Santiniketan Leather Goods are leather products made in Santiniketan and surrounding villages near Kolkata, West Bengal, India. The material used is vegetable tanned leather with art work done by touch dyeing. Its 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) 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 with registration confirmed by the Controller General of Patents Designs and Trademarks under Class 18 Handicraft goods vide application number 509 for the dated 12 July 2007.
Production started in a few villages around Santiniketan as a cottage industry about 80 years ago and was marketed at the Bhuban Danga Market. The village craftsmen were trained under the Visva – Bharati University Rural Development Program at Santiniketan.
The raw materials used to manufacture these goods are classified as E.I in terms of grain quality and smoothness. Sheepskin or goatskin tanned leathers that are dyed with vegetable colors. Three types of leather are defined: “Paper” with a coarse grain and spots is the skin of larger goats or sheep, and “Bind” and “Kid,” both of which come from smaller animals and are of superior quality. Other materials used to make the final product include varying thickness paperboard, lining cotton, velvet or silk, padding foam rubber, natural coloring and spirit, rubber solution, and various sundries.
The vegetable tanned skins used in production have the quality to keep the embossed motif or batik imprint permanently. Using a cotton pad or a glass with a smooth surface, the leather grains shine.
The E.I. Tanned leathers, marketed in three-or four-skin rolls, are covered with an Epsom salt preservative to inhibit oxidation. The skins are immersed in a wooden vat or pit after intensive washing. Then pulling them out and flattening them and then drying them. Designs will be drawn on the leather after drying and the leather will be cut to the required size to make the desired products.
Manufactured and marketed products consist of coin bags, chappal, handbags, pouches, jewelry boxes, pencil boxes, eyeglass covers, bags, ladies ‘ bags, piggy banks, cushion covers, sandals, wallets, and much more.
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