A local term for smoothening the surface product. This is done by machines as well as by hand. On a round surface the machines even out all excesses and uneven marks to give it a clean sand papered look and feel. On surface other than the round, 'chhillai' is done meticulously by hand.
Unique to F&H, pumice stone is used to remove the dents and file marks. The Lanka Bridge made by Lord Ram that floated was supposed to be of pumice stone. It is very porous and very light. Made out of volcanic eruptions, F&H imports it from England.
F&H uses 60 types of buffs for polishing. 40 of these are imported from England. From the tiniest indentation to larger pieces, silver comes out sparkling. Buffers like bristle, matte, brass, lathe buffers, felt buffer, cotton, linen, plastic bristle, steel wire, leather, wool, in various sizes and shapes are used depending on the product. Canning rouge for luster is imported. In the market denim is used as a buff. This gets caught in piercing and torques the shape of the product. So only fine wool buffs, or felt buffs need to be used. Polishing is an extremely complicated process and requires technical skill. A skilled polisher has to not only match the brushes as well as decide on the extent of pressure he can apply to the appropriate silver piece. Buff is selected according to the shape and depth of the product plus the tenacity of the silver sheet. Accordingly in the polishing of one piece between 12-16 buffs are used. As an example for a pierced product we use' felt buffs' as it is fairly hard and can go into the crevices, giving piercing pieces a fine finish without damaging the delicate work. For chasing we use the micro motor, with smaller buffs that can go into each detailing of the chasing. Chased items from other workshops will never have well defined edges as the tools and the requisite skill required to give outline to chasing is not available in ordinary Indian factories. Matte finish is done by a steel wire wheel. Once finely polished, Silver plating is the next step which provides the final lustre. So it is pure silver water on sterling silver metal. Then it goes for 'canning rouge luster', this is for the final brilliance. A formulated polish for silver this too is imported-as it is not available in India. Some dust particles still remain on the surface so it goes into an ultrasonic bath, which is basically a mild soap solution with distilled water. Distilled water is used to ensure that there are no salts in the water. The ultrasonic machine has ionic movements. The ions of the water give it the brilliance, and clean up of all unwanted residues. This is a unique process and not many people employ its use.
Pen gold gilding process is used for small surfaces. For larger surfaces, the area to be kept in silver is lacquered; entire product is dipped in 24K gold solution and electroplated for the gold finish. Lacquer is then removed .The product is then sent to the ultrasonic bath, and a gentle muslin cloth wipe completes the process.
Water has to be dried with soft muslin cloth so that no water remarks remain. Then it is dipped into a clear lacquer solution, and dried in a dust free environment in a 100°C, dust free chamber. In case of gold gilding, it is done before the lacquering process. The products are placed in a dust free room on a clean shelf to dry.