The Birth of a Bangle

A wrist full of bangles is all the rage at the moment.  Celebrities are sporting armfuls of these brightly colored accessories and it seems that the more substantial the stack, the hipper the look. But where do these pretty little arm accessories come from? To create just one of these wrist adornments is quite a process.

Our bangles from Global Goods Partners are made in the village of Etikoppaka in southeast India where traditional wood lacquering techniques have been passed down for generations. First, wood from the local Ankudu tree is harvested and seasoned for six months. Artisans then place the wood on a lathe to construct a perfectly shaped bangle using a chisel. Next, the natural dyes used on our products are extracted from indigo, turmeric and saffron seeds.

The dyes are then ground into a powder and boiled before being mixed with lacquer; a natural resin.  This creates the lacquer sticks shown below.

Keeping with traditional techniques, the bangle is placed back in the spinning lathe and the lacquer sticks are applied with dried leaves from the Mogali plant. This colors the bangle evenly and leaves it with a beautiful glossy finish.

By purchasing one of these masterfully crafted bangles, you are not only empowering women around the world but also aiding in the continuance of this cultural handicraft. So layer up with some fair trade bangles. As far as we’re concerned – the more the merrier!


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