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 Ballia Cluster:-
Ballia Cluster falls under Uttar Pradesh State in Ghazipur district.
The Ballia 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 :-
Several products are made out of the different parts of the palm trees in Madhya Pradesh 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.
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 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 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.
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:-
Ghazipur district is close to Holy city Varanasi, it is known for its bravery and spiritual glory. It is well connected with major cities of India by railways and by roads and it is on the way of the newly constructed Buddhist Circuit from Sarnath to Kushinagar at National Highway-29, which is a main attraction for Buddhist pilgrims, as it is the main center of preaches and sermon of Lord Buddha. This place is about 75 kms from Varansi. The nearest Air Port is Babatpur in Varanasi, which is just 70 kms away from here, where the daily flights for all the major cities and for Kathmandu, Nepal is available. Bus Route from Varanasi, Allahabad, Lucknow and Gorakhpur is available at regular intervals of times.