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  • 10 Popular Indian Handicrafts That Make the Best Souvenirs

    India is a captivating confluence of geography, culture, and tradition that captures every tourist's imagination. But, as all tourists know, every journey comes to an end eventually. Here is a list of ten popular Indian handicrafts you could acquire as souvenirs from your visit to this unique and beautiful country –

    1) Polished Metal Mirror

    Hundreds of years ago, native craftsmen invented the polished metal mirror. Known locally as the tarantula candid, this ornament is made by the bronze-smiths of India and can be found easily in this region of the world.

    2) Coir ornaments

    Simple yet elegant, the well-knitted coir ornaments made in Kerala will add a touch of style and sophistication to any living room or office. The decorative pieces are crafted by the women of the coir village. Other products made from this material include hammocks, wall hangings and blinds.

    3) Puppets

    Puppetry is an Indian tradition that has been kept alive for countless generations. The art of puppetry in this country has been maintained in the Nat community of Rajasthan. Their unique puppets are made of softwood which is carved and decorated with fabrics made within the state.

    4) Woodcarvings

    These items are a little expensive buthave theincomparable quality of design and shapewhich is hard to find anywhere else. Sandalwood sculptures can be found in states such as Kerala, and usually, depict common figures from Hinduism such as the God and Goddess.

    5) Paintings

    The tradition of painting in India is rooted in ancient practices such as Kalamezhuthu and the murals and frescoes of colonial-era churches. Poompuhar store also displays various famous forms of painting such as Thanjavur Paintings, Jute Painting etc.

    Shop for this BALAJI WITH LAKSHMI THANJAVUR PAINTING - Click Here Shop for this BALAJI WITH LAKSHMI THANJAVUR PAINTING - Click Here

    6) Chanderi Saree

    The Chanderi saree is one of the best examples of handloom weaving in India. The lustre and transparency of the materials used to create this attire make it exceptionally better than other handmade fabrics in India.

    7) Ornamental Bangles

    These are rigid bracelets, made from gold, silver, glass or plastic. Bangles are of great significance for the married women in India as it is considered inappropriate for a married woman to be bare armed in public. They make great souvenirs as they are small, durable and affordable.

    8) Traditional Papier Mache

    The art of paper Mache is widely practised in India. The artisans of Kashmir are particularly known for the exceptional quality of the vases and models made using this method. Papier Mache pieces usually have bright coloured finishing and highly elaborate design.

    Shop For This KAMADHENU - Click Here Shop For This KAMADHENU - Click Here

    9) Handmade fibre products

    Indian artisans are highly skilled craftsmen known for the quality and durability of their handmade fibre products. Artisans obtain fibre from locally available plant residues such as pineapple leaves and banana stems. It is then treated and used to create purses, laptop bags and wall hangings.

    10) Silver craft

    Silverware is a speciality of the artisans of Kachchh. They use light embossing enhanced by scrapping and etching to produce elegant functional pieces of art such as cigarette boxes and ittar-danis (perfume bottles).

    So next time, while travelling to India, do not forget to collect your souvenir to remember the trip!! Poompuhar also offers all valid documents to ensure that the overseas customers go through a hassle-free customs process at the airport.

  • Exploring Potential Viability of Banana Fibre as A Raw Material for The Craft

    As the craft and fashion industries draw closer to an era where artificial materials are hard to find, natural fibres such as cotton, which requires a lot of investment to cultivate, and petroleum derivatives such as plastic, acrylics and nylon continue to be in high demand. Regardless, the large-scale production and use of such materials continue to have a significant negative and irreparable impact on the planet.

    Image Credit - pinterest Image Credit - pinterest

    This may come as a bit of a surprise - banana fibre is among the strongest materials in the natural world. It is , and fibres that are extracted from the stem of the tree are remarkably durable. The fibre is made up of thick walls of cell material, held together by a natural bonding agent that is mainly made up of lignin, cellulose and hemi celluloses. Banana fibre bears a remarkable resemblance to bamboo fibre, but it has much greater tensile strength, spin ability and fineness depending on the part of the stem from which the fibres are extracted.

