Origin: A viscous substance gathered from an insect called Kerria Lacca, Lac carries with it a rich cultural heritage. It is believed that artisans have been crafting products out of Lac for around two centuries. The mention of Lac dates back to the Vedas. The Atharvaveda discusses Lac in detail and talks about its production and uses.
For centuries, village Etikoppakka, which is about 80 km from Vishakapatnam, is home to artisans making masterpieces out of Lac. The hereditary artisan community titled Lakhera or laheras dedicate their life to the profession of lac bangle making.
Present Day: Today, on India’s craft map Andhra Pradesh is admired for its Lac handicrafts. Etikoppakka village is still pregnant with talented craftsmen carrying forward this lineage. These artisans still use hand over machine to create Lac products.
A large number of lack products for utility, playing and decoration are churned out of Lac. For utility - items such as bowls, jars, and containers are made. For ornamental purposes, bangles, necklace and earrings are made. Toys in all shapes and sizes are made from Lac.
Lac is majorly used in food processing, textile, leather, cosmetics, varnish, and printing industries.
Procedure: Lac is a resin extracted from wild trees and plant. The resin is collected by insects. The term lac is derived from the English word, which means a large number of insects (1 lac or 100 thousand) that are required to produce a pound of lac. Lac is majorly found in Asian countries.
The process of making Lac art calls for accuracy and skill. The major steps involved in the process are heating, combining, kneading, hammering and shaping till we get a dough. When Lac bangles are made, lac is expanded with heat and circular shapes are made as per required diameter and thickness. A roller is used to roll the bangle to achieve desired thickness. After this lac jewellery is polished and final finishing is done. Lac jewellery is also ornamented with colourful beads and mirror. For making of other products, lac is shaped according to the desired outcome and then painted with different dyes. After this, it is polished and final touches are given.
Lac jewellery is very famous in India as well as abroad. Tourists visiting India always buy Lac souvenirs as they are fascinated by Lac items and jewellery. Lac items are exported all across the world and have huge demand in USA, UK, UAE, France etc.
Bring Home Lac Products of Andhra Pradesh: Bring home gorgeous Lac crafts of Andhra Pradesh from local markets. Do not forget to pick stunning Lac bangles.