The Mindful Notebooks from Sanganer
In the 21st century, when the world is running towards digital, Paper is something that still remains one of the most basic and fundamental elements of our day-to-day lives. With the e-notepads and applications coming in, diaries and notebooks are something that we are not yet ready to let go of. Notebooks, diaries and pages to write on still remain our most trustable medium to pour out our mind.
Handmade paper is a boon to the paper industry and the trees of our planet. Created utilising waste paper and fabric, the paper is an eco-friendly alternative for the day-to-day writing needs of millions of Indian people. The unit of artisans we have collaborated in order to create these sustainable handcrafted paper books is nestled in the an industrial region of Jaipur- Sanganer. Emerging in the 18th century as block print village, Sanganer today produces metres and millimetres of fabrics which is block printed every day and turned into delightful orders of clothing and home furnishings sent world over. Each of these binded products of love are made with hands utilising discarded paper and textile which are recycled into unique looking pages, further bound in leftover block print cloth.
The history of paper can be dated back to earliest of times in the human culture and civilization. The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans are known to have written on something that was called 'Papyrus', a paper like material. Paper came to be invented around 100 BC in China while in 105 AD, during the Han dynasty paper making industry first took its flight. Since it was born to uptill today paper has held an important position as a holder of information. The growing population and the requirement to transfer knowledge, education and information to a wider society led to a remarkable rise in the paper production. In the old times, paper was a product of great value and the making of it was considered an art and often kept a secret.
A handmade paper making community called ‘Kaagzi’ which is said to have travelled from Turkey came up in northern region of India during the reign of Akbar. The art of making this special paper was passed down through generations and now resides in the Kaagzi people of Sanganer Jaipur. Due to ample availability of open land and water as well as easy access to fabric waste, the handmade paper industry has flourished in the area. The Kazgis mainly utilise cotton rags to create beautiful crude and natural looking paper, through a process which is taken forward 90 percent by human hands.
The complete process of creating handmade paper consists of several stages which includes rag chopping, beating, pressing, drying and cutting. The procedure initiates with the procurement of raw material i.e collection of waste cotton rags, paper, vegetable matter, linen, ropes, canvas, hosiery and tailor cuttings as well as agro waste fibres like banana, hemp, mulberry etc depending on the type of paper to be produced.
Most commonly used material being cotton rags, the fabrics are segregated and sent ahead for bleaching to form uniformity in colour. The bleached cotton waste is chopped into smaller pieces and then mixed with waste paper which is further sent to be crushed in the beetle to form soft pulp.
The pulp is further given shape by fitting it into a wire mesh structure and pressing it along with water and cloth. The pressed paper is separated from the frame carefully and one-by-one through hands, to be dried. After the separation process, the wet paper is hung dried. The technique of creating handmade paper is extremely delicate and time consuming. The waste has to be precisely passed forward through all channels of making in order to maintain the shape, strength, size and beauty of the end product. The outcome is a crude, unfinished and natural looking paper that imbibes the personality and individuality of its ingredients.
For over four centuries now, the member of this community who are incidentally gotten the name Kagzi (made of paper) have kept the traditional art and age-old of skill of handmade paper making alive. With alterations in the process with the proceeding times, the art is still very much dominant by the work of hand.
The Kagzi industry rolls out paper, of worth billions each year which is an indicator of the significance of handmade paper blooming from the Sanganer town in Jaipur. The paper and the paper products are transported across the world and hence form a small yet significant role in mindful living for the welfare and security our home's future.
The Sustainable diary is a part of Fanusta sustainable collection. A small initiative of giving back to planet Earth, the fanusta sustainable range is a small step towards merging innovative design with recycling and upcycling techniques. The brand has created environmental friendly products that are not just aesthetically appealing but also extremely useful in our everyday lives. While the diaries are completely friendly to our planet, they also preserve an age-old art of making paper with hands. The design team at Fanusta collaborated with artisans from Sanganer to create an outcome of handmade paper beauties covered in upcycled waste fabric. Each of these binded products of love are made with hands utilising discarded paper and textile which are recycled into unique looking pages, further bound in leftover block print cloth.
The result is one-of-a-kind notebooks that are not just a consequence of sustainable processes but also sustainable on their own.
"These beautiful sustainable diaries are a unique example of innovation in a form of upcycled and recycled craft at the grassroot level" "We aim to bring financial independence and dignity of work to these local crafts people of Sanganer as well as leave a positive impact on our environment in the process" - Shailander Kumar, CEO Fanusta
'Fanusta’ derived from two words 'Fan' denoting Art & Craft and 'Usta', a turkish translation for Master was started with a simple idea of recognising and rediscover the arts and crafts present here right amongst us locally, in India. India has known world over as a country with rich cultural heritage and its traditional art styles and craft techniques are one-of-a-kind and age-old, which are passed on through generations to reach present day. Brand's 'I am fanusta' initiative identify and recognize local talents, artisans self help groups and under celebrated master craftsmen and provide them a global platform to showcase their one-of-a-kind work.