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Shantiniketan’s Handmade Leather Batik

Shantiniketan’s Handmade Leather Batik

The story behind Shantiniketan’s Handmade Leather Batik

abahan's photo
·Aug 25, 2022·

3 min read

State: West Bengal

Town: Shantiniketan

The Shantiniketan district in West Bengal is famous for its finely handmade leather handbags and other accessories. A Shantiniketan bag, available in a variety of colors, designs, and sizes with traditional motifs, delicately shows India's rich cultural past. It showcases the exceptional craftsmanship of the local craftspeople.

Origin and Manufacturing

This craft, which uses hand painting to cut, polish, and emboss leather, was initially established in West Bengal in the 1940s. It gets its name from the town where it was originally introduced, Shantiniketan, and was patronized by Shri Rabindra Nath Tagore, who restored a number of crafts that were on the verge of extinction in Shantiniketan.

Rabindra Nath Tagore and his wife, both experienced craftspeople, collaborated to bring back leather bag manufacturing in an innovative way. Shantiniketan leather craft is distinct from typical leather bags because it incorporates embossed batik work and traditional designs.

After the finished leather piece is created, it is sewn into the desired product and then coated with a lacquer finish to make it glossy and long-lasting.

These exquisite leather purses are made using leather (vegetable tanned) and vegetable-based coloring hues. They are PCP-free chemicals. The leather is than burnished, which gives it an attractive sheen, brings out the colors, and improves the overall appearance. The main embossing craft is done by hand and is a time-consuming operation. The lacquer finishing stage of this trade is utilized to polish the Shantiniketan leather product and prevent mold and fungi from attaching to it.

The traditional patterns that portray floral and geometric shapes are the most appealing feature of these Indian leather bags, and the natural dyes used in the process give them a very elegant appearance.

Shantiniketan bags are not only visually appealing but also reasonably priced. Bags are available in a variety of colors, styles, patterns, and forms on the market. Many current ideas have been implemented as the sector has gotten more competitive. This technique is used to make a variety of items ranging from belts to juttis and mobile cases.


Shantiniketan purses and bags are very popular among local ladies and visitors who are captivated by the hues and aesthetic qualities of these bags and take them home as treasured keepsakes. In reality, a number of bag designers have come up with creative designs to create elegant and fashionable Shantiniketan designer collections. Shantiniketan leather is utilized in a variety of goods ranging from wallets to bags, handbags, and currency holders. The brilliant colors, patterns, and high-quality leather have also made it a popular export commodity. However, because this skill is confined to West Bengal's rural areas and has a small number of artisans, its potential to serve international markets is fairly restricted.

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