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Beautiful Bone Inlay

What is bone inlay?

Bone inlay is the use of camel bone that is set into into a contrasting material in traditional patterns. The skill has been passed down through generations of skilled craftspeople. Inlay is highly prized in Rajasthan, where ownership of luxurious inlaid items was once the preserve of the Maharajas.  Production is historically centred in Rajasthan, particularly in Jaipur and Jodhpur. There are multiple variations on the technique, including the use of mother of pearl instead of, or in addition to, the camel bone. A closely related technique is stone inlay, or parchin kari (which itself has a lot in common with the European technique of petra dura).

Bone is from camels dying from natural causes - you will be reassured to know that our bone inlay is ethically sourced - no animals get hurt as part of production.

Every piece is unique

Traditional patterns are now being augmented by modern designs. What is most significant and striking is the variation that is an integral part of this artisanal process.

You’ll see that beautiful variation in the collection of bone inlay pieces that we have for sale here at roomshaped - take a look at the Angelika media unit:

How is bone inlay furniture made?

Creation of bone inlay furniture is a long process that is accomplished in three steps. First the bone is sculpted into pieces for the inlay pattern, then the pieces are attached in place to the receiving frame, and then the contrasting resin is added to fix the inlay in place (and to highlight the beauty of the bone). It can often take a month to finish a piece of furniture, and the technique requires considerable skill.

How should I care for bone inlay furniture?

Don’t use harsh chemicals or very liquid cleaning as the surfaces are porous. After gently wiping down the furniture, use a wax to retain moisture and to keep your bone inlay from drying out.