In Athangudi village, in Tamil Nadu, a homegrown industry has been responsible for transforming simple floors into works of art, by handcrafting colourful, vibrant tiles.


The handmade Athangudi tiles of Chettinad are a unique and sophisticated expression of culture and trade. These tiles were named after the Athangudi village, where tile-making has become a traditional local craft carried out in the same manner even today. Interestingly, these tiles are known to age beautifully and tend to get shinier with use. 

Features:

  • Handmade Tiles of Athangudi - Athangudi tiles are handmade tiles which are used to decorate the interiors of the houses. They have a distinct geometric design and come in different sizes and shapes.
  • Package Includes: Tiles for 1334 sq. ft. area. 
  • Ecofriendly Tiles-  The handcrafted process coupled with the use of local clay and sand, natural ingredients (such as husks), sun drying the tiles, etc. make the tiles eco-friendly too.
  • Traditional Indian Tiles - Athangudi tiles are one of the well-known handicrafts in Karaikudi region located in Tamil Nadu. The craft has been practiced for the last 500 years. The craft is popularly known as ‘Pokal’ (local language) in Tamil Nadu. This living art is practiced from Vishwakarma Community.
  • The tiles made are very distinctive and have glossy finishing. Tiles have traditional as well modern motifs. The artisans uses hand tools to draw a free-hand design. These handmade tiles are very beautiful and unique in their style and are painted using vivid colors. 
  • The tiles require low maintenance and attain sheen and polish over time.
  • They are versatile and can be used in most parts of the house. You just need to ensure they aren’t used in places prone to oil or water spillage.

Craft History:

Athangudi Tiles are hand made at Athangudi, a small town in Sivanganga district of Tamilnadu, Southern India. The craft of making the hand made tiles are passed from generation to generation. The tiles are much cherished by the erstwhile rulers of the region and also the colonial rulers. The tiles are rich in colour and intricate in design. The timeless designs are an influence of the culture and heritage of people of Karaikudi famously known as Chettinad which has been declared a heritage town by the Tamilnadu Government. As a pride of their origin almost all the Chettinad households use these tiles for their homes.

Making Process:

The process of making the tiles involves placing a cast iron stencilled frame of the desired design onto a glass plate (which is the same size as the tile). A mix of the desired coloured oxide with cement slurry is then poured into these moulds. On top of this, a layer of locally available sand is placed, and finally a layer of cement mortar with cement, sand and aggregates is used. After setting, the frame is removed and a layer of dry sand and cement is sprinkled on top, kept aside and cured in water for 8-12 days. Once dry, the glass plate slips off and rice husk is placed on top of the tiles to absorb remaining moisture as well as retain sheen.

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