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lac jewellery

The Exotic Lac Jewellery From Rajasthan

Lac Jewellery is a popular representation of the rich Indian heritage and craftsmanship. It is a popular kind of jewellery that has been prevalent across some centuries. Rajasthani bangles or the lac bangles are famously known and donned by many royal families and women across entire Rajasthan. Lac jewellery has become the most sought-after jewellery type even off-shore! There are three qualities in which lac is produced such as light golden, brown and dark black. Light golden category is the best and the most expensive of all. It is no surprise that India is the largest producer and exporter of lac to countries like the U.S., U.K., China, Europe and the Middle East.

The process of making Lac-
It is a laborious task and involves a plethora of processes to get to the overall production of Lac jewellery. Lac is a thick gummy like substance that is obtained from a female bug that produces it. This insect 'kerria lacca' is found in the jungles of India and Thailand. After the extraction of the lac, it is sent under the refining process to make it usable for final crafting. The cultured lac is stored in a sealed box and sent for further processing to produce wax and varnishes. This is therefore used by the artisans to create jewellery and other subsequent items. An artisan's expertise and detailing in the craft can be visibly seen with the way lac jewellery or other stuff is created.

Since lac work can only be done over a wooden base, the artisan must be really skilled to handle and work with lac properly. Initially, villages would use lac to decorate their houses but gradually it became a full-blown industry and now small as well as large scale businesses are into creating jewellery and household decorative items with lac.

Lac Jewellery making process-
The coined shaped lac is melted with limestone, providing extra strength, to create a doughy base. This base is rolled and added with colour and further rolled to make it into thinner tubes. These tubes are then fixed on the base of a bangle. With a slight heat, the bangle is given its final form and finishing with the help of a round wooden tool.

Orissa is one region where lots of lac work is done, especially into the production of combs and embellished pens. Gujarat and Rajasthan specialize in making lac bangles, as mentioned before, which are embedded with semi-precious as well as precious stones to beautify the look of the bangles. These bangles can be thin or thick and designed in minimal or maximal way.

Lac jewellery is playful and colourful and a great way of adding fun and vibrancy to one's look. Although the changing trends in the jewellery industry may influence the way lac jewels are designed but the basics remain the same. Lac earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings other than the traditional style bangles are also very popular. Trying lac bangles with wooden bangles creates a beautiful complex mix of two different types of jewellery that make it look more exotic and enigmatic.