Mother's India Fragrances
The Making of Mother's (India) Fragrances Incense
Mother's India Fragrances are special: based on traditional Indian Fragrances, so much stronger than their other incense, and made with the very best ingredients: a wide range of aromatic gums, wood powders, essential oils and perfumes, as well as a resin called halmaddi.
Mother's India Fragrances incense is made differently, which is the reason why the incense 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. Mother's India Fragrances make incense completely different, as part of their commitment to making the most beautiful incense possible.
Mother's India Fragrance 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 Mother's India Fragrances to use a much wider range of ingredients for their incense, including wood powders, bark, petals, and high quality oils.
The scents of flowers are generally subtle and delicate. Charcoal, which burns without a scent of its own is used for the floral fragrances. These incense sticks are black. The brown incense sticks contain a variety of wood powders and herbs and are used to create more woody incense fragrances like amber.
This masala method way of making incense is very labour intensive. All Mother's India Fragrance Incense starts in the able hands of a lady called Maria. She is in charge of weighing all the different ingredients for the various incense 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 incense recipes.
After 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 Mother's India Fragrances incense sticks are a little bit thicker at the top. It makes them easier to light and makes for a tidy, good looking stick.
The 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 incense sticks are rolled, they are laid out to dry on large racks. The white slip of paper indicates which fragrance the incense is. After drying the sticks are transported to the packing unit.
The Packaging of Mother's (India) Fragrances Incense
The Mother's (India) Fragrances incense packaging 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. In 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.
Welcome 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. 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.
Incense packing unit
Over in the packing unit, the cut-out and printed paper is turned into our trademark packaging.
The incense packaging paper is carefully folded and then glued.
In the meantime, the incense sticks are counted and packaged.
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!
Greater Goods is a Fair Trade company. And that means that the makers of incense products get a fair deal.
This includes well paid and safe jobs in a safe working environment free from discrimination, child labour and forced labour. Those are the very basics. And then, the organisations they work with do a bit more: by helping workers to grow as people and develop their businesses and their skills,and through support for local charitable organisations.
And they pull their weight too, with advance payments, help in product design, good prices and long term trading relations. They also try to make their environmental footprint as small as possible. They try to be fair to their customers too, through fair prices and good customer service.
Fair Trade is a powerful way to make the world just a little bit better, to connect with the people who make the products that we use and to give due respect to the men and women who work so hard to provide for their families.