Kite Making

Kites are loved in India. And is not only a sport but is also used to mark a variety of occasions which also includes the changing of the seasons as well as to call up on new weather and a rich harvest. In India, the most commonly used kites are flat kites known as fighter kites. Designing a kite is a skill. Size, texture of the paper , frame, weight, shape joints, and tail --- determine the balance and stability of a kite and, therefore, its flight. The bamboo for making the frame of the kite usually comes from Assam. Saw is the main tool used for cutting the bamboo into long, narrow strips. A smaller sharp-bladed knife is used to cut the bamboo strips into a fine bow and arrow that span the length and breadth of the kite. . If there are two colours then two kites will be made at the same time. Technically, there will be as many kites made together as the number of colours used. Kite paper is softer than ordinary paper. The cut paper is attached to the bamboo frame, first to the arrow and then to the bow. The bow maintains a curve that keeps the paper stretched and provides flexibility when the kite is being flown. The tail is strengthened using small bamboo pieces to provide weight and steadiness.

It is the only part of the kite that has double paper, with the bamboo pieces between the two sheets. The edge of the tissue paper is also strengthened, using a very fine cotton thread. The paper is then folded over and glued to form an edge. This ensures that the kite does not tear. The gum is made of flour, water and a mild poison. The thread that flies the kite is made up of fine glass, chemicals, and rice powder to give it a sharp edge. The sharper the thread the better the kite fights.

'Rampur, kites are known for the strength of their frames. Nowadays, kites come in Shiny polyester paper is being used but this is tougher and more expensive and is generally not used for sporting purposes. In India, Makar Sankranti, a festival celebrated in mid-January is marked as a kite season. In cities like Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan and Ahmedabad in Gujarat thousands of multicolored kites fill the sky around this time of the year.