    They can be used to create textiles of varying thicknesses and weights that would be ideal for making crafts such as wallets. The stronger fibres that make sturdier, thicker fibres come from the plant's outer sheaths, while the inner sheaths will produce softer fibres. Without much effort, extracted fibres can be used for weaving mats and ropes. They are also excellent raw material for handmade paper. The fibres make very strong paper, a product that would be an environmentally friendly alternative to animal-based materials or non-biodegradable materials typically used in fashion and design. Banana fibre is naturally water resistant. It is also resistant to fire and tearing.

    At the start of extraction, plant’spseudo stem is taken apart piece by piece. The sheaths are then fed into an extraction machine that extricates the fibres from the remaining plant material. To create textile materials, the fibres are cooked in an alkaline solution. They are then joined to form long threads which are spun wet to avoid breakage.

    The fabrics acquired from this process are supple, soft, highly absorbent and eco-friendly. They can then be used to make handicrafts such as laptop bags and purses.

    Now more than ever, artists and designers are looking for sustainable eco-friendly alternatives to mass-produced cotton and petroleum derivatives, a trend that has also been supported by growing public demand for fashion pieces, ornaments and crafts made using materials and processes that do not harm the environment.

  • Poompuhar is set to transform the handicraft market using virtual reality

    Poompuhar is all set to develop the virtual reality tool with an initial investment of approximately Rs. 2.2 Cr. Poompuhar is the retail arm of Tamil Nadu Handicrafts Development Corporation and this initiative will be funded from the State Innovation Fund.

    The campaign will place mobile units of approx. 1000 square ft. at places like airport or malls. Potential customers will be provided with head gears to virtually observe the art and crafts while browsing through the showroom or craft centre or a workshop. Customers will be able to purchase the desired item from Poompuhar online store. According to Santhosh Babu who is the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of Poompuhar this technology will also be implemented in other government departments.

    IMG Credit - pixabay IMG Credit - pixabay

    This new Poompuhar project is 3-Design Research and Development Centre, Chennai. This centre will also be funded by State Innovation Fund and will be managed under a business model by an external organization. This centre will be responsible for designing products for the virtual reality display area. It will also help in souvenir and utility market segments which is part of Poompuhar future expansion.

    Utility market will include the handicrafts from China. Santhosh Babu added to his earlier statement that souvenir market consists of high-end products and such items are in high demand also. Hence, Poompuhar is planning to expand into this growing market with the help of this design centre. It will help in keeping up with the demand for these fast-moving items.

    Poompuhar is also looking to include more avenues while focusing on non-traditional selling prospects. Supporting these plans, there is a plan in place to launch a craft cafe at Urban Haats in the Nilgiris and Mahabalipuram like the café already running in Kanchipuram.

    "Since VR is one of the burgeoning areas, why not a government department shows the way forward in utilising new technology and be the trendsetter in making a virtual showroom," said Dr Santhosh Babu.

    Also, a 360 degree walk-through webpage will be designed for potential customers, who are not able to visit physical stores, to offer the same experience. He anticipated the total revenue to be Rs. 50 crore in this fiscal and Rs. 33 Cr to be the total sales from the showroom.

    This will the ground-breaking initiative by Poompuhar by mixing tradition and technology to promote the love for handicrafts in India.

    http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/virtual-reality-to-give-a-boost-to-sale-of-art-works/article22547277.ece

  • Best Indian Art and Craft Items That Will Make A Great Wedding Gift

    In most regions of the world, a wedding is a ceremony celebrated with lots of style and cheer. All guests are treated with utmost respect, and all parties involved usually strive to make the occasion a success. An age-old wedding tradition, 'Gift giving' is a crucial part of the ceremony. In most cases, gifts are given only to the newly wedded couples. But in some traditions, they are also exchanged between the hosts and guests as an expression of gratitude and joy. Choosing the right wedding gift for a close relative or friend can be quite a challenge. Here are some of the best Indian art and craft items that will make a good wedding gift for your loved ones.

