WHY SHOULD HANDMADE JEWELLERY BE PREFERRED OVER MACHINE-MADE?
Handmade fabric fashion jewellery using traditional ‘kantha’ embroidery
If there is ever such a debate on the pros and cons of machine-made vs handmade jewellery, there are a few key points that could nail the argument for hand-made creations, and are listed below:
- Support individual artisans
- Make fashion statements with unique, individualistic styles • Value of handmade precious jewellery too can be high and expensive
Owning jewellery in India has traditionally been as much for ornamentation and embellishment with clothing, as it has been for asset building. Gold 22K to 24 K has been widely used with traditional hand carvings and crafting depicting styles from various states or regions in India. Apart from gold, silver, diamonds and precious gemstones are consumed in great quantities amongst
Indians. Tribal jewellery or ethnic jewellery made of pure silver and alloy have been largely handmade and have made it to the fashion world as chunky accessories that can be sported with both traditional and modern attire.
With demand rising for precious jewellery from within India and from global markets, for special occasions, such as wedding and engagements, manufacturers and jewellery brands are using newer machinery for making jewellery in bulk. Here the quality of the finish, purity of metals and stones and focus on precision, more classic and elegant looks and contemporary designs are the mainstay. Perfection is what machine-made jewellery manufacturers aim to achieve.
The case for traditional handcrafted jewellery is made stronger when you examine the skills and creativity of the artisans, which they have been blessed with, and handed down from generation to generation.
Each piece seems unique with more personality, colours and more importantly supports sustainability and keeping alive local artisans and their craft. For personalised wearing, colours that match and the ensembles they go with, handmade or custom-made jewellery is ideal.
Handmade bead necklaces can be of good quality and can be strung in a variety of ways, and they come in a whole range of colours, a variety of lockets made of brass, German silver and alloys that make a piece a bold fashion statement. What’s more, they can be well-matched with one’s attire. These can be made artistically and are excellent as gifts. A handmade piece of jewelry not only makes a fine impression on the recipient, but it can also be an inspired gift to give. Often these fashion accessories are branded and give the wearer a sense of pride and status.
A person wearing a unique handmade piece can stand out in a crowd, and machine-made options though they look perfect, can remain innocuous. Handmade jewellery is often produced by local artisans, and by wearing one such product you not only commit to sustainability, but keep alive an art, the creators and their livelihood. It can thus give tremendous sense of satisfaction for those who purchase them for self-use and for gifting as well. Moreover, artisans tend to use natural and locally grown material that are softer on the environment. These could be cotton, hessian, bell metal, copper, oxidised silver, vegetable dyes for colour, and hand embroidery for making designs and patterns.
Manufacturing of machine-made jewellery generate greater employment opportunities due to factory style production units and assembly lines, but the creative license remains with the designer of the brand or the company that owns the manufacturing unit. However, in terms of durability, machine-made jewellery scores over handmade ones, as the former is made of less malleable material, is hardy and the finish will not have imperfections. More than that, a branded piece displayed in a showroom will need to live up to certain standards and therefore more reliable.
Mass-produced pieces made by machinery is not for a specific customer, but they are meant to appeal to many people.
Machine-made jewellery made from precious metals and stones bear the risk of being copied and sold for a lesser price to create a demand. One needs to be aware of imitation pieces that generally flood the markets. Its common on online sites to find imitations, and hence best to seek out a genuine and reputed jeweller and buy directly from their showroom or retail outlet, after verification of genuineness and certification of authenticity and purity.
An expression of originality and personality can be brought out with handmade jewellery and accessories. For making a mark, at a special occasion, a handmade piece from a master craftsman is the way to go.
Image Source: Pixabay
Thus, in our debate on machine -made as opposed to hand-made jeweller, the charming and heart-warming element is that it is the imperfections that make us humans, and our ability to embrace this fact. Taking time to research and locate handmade jewellery specialists will ensure something outstanding and out-of-the ordinary bracelet, neckwear, ring or earrings gets added to your collection.