The Mangalore tiles were first introduced to India in 1860 by a German missionary which was the first clay usage found in india in an organized way other than the local handmade bricks used. Plebot set up the first tile factory at Mangalore in 1860, after they found large deposits of clay by the banks of the Gurupura (also Phalguni) and Nethravathi (also Buntwal) rivers
Since then the clay industry grew in india as the abundance of the raw materials and the skilled labor.
As the production became more organized and the demand increased the terracotta industry flourished in india rapidly.
First part is to collect enough clay and place it in a mold and is cut to exact measurement. Then that rectangular piece of clay with exact length and thickness is placed on another machine which puts the factory logo and shapes it into a tile.
Then with hand any extra clay is removed and sent to be carried for firing and later glazing. It was interesting to say the least to see how both men and women worked cooperatively to produce the final product.It is a very delicate and detailed process starting from collection of clay to the final product to be fired. Once fired and glazed it is ready and is stored for shipping
The color of terracotta varies with the source of the clay. London clay gives a pale pink or buff co lour, whereas the Ruabon (North Wales) clay gives a bright red. And in India it varies considerably with the available clay
The current developments in terracotta tiles is unpredictable. Complete automated factories due to the change in socio- economic scenario of the country and to improve the quality and consistence are increasing.
Dust processed tiles are another notable development in the terracotta industry. Which leads to more strength and the quality of the product considerably increases.
The race for the quality is going on and on...