    Jewellery

    Women and jewellery are nearly inseparable. In India, the brides are gifted valuable ornaments by relatives, parents and even friends. In India, it is believed that gifting a high-value item will help newlyweds to add few assets to help start their life together and hence gold jewellery is very common. Jewellery also serves the very important purpose i.e. making the bride look pretty.

    All cities in India have skilled jewellers offering both traditional and modern jewellery. Indian jewellers make their ornaments out of semi-precious stones such as garnets, emeralds, turquoises and rubies or precious metals such as silver and gold. Gold jewellery is arguably the most popular in India and is considered a status symbol.

    Sari

    Handmade from silk or cotton fabric, the sari is one of the oldest unstitched garments that are still in use to this day in India. Over the course of time, the sari has grown from being a regular wardrobe item of the Indian woman to a fashionable attire popular across the world. Handmade series are beautiful, elegant, and unique and would make a great wedding gift for the bride. Sari fabrics are decorated mostly using traditional methods such as raw thread embroidery, Zari, Naqshi and Dabka. Silk is preferred over cotton as it adds an exquisite sheen to the fabric making it look exotic and expensive.

    Home décor items

    At times it is the things that seem small and insignificant that turn a house into a home. A gift of one or more home furnishings such as paintings, lampshades, Kalasam and murals could make a really good impression. Decorative oil lamps, also known as diyas, made from copper, gold or silver will surely impress the couple who will receive them as a gift. Handmade carpets and rugs could also be considered.

    Shop for this Navagraha Depam -Click Here Shop for this Navagraha Depam -Click Here

    Check out more gift ideason our online Poompuhar store and impress your loved ones with fascinating keepsakes.

  • Creative Craft Ideas for Pongal

    As Pongal festival is approaching near, everyone is excited and the festivities are in full swing. And why not!! Pongal is celebrated in South India and it is one of the most popular festivals in India. It is known as the harvest festival and is also called as Makar Sankranti. Like all festivals, Pongal also brings the family together for celebration, preparations, cooking festival recipes and decorating houses and so on.

    Craft ideas for Pongal Image Credit - Poetry, Pinterest

    Pongal or Makar Sankranti holds the same significance as other cultures’ New Year’s celebrations. On this day people clean the house and celebrate the new beginnings. Houses are cleaned and decorated with decorative earthen mandalas in the front yard or patios. Families and friends get together to celebrate and eat Pongal special sweet rice recipe. The rice is customarily boiled in an earthen pot which is also decorated with mandalas, sun, wheat grains and cows as they symbolize new life and food. Lord Sun and Lord Indra are worshipped for abundance and good harvest. Cows are worshipped by people to pat their respect for the help in the field.

    Pongal decorating the house Image Credit - Pavithra Siva,Pinterest

    Kids really like a family get-together and festivals as they get so much love from elders. Kids also like to create beautiful crafts to contribute in decorating the house or lending a hand in preparing that delicious meal.  So let us discuss some fun ideas to celebrate Pongal this year with the help of handmade crafts-

    Best wishes Card

    Kids and parents can indulge in creating beautiful best wishes cards using paper art. This will be a unique way to wish others on this auspicious day of Pongal. Check out this innovative greeting card if you are looking for some inspiration to get started –

    Gift Card Ideas for pongal Image Credit - godlyindianmom.com
    Gift Card Ideas for makhar sankranthi Image Credit - Daydreams
    Pongal Gift Card Ideas Image Credit - Pinterest

    If you wish to gift your loved ones with something other than a beautiful greeting card, you can also check put Poompuhar collection for more gift idea on Pongal.

    http://tnpoompuhar.org/blog/pongal-significance-of-this-beautiful-harvest-festival-and-amazing-facts-related-to-pongal/

    Beautiful Rangoli designs

    Kolam for pongal celebrations Image Credit - Shanthi Sridharan

    Rangoli or Kolam is an important ritual of Pongal. Colourful rangolis are created using rice flour or flowers, at the entrance of the house or on the patio as a symbol of good luck and prosperity. Parents can involve the kids to help them out with the decoration of the house. In this way, they will also feel connected and inspired by their artistic self. You can refer below link to get some idea about the unique designs for your Rangoli this year –

    Pongal Golu Dolls Image Credit - ASHA LATHA

    Pot decoration

    You can also check out these amazing ways to paint and decorate the pots for Pongal. Small pots are used for decoration purposes and large earthen pots are used to cook rice dishes on Pongal.

