Rosewood Craft of Karnataka

Origin: During the era of Tipu Sultan, rose wood inlay craft was pursued by artisans in the town of Srirangapatna. Carved doors of the wooden palace at Srirangapatna, the ivory inlay in rose wood and ebony in the Srirangapatna mausoleum, the doors of the Amba Vilas palace in Mysore speak volumes of the beautiful intricate work done during that period.  Rosewood inlay craft works as an explanation mark in temples and palaces where it rests on the bracketed pillars, door frames and arches.

In the hilly region, lintels and doors of few ancient homes and temple carts are bejeweled with hundreds of carved imageries of gods and goddesses.

Once the era of Tipu Sultan came to an end, this town developed into the centre for inlay work. In 1870, the first firm holding specialization in inlay work was registered by the name of Yusuf and Sons. In Karnataka, the footprints of this craft can be traced back to the family of Mirza Yousuf Ali who was an eminent artist. 

Present Day: Today, royal homes, elite bungalows and humble huts are embellished with Karnataka’s handicrafts that throw light on the skills of the artisans. 

Popular rose wood craft items include plates, boxes, bowls, cigarette cases, and figures of animals, especially elephants etc.  The popular design patterns are floral, geometric, landscapes, rustic extracts, epic scenes etc.The unique characteristic of rosewood inlay work was awarded by the Geographical Indication (GI) tag. 

Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited, (A Government of Karnataka Undertaking) was established in the year 1964 under Companies Act 1956.  This organization operates with an endeavour to preserve, develop and promote handicrafts. Since its establishment, this corporation has opened new opportunities for artisans in both national and international markets. 

The good forest cover of Karnataka ensures there’s abundance of raw material for its craftsmen.  Even today artisans create these products using age old techniques. 

Procedure:  The tools required for rosewood inlay craft are Hand drills, Tagad (Scrapping Chisels), Hathodi (Hammer), Ambor (Plier), and Bowor hex saw. The raw materials required are rosewood and ivory (since ivory is banned white and beige plastic is used as a substitute), Plywood, Different color woods like white cedar, rose wood, chill pine, rubber wood, red sandal, jackfruit wood etc., a mixture of wax and charcoal. The age old procedure calls for carve, inlay, veneer, paint and lacquer articles in wood

Wood craft items have huge demand overseas and are exported in different parts of the world like USA, U.K, Germany, France, Italy, UAE, Canada etc. These handicrafts have contributed in a big way to Indian economy and this also helps in preserving Indian culture and heritage

Bring Home Rosewood Craft Items: You can buy gorgeous rose wood inlaid products at different local markets across Karnataka. 

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