Bangles, an auspicious and principal facet of adornment for a woman in India, come in a variety of designs and materials. The art of making lac bangles is unique to India. Lakhera or Lakheri community has been involved in making this craft traditionally.
Lac has been a preferred raw material due to being the oldest source of colour, highly malleable, low in cost, and having the possibility of embellishing it with glitter.
Lac bangles are lacquerware that can be made either by hands or by using a mould. The moulding technique that contributed to faster production was brought to the state by Rajasthani craftsmen.
Lac is first pasted on a wooden rod and rolled over a wooden surface to get a cylindrical shape. It is then heated slowly over a coal burner. The heated lac is pressed continuously and rolled over a flat iron plate using a wooden tool. Simultaneously, the coloured lac is heated and then rubbed over the lac evenly. After the application of colour, thin coils of lac are cut off from the plain lac rod. Brass or steel is used as a base. They are first moulded into the desired shape over which the lac is rolled. They are then kept aside for drying. For embellishing, the beads or stones are first heated and then applied over the lac with precision. The lac melts and the embellishment is fitted into it perfectly. Such intricate work is usually done by women.
Other materials used include glass pieces and bangles, gold and silver glitter, beads, mirrors, and stones. The bangles are made using a wooden die, batti/furnace, chimta/forceps, hatha/conical, farma/mould, kathiya/pliers, scissors and tongs.
Besides bangles, photo frames, toys, elephant figurines, kalasha/pot, lacquered bottles, and containers are some of the articles that are made with lac.
Deforestation has affected this craft immensely leading to an escalated cost of raw materials thereby resulting in a decline of the craft.