    Pongal Pot Decoration Image Credit - Nithya
    Pongal Pot Decoration Designs Image Credit - Ramblerwithoutborders

    Kite making

    In many states, Kite flying competition takes place to celebrate Makar Sankranti like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh etc. Pongal is celebrated all over India with regional variations, for example, Makar Sankranti, Lohri, Bihu, Hadaga and Poki. Kite making and flying is also one of the many traditions followed on this auspicious day. Below are some of the easy ways to create your own kite and stand out from the crowd –

    https://in.pinterest.com/pin/218846863112856115/

    https://in.pinterest.com/pin/843087992714726419/

    Makar Sankranti kite flying Image Credit - Making different

    You can also teach your friends how to make a kite and enjoy this festival with them.

    Home decoration

    On the day of Pongal or Makar Sankranti, Prayer room and open area is decorated with Mandapa, Cow, Harvest, Sun, adorned pots with mango leaves and so on. All these drawing are made to celebrate the harvest festival and to offer thanks to God for His blessings and prosperity.

    Pongal House Decorations Image Credit - ArtsyCraftysMom
    Pongal House Decorations Floor Image Credit - Home makeover

    Wish you all a very happy and creative Pongal….

  • The Crafts of Tamil Nadu

    Tamil Nadu is a land famous for its fine art and handiwork. It is rich in culture and traditions and makes it one of the tourist destinations. The artisans in Tamil Nadu express their creativity through the amazing handicrafts which adorn the homes of many, not only in India but all over the world.

    These are some of the many handicrafts made in Tamil Nadu:

    • Paintings in Tanjore

    Tamil Nadu is renowned for the famous paintings in the Tanjore Temple. These paintings portray the great skills and creative abilities of the artisans of this place.

    Thanjavur Painting saibaba Shop For This Thanjavur Painting Saibaba - Click Here

    Most paintings are found in Temples to portray the gods and goddesses of the local people. These paintings are considered religious. One famous painting is Child Krishna’s painting.

    • Craft of Musical Instruments

    Dances and festivals are an important part of the traditional culture of the local people. Making of musical instruments is a major craft practiced in Tamil Nadu.

    The craftsmen make several music instruments like the veena, flute, thamburas and vangiyam. The craftsmen use bamboo, bronze, jack wood, and sandalwood to make the musical instruments.

    • Metal Craft

    The metal-ware of Tamil is renowned worldwide. The products are made of copper and brass. The artisans make some of the best bronze castings of icons

    • Stone Carvings

    Another commendable piece of art in the Tamil society is the stone sculptures. The craftsmen curve very impressive real-like stone carvings, garden lights, and nameplates. Mahabalipuram is famous for this craft.

    Shop For This Granite Stone Elephant - Click Here Shop For This Granite Stone Elephant - Click Here

    The stone carvings in the temples speak highly of the skills of these craftsmen.

    • Pottery and Papier Mache

    Pottery making is practiced by many people of Tamil in making figures of deities. The craftsmen also make water jugs, tea and dinner sets. They use a variety of clay; Red, black and grey clay.

    Shop For This KAMADHENU - Click Here Shop For This KAMADHENU - Click Here

    Paper Mache is another spectacular art of the Tamil Nadu people. The waste paper pulp is normally hand beaten and mixed with clay. It is then molded into dolls, idols of gods and goddesses and masks.

    Tamil craftsmen engage in different types of handicrafts. In addition to creating a livelihood for the craftsmen, the intricate pieces of art add style and decorate homes, temples and even workplaces.

