty machine and a certain amount of pre-stitch adhesion is required to keep piece in place.


Metal Ware:-


Uttarakhand is the largest brass and copper making region in the world with thousands of establishments spread all over for articles made out of one or more pieces of metal.The copper or brass sheet is first marked out by a pair of compass and the piece or pieces cut off by a scissor called katari. The required shape is made by alternate heating and hammering, and is finally turned on the lathe. The final polish to the article is given on the lathe itself.


Metal ornaments have been a rave in all ages and times. The attractive contrasts in colours and textures of metals has led to the evolution of metal ornamentation through techniques like inlay, overlay, applique, fixing of colours etc.


The princely states of India demanded not only enamelled jewellery but also enamelled utensils such as wine-cups, finger-bowls, pill boxes etc. , in both gold and silver repousse, sometimes studded with jewels.The craftspersons of India excel in this art. With the evolution of new tools,techniques and skills, they are now better equipped to cater to modern tastes.Fully geared to meet modern market demands, today the gold and silver plated articles produced are usually plain or even when ornamented are devoid of extensive encrustation.Portions of silver articles are sometimes covered with water.



Raw Materials:-


In India, Brass and Copper are used for making various usable objects since ancient time. It has a rich tradition of making metal objects which are used for both religious and secular purposes. A wide variety of objects include standing lamps, aarathi (votive lamps), deepalakshmis, hand lamps and chain lamps. Shallow dishes circular, hexagonal, octagonal and oval shapes are widely used and are made out of bronze or sheet brass. The popular Thanjavur plates are characterized by designs of deities, birds, flowers, and geometric patterns beaten out from the back of copper and silver sheets and subsequently encrusted on a brass tray, kudam or panchpaathra. Metal toys are also popular and are sold at various gift outlets in various towns and cities of the state.





The craftsmen cast their own pieces, making moulding clay from sand, resin and oil in proportion (20:2:1) and add borax to the clay surface to prevent the metal sticking.The alloy, the darkened zinc used as base is described as nine to sixteen part of zinc to one of copper, is melted and poured into the moulds and solidified.


The surface of the rough cast of the articles is filed and smoothened with sand paper and then rubbed with a solution of copper sulphate to impart a dark surface to provide a suitable base for the next stage of tracing the design and engraving.


To engrave the design, wax from honeycomb and Raal a bonding agent is used. This solution is spread on a flat stone and the article to be engraved is fixed on it. The design is traced by hand, with the help of chisels and pure silver wire of 95% purity is inlaid in the grooves to form designs. There are five different types of tools used for engraving.


In the ultimate interesting stage, the articles are heated gently and treated with a solution of sal-ammoniac and earth taken from old fort buildings, which has the effect of making the entire surface turn jet black providing a distinct contrast to the shining silver inlay.


It is this contrast that lends Bidri a uniqueness that no other metal ware could possibly claim. Finally, oil is rubbed on the piece to deepen the black matt coating. The entire process is done by hand hence, is time consuming.





The techniques of metalworking follow the same principles, whether the scale of design is industrial or sculptural, or even at the tiny scale of a ring or a pair of earrings. Furthermore, many of the basic techniques also relate to work in other media.


Applique:- The technique of creating a design by soldering or granulating cut-out shapes of sheet metal to another metal surface.


Casting:- The process of shaping a molten metal by means of a mold.


Chasing:- A technique for surface embellishing of metal accomplished by driving pointed tools into the metal.


Enameling:- The fusing of a glassy substance onto metal. Enamels are combinations of flux and metal oxides (for color). Cloisonne is one of the better known enamel techniques.


Repousee:- A technique of pushing metal out from its reverse side using hammers and punches in order to create a low relief design on the front.


Stone Carving:-

The stone crafts of Uttar Pradesh have shown their creative excellence through intricate architectural masterpieces. These are perfectly chiseled and are decorated with inlay work. Stone carving on sandstone carry the rich cultural heritage of royal fascination and the variety that had been explored by the artisans. These outstanding stone crafts are visible in the intricate curving on the forts and palaces. The statues of religious gods and goddesses with excellent carving, brilliantly created articles of inlay work, stone carvings with embedded inexpensive shells or semi precious stones are some of the well known stone crafts that are admired in all around the countries.

Varanasi is the place where the great examples of stone craft have been seen. Sonia and Kalimohal areas of Varanasi, and Gokulpura in Agra are the places to where the instances of excellent artistry of stone craft are to be found. Most people of the areas, mainly the artisans of these areas, earn their livelihood by creating outstanding artifacts with stones.

The stone craft of Uttar Pradesh include marble boxes, wall plates, table tops, coasters, and ashtrays inlaid with semi-precious stones and mother of pearl in pleasing pietra dura designs that is derived from the Mughal monuments and paintings. Even the Gurara stone carvings, paperweights, and Rubic cube like candleholders, which take four different sizes, are considered as the intricate craftsmanship of the artisans of Uttar Pradesh.

