Origin: Uttar Pradesh is the largest Brass and Copper producing state of India. Metalware is used for decorative items as well as utility items. Metalware is popular for domestic use. One of such domestic-ware item called lota has its origin from cities like Etawah, Varanasi, Sitapur, etc. Metalware in copper are routinely used for holy rituals. Metal art work particularly increased during the reign of Mughal king Shahjahan, as can be evidenced in designs reminiscent of mughal miniature paintings
Present Day: Moradabad, a city in UP whose second name is Peetal Nagri (Brass city), is famous for its inlaid brass. Peetal Nagri is known for coloured enamelling, intricate engravings and detailing. Brass items such as diyas (oil-lamps), lotas (small water-pots), decorative bowls & plates, inlaid cutlery, idols, bangles and cooking utensils are all adorned with heavy decorative patterns. This extensive use, know-how and availability of brass has lead to Moradabad being the hub of brass export in India.
Varanasi, Etawah and Sitapur are the primary marketplaces for copper cooking utensils and worship utensils. Items such as Panchpatras (bowl to hold a mixture made of 5 essential items called Charnamrit, Charnamrit is then offered to the gods ), Tamrapatras (Holy inscriptions on a Copper plate), Kanchanthal (plate to give holy offerings) and Sinhasanas (Place where the deities can sit) are particularly popular as hindu house temples are a place of great spiritual importance where only the best will do.
Jalesar where brass work is still in the cottage industry phase,is one of the biggest producers of ghungroos (small bells used for dancing) and ghantis (large bells in temples), these items are then distributed all over India.
Brass and Copper industry of Uttar Pradesh has seen a steady rise over the years with small and big enterprises flourishing with the help of the global market. This industry has managed to survive several economic shocks which goes to prove that this is a safe place to invest in.
Procedure: There are two methods of casting: para which is mould-casting for making a single composite item of a simple kind and; darza which is sand-casting where various parts of an intricate object are separately prepared and then soldered. There are a lot of articles made out of brassware like plates, cups, bowls, boxes and coffeepots. These items are engraved with a range of floral and geometric patterns and are painted with brightly coloured Lac or vegetable resin. There are also designs and inspirations from Mughal and Hindu sculptures. The engravings done on the metalware are called Nakkashi. However, nowadays the process of making of metalware has become semi-mechanised but the engravings are still done by hand. The engraving is done after a thin coat of lac has covered the item, following this a pattern is traced using steel pointed pencil. The decoration is done with golden colour against the white tinted background.
Brass items are produced in large quantities and are famous for colourful engraved patterns. Moradabad metal engraving is a fine and a very delicate art. One can see the influence of Islamic culture in this art form.
The Metal ware sector of Uttar Pradesh has increased their export volume. Moradabad exports goods worth Rs. 30–40 billion each year from India, which constitutes 40% of total exports from India under the category of Metal ware. You can buy these goods in local markets of Moradabad, Banaras, Etawah, Sitapur etc. Theses goods are exported to other countries like USA, UK, France, UAE etc
Bring Home Meetalware: Peetal Nagri or Moradabad is the best place to buy decorative metalwork, while Varanasi, Etawah and Sitapur are the one of the best places for metal utensils and other utility items. Varanasi especially houses many shops to buy copper worship items.