  • Handicrafts in Goa

    Goa is for its famous art and craft work. The art and crafts of Goa are high in utilitarian value as well as aesthetics. The local craftsmen in Goa design articles from coconut husks, wood, brass and color them with various vibrant color paints to make them attractive. Handicrafts do not only contribute to the livelihood of the local people but also play a very big major role in Goa tourism.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    The main art forms of the state are seashell crafts, bamboo crafts, woodcarvings, wooden lacquer, Jute Macramé, Fabric collage fiber and batik prints, fiber stone carvings, cotton dolls, soft toys and artistic weaving

    Goa doesn’t lag overdue as far as local arts and crafts are apprehensive and with the unresolved craftsmanship of the local artisans and have achieved to carve out a place for itself in this highly economical field. Handicrafts are traded all over major tourist spots and various handicrafts emporia’s.

    One of the handicrafts products includes hand-made hats, knotted mats, masks and tough ropes which are mainly made from the coconut husk. This is well-thought-out to be the adored handicrafts in Goa and their worth cannot be destabilized when it comes to gorgeous handicrafts.

    Another material of the handicraft is the jute macramé craft. It’s among the inexpensive natural fibers extensively used by the craftsmen of Goa when it comes to scheming ornamental things such as ladies purses, flower pots, and wall hangings. Jute materials are made from unique crafts in India and Jute Macramé craft products are extensively used.

    Other materials used for craft is brass. Brass is rummage-sale to mold various designs and the view is just best when it comes to numerous products with shapes and sizes. Some of the products comprise hanging lamps, candle stands, and ashtrays. Artistes do all with such exactness that makes the products look great.

    The art of bamboo craft is supposed to have created from the countryside areas of Goa. Bamboo craft is supposed to be the primogenital arts. It is used to make numerous products like farming baskets and fishing baskets.

    The government of Goa supports these local handicrafts makers and there is no dearth of various products which mark the Goa culture in its entirety.

  • Pondicherry Crafts

    Pondicherry is famous for its traditional handicrafts. If you are visiting Pondicherry for the first time you are bound to love and admire the place. The place displays a combination of the Tamil heritage and French influence. This has resulted in a diverse array of crafts thriving in this region.

    Pondicherry is a shopper’s paradise and with the variety of crafts, you are bound to find something good for you. These are some of the handicrafts in Pondicherry:

    • Terracotta
    • Textiles
    • Stone Carvings
    • Leather Craft
    • Ceramic Pottery
    • Hand-made paper and perfume
    • Candles and incense sticks

    Terracotta

    Crafts made from Terracotta are a common sighting in Pondicherry. Artisans in Pondicherry create some of the best articles and decorative items using terracotta and clay. They make very beautiful utensils, tableware, plan pots, flower vases, tea and coffee sets using terracotta.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    Textiles

    Pondicherry is known for its textiles and linen works. Some of the most remarkable and beautiful textiles and garments sought after are produced here. Khadi is one of the most popular textiles which is made by the local people.

    Textiles come in different shades of colors and textures. The south cotton saris of Pondicherry are common and loved by tourists. They are soft and comfortable.

    Stone Carvings

    A stone carving is another craft that showcases the massive talent of the local people of Pondicherry. They produce some of the best stone carvings. If you are a tourist a stone carving is a great souvenir. Some of these intricate and exquisite stone carvings adorn the insides of temples and households.

    Leather Craft

    The leather craft of Pondicherry is one of the most sought-after products. The leather used is genuine. This creates a huge demand for these leather products in the international market.

    Some of the products made by the craftsmen include shoes, leather bags, and briefcases.

    Ceramic Pottery

    This is an important craft of Pondicherry. The pottery found here is distinct as the craftsmen give the pottery a very shiny finishing. You can use the pots to adorn your households or just for decorative purposes. There is a variety of designs to choose from.

    Hand-made paper, candles, perfume, and incense

    Another popular product here is the hand-made paper produced here. This paper is used to make greeting cards, book covers and notepads. This paper is created in diversified colors and textures.

    Pondicherry also produces candles and incense sticks. These come in handy, especially during the festivals.

    The craftsmen of Pondicherry will always showcase their ingenuity with locally available raw materials. Most of this art and craft attracts tourists and helps the local people earn a livelihood.