Apart from creating different articles that catch the fancy of the local people and the tourists as well, the artisans create exclusive items that are placed in the trendy house to suit the decorative purpose.


Raw materials:-

The base material of stone craft in Uttar Pradesh is marble, gorara soapstone and occasionally cuddapah. The artisans of Agra sometimes use country made machines for cutting, grinding, buffing and polishing of stone. In some places the craftsmen still use chisel and hammer to bring out curved patterns and designs followed by grinding and polishing.



The crafts person while working on the sajjar pathar first studies the natural design contains in the stone selected to work upon. The shaping is done thereafter very carefully with chisel and hammers. Water is sprinkled repeatedly to avoid heat generation. The stone is smoothened by rubbing with sand papers or file.

Dimensions of the figure to be manufactured are marked on a stone slab. Extra edges are removed from the slab by beating with a hammer. Big pieces of stone are cut vertically into smaller slabs, and rough sketches are made on it. The article is taken out from the slab with the aid of a saw. This slab is now converted in the form of the desired figure with a hammer and a chisel. Minor carvings are done by pointed chisel. A hammer and chisel do further smoothening. Before carving the stone is kept in boiling water overnight and treated chemically. This smoothens and whitens the surface of the stone. Polishing is done for the final finishing with sand or carborundum pieces. Several of the carved artifacts are painted. Others are fitted with the looking glasses, brass fittings etc.

In carving an image, the stone carver sketches a rough outline of the sculpture on the stone - block. The craftsmen, sprinkle water on the stone during the course of their work because of the friction generated due to the constant chiseling away of the unwanted material results in the tools heating up. Finishing is accomplished in a variety of ways from sand-papering, polishing with multani-mitti or clay, oil and cloth.

An outline is drawn on hard or soft stone which is already cut to the appropriate size. Once the outline is incised indicating the shape, the final figure is brought out by removing the unwanted portions. While for the harder stones this is done by chiseling out the extra material, with softer stones. This is done by scraping out the same with a sharp flat-edged iron tool.


The main techniques are following below:-

1. Cutting
2. Grinding
3. Buffing
4. Polishing



The term embroidery is basically defined as the method of ornamenting a piece of clothing with needlework;or embellishment with fanciful details.Thus embroidery is regarded as the art of decorating textiles using a needle and thread.Embroidery of Gujarat has earned its fame because of the versatility of creations by the artisans.The artisans of Gujarat use an array of stitches that are used to decorate the items.The most important centres of embroidery work of Gujarat are located in the Sarasota and Kutch regions and are admired for the creative excellence.The embroidery of Gujarat is one of the main sources of income for different other communities.Today, even though embroidery is amongst the most traditional methods of decorating clothes, it is still as popular.Designs may date back to ancient times, or the modern geometric modern day designs, but all the same embroidery continues to be one of the common ways of decorating clothes.In fact, specialists feel that today,there is much more scope for creativity and innovation, because of the acceptance level.Ari embroidery of Gujarat has its international market in Nigeria where women drape themselves(during ceremonial occasions)in the embroidered cloth from this region. This has ornamentation of tikris and beads, which make them, look attractive.This type of embroidery is done on a frame of wooden beams.The fabric is

worked upon with a long needle, threads, tikris and beads.Multi sized frames are used,usually about 1.5 feet high, to secure the cloth on which the design is sketched with a stencil.One hand secures the thread under the cloth to the needle while the other hand moves the needle on top of the cloth with ease.Decorative tikris and beads are attached to the cloth with the needle.



This has ornamentation of tikris and beads, which make them, look attractive.This type of embroidery is done on a frame of wooden beams.The fabric is worked upon with a long needle, threads, tikris and beads.Multi sized frames are used,usually about 1.5 feet high, to secure the cloth on which the design is sketched with a stencil.One hand secures the thread under the cloth to the needle while the other hand moves the needle on top of the cloth with ease.Decorative tikris and beads are attached to the cloth with the needle.

Another embroidery pattern is the jaali or net embroidery in geometric or floral shapes and is done by pulling the warp and weft threads and fixing them with minute buttonhole stitches.The finished products dominantly comprise items for household use like curtains, bedspreads, furniture covers and dress material.


Raw Materials used:-

The fabric is worked upon with a long needle,threads, tikris and beads.Multi sized frames are used, usually about 1.5 feet high, to secure the cloth on which the design is sketched with a stencil.One hand secures the thread under the cloth to the needle while the other hand moves the needle on top of the cloth with ease.



As embroidery is not so technical craft to follow procedure but then also small process like:

  1. The motif is made on the tracing screen for symmetrical marking and uniformity, like the Khaka.
  2. The motifs are marked on the fabric with a marking mixer(liquid) for embroidery work.
  3. Now set the marked fabric very tight from all directions.(Saree, Dress materials, etc.)On Wooden frame(it can be done without frame also).
  4. It will work easier to do embroidery with the help of frame to reduce tension and get pucker less product.
  5. The desired motif is neatly embroidered with different stitches(Pakko, Kachho, Soof, Rabari, kharek etc)to achieve desired motif.
  6. The result can be many colors and is easy to make.

