Karimnagar Silver Filigree

Karimnagar Silver Filigree is a silver filigree made in Karimnagar, India. It is an ancient art of

Karimnagar Silver Filigree received Intellectual property rights protection or Geographical Indication (GI) status in 2007.

Silver filigree, the ancient art of making silver artefacts and ornaments by using silver wire, an art which Karimnagar town is famous for, cries for attention, protection and promotion of the age-old art and tradition.

Silver filigree was popular during the Nizam era when the rulers encouraged the silversmiths to make the exquisite silver plates, ‘pandhan’ and other artefacts as show-pieces. These artefacts made by the silversmiths of Karimnagar were made available at Salar Jung Museum in Hyderabad.

Since 19th Century AD, the very talented craftsmen of Karimnagar fashioned rich intricate trellis/Jali made of twisted silver wire.

The locals say that this unique craft was adopted some 200 years ago by the Elgandal town near the Karimnagar district in Telangana and it later moved to the Karimnagar town in the first decade of the 20th Century. 

After digging deep about how this craft emerged, it has been understood that this craft was introduced by a widely travelled professional goldsmith, Kadarla Ramayya, who was a native of Yalagandala, who learned and absorbed this filigree jewel technique and craft. In Telugu parlance, filigree is called as, vendi teega pani (work done with silver wire).

In order to protect the ancient art of silver filigree — making artefacts and ornaments by using silver wire — women belonging to the goldsmith community have taken up the art in Karimnagar town.

A total of 20 women underwent training in the making of silver artefacts by using the technology of silver filigree from February to June this year. After four months of rigorous training, including theory of drawing designs, use of wires and small pieces of silver to make various artefacts, the women have now turned experts in making silver filigree items.

They have started making new designs of silver artefacts which were made affordable to the common man. “Earlier, silver filigree artefacts weighing 500 grams to 5 kilograms cost lakhs and business was restricted to elite market. Now, with the involvement of women, the products are available from ₹1,000,” said Sri Ramoju Nagaraju, president of Sri Laxmi Narasimha silver filigree society.