Hand-Me-Down Knife Stories
In the good old times, whenever family members came together at home for someone’s marriage or for any other big celebrations, women from neighbouring houses will come together to sit in the courtyard, laughing, talking and slicing vegetables throughout the night. Each one of them would have brought their own knife and the rhythmic sound of chopping and cutting heard around gave a hint of the competition heating up. Who would be the first to finish the pile of vegetables in front? That fun-filled quest will be keeping them awake all over the night. They believed sharper, the better and the hands that held the sharpest knife made traditionally by the expert blacksmith had always won the prize. By the next day the Blacksmith who made the winning knife will be flooded with orders for making exactly same for others too. Every household had Iron Knives and it was a ritual to get a new one made by the Head Blacksmith. Some wanted their Names carved on the wooden handle, some wanted the blade to be heavy and some others wanted them to be curvy. All these kinds of customisations were welcome and it was considered excelled only by the experienced Blacksmith.
Legacy of Knife Making
As cutting and Chopping are an integral part of Indian Cooking, Knives and their origin date back their origin to the time when civilization took its shapes. Back then knife making was an artistry that people did not just for earningtheir living. There were communities named ‘Lohar’ in various regions of Northern India and ‘Kollan’ or ‘Kollar’ in Southern India who were doing blacksmithing as their cast-based hereditarily occupied profession. Their work relied only on manual skills and in their product, they transferred their cultural heritage in ideas, forms, materials used and work ways.Most of them were nomadic exhibiting their craft at various festivals and Melas. While some clans used to stay at one place and with the evolution of time, the place where they stayed, their home place came to be known for the craftsmanship of Knives they made. Rhea Village in Kachchh District of Gujarat was one of the main centres of forging craft then. Even now it continues to inhabit traditional artisans who make pen knives, knives, swords and nut crackers known all over the world as Rhea Knife or Anjar Knives. They used to make knives and swords for Kings and their craft are believed to have a legacy of around 900 years. Equally famous is the Ramachandran Kathi or Ramachandran Knife and the Kollan community of Palakkad in Kerala that makes it. This handcrafted antique knife and its various cousins are a must-have in every house hold indicating the significance of the traditional blade in the region’s sociocultural milieu.
Shine Lost post Mechanisation
Traditionally, Iron Knives were crafted through a physically laborious process. When forging, the blade material is heated to a high temperature or forging temperature and when it is red hot, it was hammered to achieve the desired shape. Then came the essential part – cooling. Red hot iron was dipped in water for a certain time in order to temper it. If the metal got too hard it would break apart easily while chopping and if too soft then the edge would blunt quickly. It required much care, patience and skill to deal with heated metal and doubly robust physicalstrength to hit it with the hammer. As generations passed, gradually there were no takers for the blacksmithing among youngsters. With the advent of Mechanised Production of Knifes, people embraced convenience and left the traditionally Handmade Knives to battle it alone with their imported Chinese Counterparts. New imports were cheap, good in looks, less expensive and easily available in market and their acceptance increased till the time their poor quality got finally exposed.
Sharpening for a Strong Comeback
Over the time, people have realised that compared to the Traditionally Handcrafted Kitchen Knives, the machine made Steel and Mixed Alloy Knives are very brittle and prone to damages. Before dropping serious cash on a knife, they want to know things like whether it’s Traditionally made, what metal is used for the Blade, what are the shaping techniques used and lots more. Because they have realised that how a knife sharpens, dulls, feels in your hand, and holds up over the long haul. And that paved the way for our Hailed Traditional Handcrafted Knives to make a celebrated, much-needed come back. They come in all shapes, curvy and pointed. Forged knives tend to be the strongest and most durable because they are heated at extremely high temperaturesand hammered into shape. They are typically heavy, thick,super sturdy and are sure to last for a life time. With an occasional rubbingor sharpening done ona marble or any abrasive surface, this key weapon in your quiver will be ready to roar in the kitchen. In every walk of life, people are in search of more sustainable choices so why not in kitchen. So, durability of conventionally forged Iron Knives, the world finds applaudable enough to give it a return ticket to the modern kitchen. And along with a pair of ‘new’ but ‘old styled’ Traditional Iron Knife, we make a return to the basics of great life that our ancestors taught.
It's healthier for you
If you’re trying to eat healthy, vegetables are a no brainer. But you also need to know that what you use to cut you veg could also affect the nutrients you get from them. Cutting vegetables with knife blades made from iron, helps in indirect absorption of iron. This will be particularly beneficial to vegetarians who miss out on iron and other essential nutrients. Also,if you're using a dull knife for cutting herbs, you might notice smudges of green on the cutting board and blade. As it turns out, this is a waste of excellent nutrients.So, the sharper the knife, the more nutrients you retain in the food. When cut with sharper knives, there will be lesser nutrient loss also. A sharp knife, as opposed to a dull blade, doesn't bruise the produce as much. As a result, there is less leakage of calcium and potassium. Besides sharper, higher quality Traditional Knives makes cooking feel less like a chore or struggle because, for sure that hard to cut veggies would get cut so fast and effortlessly!It brings the joy and health back to cooking.
What’s your Choice of Knife?
People want to buy products that express who they are and their personality. And increasingly they are becoming conscious about our planet’s long life and waste free living. We at Law India, with an objective to rejuvenate and reposition the knife making craft collaborate with Artisans of Palakkad in recreating forgotten designs and types of traditional knives; so as to provide sustainable living opportunities for the buyers and artisans alike. As it's become increasingly apparent that the quality of the tool matters, our Knives are handcrafted by the head Black smiths who for ages now are hailed for forging the best Knifes in India. Testimony is that you will not need to sharpen these knives like the way you do with other Metal variants. For around 15 years it can remain as sharper as when you bought it for the first time. Growing up, we have seen our mothers and Grand Mothers use them and display as their precious procession. Now as part of our endeavour to join with the ‘Make in India’ Movement, we are striving hard to revive our glorious tradition and to create what we require at our own land. We encourage use and production of Traditionally Handmade Iron Knives along with our other homespun productions.
To purchase a knife of your choice or your mother’s choice, you need not choose from the low-quality ones found in market. Both the taste of old generation and the younger generation’s eye for quality we try catering to with our authentic Handmade Traditional Knifes Collection. To bag one, please visit our physical store in Trivandrum or log on to our exclusive online Shopping platform weaveskart.com. Products available in popular online shopping platforms like www.amazon.in or www.flipkart.com.