Set the fabric(Saree, Dress, material,etc.)on Wooden frame(it can be done without frame also)according to the design with desired allowance for the product.The motif is made the tracing screen for symmetrical making and uniformity, like the Khaka.The motif is marked with a marking mixer in a liquid form(Kerosene and gali powder) whether for embroidery the desired motif is neatly embroidery with different stitches to achieve desired motif.

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 herringbone, closely worked.Flowers and creepers are patterned against a dark background.




Techniques vary with the community and region.The term embroidery is basically defined as the method of ornamenting a piece of clothing with needlework; or embellishment with fanciful details.Thus embroidery is regarded as the art of decorating textiles using a needle and thread.This includes the hand and machine embroidery methods.And till date,hand embroidery continues to be an expensive and time-consuming method.However, in spite of this it is preferred because of the intricacy of the handiwork involved.


The basic techniques an embroiderer uses includes:-

  1. Cross stitch
  2. Crewel work
  3. Quilting


Wood Carving:-


Some of the finest woodcarvings in the Northeast are found among the people of this region. The woodcarvings are usually of human figures or decorative pieces that adorn the youth dormitories in these villages and sculptures erected in memory of the dead. In ancient times, woodcarving was associated with religious beliefs


Even today the front door of each household, which is considered a sacred threshold, has intricate wood carvings of Hindu deities and auspicious motifs like the hamsa/ mythical swan, padma/ lotus, poornakumbha /cornucopia, kaamadhenu and patterned floral motifs.


Other carved wooden items include small shrines and deities, low carved stools for marriages, carved fans for the deity, fertility couples and various small ceremonial containers. The carved panels of deities fixed to either end of a metre-long pole were the other ceremonial items. These panels are called kavadi and afre carried on the shoulders of a person to fulfill the vow to Lord Murugan or Karthikeya. Household kitchen instruments in wood such as grinders, vegetable cutters and serving ladle holders are items given in dowry.


Lathe-turned and lacquered toys in bright colors and at affordable prices are popular all over the state. Carved wooden toys, dolls and elephants exhibiting the skills of the artisan are also made.



Wood Carving’s Raw Materials:-


Basic Material : Bhurkul or gular wood, mango wood, green bamboo, shisham wood
Colouring Material : Alta, turmeric.

Basic Material : Doodhia wood, lac, lac stick, oil, old cloth, coloured paper.

Basic Material : Remnants of cloth, bamboo, rags, paper
Colouring Material : Dye colours

Basic Material : Punki wood, tamarind seeds, lime glue, brush, water colour, oil colour, red sanders wood

Basic Material : Cloths, colours, waste material for stuffing, coloured papers, clay



Wood Carving’s Process:-


The wood as per the size of the form to be made is cut from the block. The piece is cleaned and smoothened. The design of the toy to be made is traced on this piece. Extra wood is chipped off according to the design. Fine strokes with the hammer are made on the chisel, which is placed on the area to be shaped. It is smoothened with a file and painted. The painting starts with coloring various body parts. Next the dresses with specific designs are marked out by fine strokes of the brush. The facial features are added in the end.Sugga (parrot) are the wooden toys fixed on the marriage mandap. The mosara, (central part), charkhi and sugga (parrots) are made by the same process These are joined by bamboo killi (screw). The marriage post is coloured with yellow (turmeric), red (alta) and green colours.


The lacquering is done by pressing the lac stick against the revolving article. Oil is also applied at the same time for giving the better polish. Leaves of a kind of flowering cactus are used for polishing. The articles are either in single colour or in bands of different colours. The complicated designs and colour schemes are effected by manipulating the lac turnery and using the multifarious techniques.In Jaipur, the toys are made out of old cloth dyed afresh and stuffed with waste material. When they are gaily decorated with coloured paper and tinsel they look very alive especially with their expressive faces.


Rag dolls are made out of remnants of cloth usually thrown away. These are painstakingly collected and dyed into different shades to work out a variety of colour schemes. The eyes and mouth are indicated by black line . In case of a Rani doll, the clothes & body are fully decorated.


Wood Carving’s Techniques:-


Each wooden piece that is cut to make an item is subjected to a process of slow heating to draw out all moisture. Every single limb is separately carved and joined to the body with adhesive paste of tamarind seeds, and later passed through a coating of lime glue. The painting with colours is done by very fine precision with brushes made of goats hair. Water and oil colours are both used. Lacquering is done on a lathe, hand or is machine operated. For turning slender and delicate items, hand lathe is considered suitable. In the lac turney method, lac is applied in a dry state that is the lac stick is pressed against the woodenware to be lacquered. While the latter keeps revolving, the heat generated by friction softens the lac, making the colour stick. Lacquer ware toys are produced in this way. It is with remarkable skill that the craftsmen manipulate the stick where several colours are used. Some of the lacquered pieces are painted with a brush.



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Madhya Pradesh     Bhopal     Shri Navhjoti Handloom Handicrafts & Gramodyog Training Samiti