All About Andhra's Narasapur Crochet, Which Recently Got GI Tag

This long-awaited recognition has breathed new life into the craft, offering hope and a brighter future for those dedicated to preserving this cherished tradition
Andhra's Narasapur Crochet
Andhra's Narasapur CrochetX/Andhra Pradesh Tourism

Situated on the banks of the Vasishta Godavari River in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, Narasapur is a hub of skilled artisans. In the scenic town, the lace market is a sight to behold. Some of the world's finest handcrafted crochet lace is produced here, making it a renowned destination for lace enthusiasts. The exquisite crochet lace craft has finally been recognised with the prestigious Geographical Indications (GI) tag, marking a significant turning point for the dying art form. This long-awaited recognition has breathed new life into the craft, offering hope and a brighter future for those dedicated to preserving this cherished tradition.

Threads Of Time

For more than a century, the women of the farming community in Narasapur have been creating beautiful artifacts from colourful lace. Using thin threads and crochet needles of varying sizes, these skilled artisans produce a dazzling array of products, from delicate doilies to luxurious bedspreads, cushion covers, and table runners. The intricate lacework comes in a palette of vibrant hues like orange, green, blue, white, and beige, making them the perfect addition to any home. The diverse range of products also includes hand purses, caps, mobile phone covers, tops, and stoles. The lacework is so versatile that it can even be used to create elegant lampshades and wall hangings that add a touch of sophistication to any room. Each piece is crafted with care, reflecting the unique cultural heritage of the region.

The lace work is vibrant and colourful
The lace work is vibrant and colourful@andhrapradeshtourism/Instagram

Broader Horizons

This intricate craft, which originated in 15th-century Europe, was introduced to India by missionaries from Belgium and other countries in the 1800s. It was started to provide employment for women who could work from home and earn a living. In Narsapur, women from the farming community embraced this craft. Among the artisans are fourth-generation lace makers who learned the craft by watching their grandmothers. In the past, their primary market was Pune, where buyers from the Mediterranean were the main customers. Some artisans have formed NGOs with around 1,000 members. In 2004, the government set up a unique lace park here, providing a platform for the crochet lace makers of the region to showcase their products.

The lace has also been showcased by fashion brands abroad
The lace has also been showcased by fashion brands abroad@RP New York/Instagram

Several co-operatives and NGOs were formed, including Godavari Delta Women Lace co-operative, Tulasi Ram and Tataji brothers, Girija Lace Industries, and LRDA. Now the Narsapur lace industry exports 80 per cent of its products, while the remaining 20 per cent comes from other parts of India. These delicately woven lace products are exported to countries such as the UK, USA, and France, where they are highly regarded. The unique lace products make for wonderful souvenirs, perfect for gifting to loved ones.

Getting There

The nearest airport to Narasapuram is Rajahmundry (RJA) Airport which is 75.7 km away. Other nearby airports include Vijayawada (VGA) (97 km). The Narasapur railway station is a terminal station on the Bhimavaram–Narasapur branch line.

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