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home > the making of the mother's (india) fragances

maria blending incense mixturesThe Making of Mother's (India) Fragrances Incense

Let us tell you how our incense is made, which is the reason why it smells so different from most other incense, why it is sooooo good. Most of the incense on the market nowadays is made by dipping a blank, fragrance-free stick in a mix of fragrant chemicals and sometimes, colouring. We make incense completely different, as part of our commitment to making the most beautiful incense possible.

We use the ‘masala method’, whereby all the ingredients of the incense are mixed together in a paste, and rolled then rolled onto a stick. This mixture is different for each fragrance. Because there is no need for chemicals, it gives a much purer fragrance and a cleaner burning incense. It also allows us to use a much wider range of ingredients for our incense, including wood powders, bark, petals, and high quality oils.

kneading the pasteThe scents of flowers are generally subtle and delicate. Charcoal, which burns without a scent of its own is used for the floral fragrances. These sticks are black. The brown sticks contain a variety of wood powders and herbs and are used to create more woody fragrances like amber.

This masala method way of making incense is very labour intensive. All our incense starts in the able hands of a lady called Maria. She is in charge of weighing all the different ingredients for the various fragrances. She used to also do the mixing and the kneading, but she now has a young helper to do the heavy work for her. Maria works in a room off the main incense rolling area, and sits amongst containers of different ingredients, with a pile of notebooks containing the different recipes.

 

rolling the incenseAfter the dough is kneaded and rolled into large balls, it is handed over to the girls who do the rolling. Their swift hands take a slither of paste and distribute it over a bamboo sticks with just a few rolling movements of their hands. The rollers take extra care to give the top of the stick a good finish. You will see that our incense sticks are a little bit thicker at the top. It makes them easier to light and makes for a tidy, good looking stick.

drying the incense sticksThe girls who work in the rolling unit are paid an exra premium, as their work is dirty. They will wear old clothes or have a cloth on their lap to stop their clothes getting soiled with charcoal powder. Once the sticks are rolled, they are laid out to dry on large racks. The white slip of paper indicates which fragrance it is. After drying the sticks are transported to the packing unit.

 

 

The Packaging of Mother's (India) Fragrances Incense

marbling the paperspreading the paintAll the paper used for packaging The Mother's (India) Fragrances is marbled by hand. If you've ever tried marbling paper, you'll know how difficult it is. The ten girls who do the marbling are experts at it, and have found different techniques to help them create these perfect marbling designs. Here, a fan is used to spread the paint evenly. Working with paint is dirty work, and the girls are provided with work clothes by the company.

The paint is then carefully moved with a small stick to create beautiful swirly patterns. This is the packaging for Lavender incense. You can see the pots with the paint used for this design in the top left corner of the picture.

marbling the paperdrying sheetsIn the next stage, a sheet of paper is carefully laid on top of the water for the paper to soak up the paint. Air bubbles must be avoided at all costs and the girls very carefully roll the sheet of paper onto the paint. They have found that if they use a second sheet of paper to weigh the first one down, results are even better

The sheets of paper are then carefully removed from the tray, and hung out to dry. As soon as they are dry, they will go to the printing unit, to be printed and turned into incense packets.

 

 

packing unitpacking unitWelcome to the printing unit. Here the marbled paper is cut to size, and printed. The printing is labour intensive work. The women work in groups of three around a table. Here one of them positions a sheet of marbled paper.The screen is then carefully lowered onto the paper.....and with a stiff brush, the ink is gently squeezed through the tiny holes in the screen.

The paper is then laid out to dry before it is cut, folded and glued into the beautiful packaging we know so well.

 

 

 

packing unitpacking unit

Over in the packing unit, the cut-out and printed paper is turned into our trademark packaging.

The paper is carefully folded and then glued.

In the meantime, the incense sticks are counted and packaged.

 

 

 

 

packing unit

 

The women work on low tables in groups of 8 or ten. The process will start at one end of the block of tables, where the packaging is folded and glued. As the product progresses round the group of tables, other women add the incense, the information leaflet and close the packets.

All ready for the long journey to your home!

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