The material used is vegetable tanned leather with art work done by touch dyeing.
Shantiniketan’s artistic leather bags are popular in foreign markets and are exported to many countries including Japan and the U.S. They are generally made of E. I. Leather (East India Leather) – the leather from sheepskin and goatskin.
This product has been registered for protection under the List of Geographical indications of the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement.
In July 2007, it was listed as ‘Santiniketan Leather Goods’ under the GI Act 1999 of the Government of India.
Production was started as a cottage industry about 80 years ago in a few villages surrounding Santiniketan and marketed at the Bhuban Danga Market.
The craftsmen of the villages were trained under the Rural Development Programme of Visva-Bharati University at Santiniketan.
Process of Manufacture
The vegetable tanned skins used in production have the quality of permanently retaining the embossed imprint of motifs or Batiks.
A cotton pad or a glass, which has a smooth surface, is used to make the grains of the leather shine
The raw materials used in making these goods are classified according to the grain quality and smoothness as E.I.
Tanned leathers of sheepskin or goatskin that are dyed with vegetable colours.
Three leather types are defined : ‘Paper’ which has a coarse grain and spots is the skin of larger goats or sheep, and ‘Bind’ and ‘Kid’ which are both derived from smaller animals and are of superior quality.
Other materials used to make the final product include paper board of varying thickness, cotton, velvet or silk for lining, foam rubber for padding, natural dyes and spirit, rubber solution, and assorted sundries
The E.I. tanned leathers, which are marketed in rolls with three or four skins, are coated with a preservative of Epsom salt to inhibit oxidation.
The skins, after intensive washing, are immersed in a wooden vat or pit. They are then taken out and flattened by pulling and then dried.
After drying, designs are drawn on the leather and the leather is cut to the required size to make the desired products
The products manufactured and marketed are in the form of coin bags, chappal, handbags, pouches, jewelry boxes, pencil boxes, eyeglass covers, bags, ladies’ bags, piggy banks, cushion covers, sandals, wallets, and many more
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