  • Art and Crafts of Madhya Pradesh

    Madhya Pradesh is known for its rich tradition and culture. This is reflected in the majestic pieces of art and crafts. The handicrafts of Madhya Pradesh exhibit the painstaking craftsmanship and great skills of the locals.

    The artistic pieces include:

    • Bamboo and Cane Products
    • Carpet weaving
    • Terracotta
    • Stone carvings
    • Jute Works
    • Papier Mache

    The 5 Popular Arts and Crafts of Madhya Pradesh

    If you love shopping the great crafts of Madhya Pradesh will definitely mesmerize. These are some of the most popular handicrafts produced.

    Bamboo and Cane Work

    Amongst the different crafts of the state, one that stands apart is their bamboo and cane works. Bamboo thickets are a common sighting in Madhya Pradesh and the artisans make use of them. The vast majority of the locals make everyday tools using bamboo. They make fishing tools, baskets, hunting tools all from bamboo.

    The tribal communities of Baiga, Gond and Korku are skilled in this craft. If you are visiting Madhya Pradesh you are guaranteed to be thrilled by their beautiful works of art.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    Carpet Weaving

    Carpet weaving as a craft came to India via Persia. It is a major center of carpet weaving in India. The materials mostly used are of wool, silk, and cotton.

    The art of carpet weaving requires highly skilled craftsmen as it is a delicate one. The craftsmen of Gwalior are the undisputed master of the art of weaving fine quality carpets combined with creative designs and motifs.

    Terracotta

    Among the popular arts of Madhya Pradesh, is the terracotta pottery. The terracotta pottery is marvelous in its style and representation.

    The local people make potteries that are noteworthy. They make traditional statutes of different animals that they offer to their deities as sacrifices.

    Stone Carving

    The stone carving tradition of Madhya Pradesh is one of the best in the country and the world. The majestic stone carvings are found in the majority of their temples to depict the gods and goddesses of this local people.

    Stone carvings of Madhya Pradesh vary from place to place. Every region of this state has got its unique and distinct style. In Gwalior, lattice work is the specialty, whereas in regions like Jabalpur the craftsmen specialize animals and human statues.

    Jute Works

    Jute is a cheap textile fiber with a coarse and heavy texture. Jute works include baskets, flower vases, hammocks, purses and table mats.

  • Crafts of India, all at one Place

    Indian handicraft and art has been part of daily life since times immemorial. From the times when royalty used to invite artisans to their palaces and shower them with riches to now – when you can instantly make these Indian crafts a part of your daily life at the click of a button. At Poompuhar, we bring to you the best of what Indian art and crafts have to offer. Come be part of this beautiful journey!

    Indian art forms are not merely paint on canvas or some beads stitched together, all of these are stories. The stories that artisans tell about their life, their culture, traditions and legacy. All the things available on Poompuhar from sandalwood to thanjavur paintings carry along them myth, legends, folk tales and traditions of the era gone by. Stories of victory, defeat, celebration which are passed down from generation to generation. These things are not available in text books, they are undocumented but still very prevalent. Passed down in families, these are India’s history, culture and heritage.

    Thanjavur Painting

    Hidden in every corner of our country is an art form, diverse from anything you may encounter globally. These are folklore of craftsmen crafting magic with their hand to adorn your lives with the tales of their land.

    Poompuhar is an endeavor to connect artists, craftsmen and their work with the global audience. Everything from silk forms, to prints, to sandalwood, to channapatna toys and brass items are available on www.tnpoompuhar.org and is contributing Indian crafts to the world.

    Poompuhar aims to invoke a sense of community when things from one part of India travel to a completely different part of India – representing Indian diversity in the truest form.

    Go ahead - check out all that’s available at Poompuhar, they make for great decorative items for your living room as well as superb gifts for everyone in your family and friends. Be it the upcoming festival season or a birthday present for your grandmother, the beautiful things from India’s most popular handicrafts emporium are set to sweep you off your feet.

    Happy Shopping!

    Like they say in Tamil, PoivittuVarugiren! Till the time we meet again.

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