The Khardila community is part of Hoshiarpur, Punjab’s woodworking culture and creates turned wooden furniture ornamented with motifs engraved on a lac coating. Power lathes are used to transform furniture components, and the spinning pieces are covered with several layers of lac, which are typically added in three layers in the order – white, black, and red. Yellow is also used on occasions. Purple, the once-signature colour of Hoshiarpur lac-ware, is now seldom used. Following the application of the lac, motifs are etched with a sharp metal tool to expose the underlying colours. Contemporary designs appear in white on a reddish brown background, seemingly imitating Hoshiarpur’s plastic inlay work.
The layered lac coating done in the Punjab district of Jalandhar uses different colours than those used in the district of Hoshiarpur, and the surface is engraved using needles such that the pattern appears in alternating colours. Many of the popular pieces currently produced by this craft are artistic peerahs (chairs), beds, table lamps, baby walker, jewellery cases, candle stands, toys and animal figures, and so on.
This art is performed in the districts of Hoshiarpur, including the main town, Village Bassi Gulam Hissain, Bijwara Kalan, Nasrala, Basi Kiran, Naro Nagal, and others. This craft is currently practised by no more than 25-30 artisans. If attempts are not taken to resurrect this craft, it will become extinct very soon.