India | Karnataka


Koftgari is a traditional Indian damascening art. The word ‘koft’ means sorrow. This art is named as such due to the crude technique that is involved.

Patterns are etched into the metal surface using a hard steel needle called ‘salai’. Fine wires made of pure and soft silver or gold is then laid out into the etched patterns. The metal object along with the wires is heated and then hammered. The metal surface is polished using white porous stone. The intensity of the hammering and polishing depends on how much the gold or silver need to be spread out on the metal base.

This metal-craft technique is used to decorate weapons like swords, daggers and shields.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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