Traditionally, jewelry in India was made with silk and cotton threads that were hand-knotted with beads and precious gems in intricate patterns. This craft is known as "charakam", and the word "charak" refers to the spindle that is used to wind the thread in the hand-knotting process. Artisans from Uttar Pradesh in Northern India are well known for their skills in making hand knotted jewelry.
The art of charakam involves the hand-knotting of silk and cotton yarn with metal beads, wooden beads, hand blown glass beads, and semi precious stones. It takes ten minutes to make two meters of thread into a tight dense knot. A variety of knots are used in this art form: a plain round knot and the "pipri" knot. The first is crafted with a spindle or "charak". The second is more time consuming and is more like weaving. In the "pipri" knotting method, up to 60 strings are divided into 6 sections that are woven together into a tight braid. One inch of braiding can take up to 45 minutes to complete.
Hand-knotted jewelry is designed so that each piece can be adjusted to fit most sizes by sliding a bead along the cord. In this way, the traditional Indian jewelry was passed down each generation and these heirloom pieces could be adjusted to fit each woman accordingly.
Handmade in India