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Handicrafts Industry

  • Celebrating India’s Amazing Handicraft

    India and its citizens have since the beginning of time been creators of several art forms, reflecting their culture, heritage and fulfilling several necessities of the rich and the poor. India’s handicraft ,too, is second to none, with variety of  cultures and sub-cultures existing and varying from each other, it is no wonder that its handicraft sector has given birth to globally famous genres of handicraft. We would like to give a brief introduction to some famous and amazing forms of handicraft which not only adds to the richness of this country’s culture but also is a celebration in itself!

    Madhubani: Madhubani painting is also known as Mithila painting. Natural dyes and pigments are used to create it. With five distinctive and equally impressive styles, namely - Bharni, Tantrik, Nepali, Katchni and Gobar, this art form uses natural dyes and pigments. With time, the Madhubani art form has increased in popularity and is even replicated in various other decorative forms.

    Madhubani paintings in india Image Credit - Wikipedia

    Phulkari: Tracing its root to the women-folk of Punjab, Phulkari, was started in the 19th century. The name “phulkari” translates to flower work in Punjabi, and as the name suggests the art form resembles, the bright colors of flowers and reflects the fertile colors of the fields of Punjab. The appeal of the phulkari is such that it is now a must-have in Punjabi households.

    Phulkari handicrafts from India Image Credit - Wikipedia

    Channapatna Toys: Situated 60kms from the hustle-bustle of Bengaluru, is situated a small town called Channapatna. In the local Kannada language, this town is called Gombegala Ooru, which translates to ‘toy town.’ The artists residing in this ‘tow-town’ make wooden toys, colored in organic colors, in front of the customers. Now, a major tourist destination, 80 % of the population of the town rely on this business for their livelihood

    Channapatna Toys handicrafts from India Image Credit - Wikipedia

    Brass Utensils: A symbol of prosperity, wealth and honor since humans started settling. The Lohars or the early blacksmiths from Rajasthan bought brass sheets from Ahmedabad and created the first brass utensils. Once, a dazzling element in the royal kitchens, they are now found in museums or handed down through generations as family heirlooms.

    Brass Utensils From India Handicrafts

    Kantha : The soft and comfortable material used, makes this a favorite among many.It all began decades ago when grandmothers would sew their old sarees as patchworks and make kanthas. Today, it is done on a larger commercial platform, and with much brighter colors.

    Kantha Handicrafts from India Image Credit - Wikipedia

    Dhana Murti: Mundas - This ethnic tribal group in the Chota Nagpur plateau region use unhusked rice grains to make idols. Rice grains, bamboo slivers, and colored threads are used to make beautiful idols of Indian gods and goddesses like Ganesha or Lakshmi.

    Image Credit - Gaatha.com Image Credit - Gaatha.com

    Ranidongri Baskets :  These popular products trace their origin to Ranidongri, a small town in Madhya Pradesh where local men and women weave baskets as a means of livelihood. Woven in almost every household in Ranidongri, these tokris or baskets are found in different shapes and sizes.

    Ranidogri-basket-handicrafts-india Image Credit - Gaatha.com

    Lappe Ka Kaam: Also popularly known as gota patti or zardousi, is a fine example of Rajasthan’s rich and centuries old royalty. It is a type of applique embroidery - a needlework technique in which patterns or representational scenes are created by the attachment of smaller pieces of fabric. Lappe ka kaam is seen a lot in bridal clothing these days.

    Lappe Ka Kaam handicrafts india

    Blue Pottery: This extremely time-consuming and tedious form of handicraft is worth every second and time. Blue pottery, as the name suggests is due to blue dye that is used. It is the only kind of pottery which does not use clay. A mixture of quartz stone powder, powdered glass, multani mitti, borax, gum and waterform its main composition. The Pink City – Jaipur is known and celebrated for its blue pottery .

    Blue Pottery handicrafts from India Image Credit - handicrafts India

    Kathputli: The famous mascot of Rajasthan, standing one-and-a-half feet tall, are manufactured in Sawai – Madhopur, Bari and Udaipur. They are commonly seen in puppets shows across the country.

  • Popular Handicraft villages in India

    No other country in the world can boast of its rich art and culture like India can. It is a country overflowing with various indigenous forms of art and handicrafts. Here artisans with special skills blend a myriad of colours forming hues of effervescent vibrancy.

    Handicraft is a way of life and primary source of income for the thousands of skilled workers all across the country. Handicraft villages are remotely located away from the hustle and bustle of big cities and it is here that artisans weave magic into articles that are so unique to the region.

    Image credit - wikimedia Image credit - wikimedia

    The rich diversity of India can be clearly seen in the wide range of handicrafts produced all over the country. Metal craft, wood craft, embroidery, woven fabrics, pottery, shell craft, glass craft, terracotta, paper craft and so much more. Some of these handicraft products can be used daily while some are for decorative purposes. Some of these handicrafts even have global approbation.

    Some of the popular handicraft villages include

    Brass handicraft of Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh is famous the world over. The city is also known as Pital Nagri or Brass city. Metal engraving is a fine and a delicate art popular in this area. This can be seen in the enamelled jewellery as well as enamelled utensils produced in the area. You will find wine-cups, finger bowls, pillboxes etc., in both gold and silver sometimes studded with jewels.

    Thanjavur is another popular place for brass handicraft. The villages in Thanjavur have a rich tradition in making metal objects. Items like lamps, shallow dishes, and plates are characterized by designs of deities, birds, flowers, and geometric patterns beaten out from the back of copper and silver sheets and subsequently encrusted on a brass tray, kudam or panchpaathra.

    Kanchipuram is world famous for the finest silk produced in this area. Kanchipuram sarees are treated as priceless heirlooms by the women of the country as gold and silver threads are used for weaving patterns on the silk. Located in Tamilnadu, these sarees are source of income for most of the households in the village.

    Shilpagram is a popular handicraft village located in Agra. This craft village is an open emporium where craftsmen and artisans bring their unique and ethnic craft to sell. Being in the city of the Taj Mahal, this village attracts both domestic and international tourists to see and purchase the wonderful crafts of the region.

    Pipli in Orissa is famous for its appliqué work. This village owes its existence to this craft where motifs of Gods, animals, birds, flowers, leaves and shapes are stitched on to fabric within no time. Here you will find busy streets flaunting rows of shops selling appliquéd handbags, bed sheets, wall hangings, purses, pillow covers, canopies, garden umbrellas etc.

    Dakshinchitra located in Chennai is a centre for the living traditions of art, folk performing arts, craft, and architecture of South India. This village inspires to connect the rich traditional culture to the present and future.  The artefacts in the museum reflect the daily life in the Southern States. The museum contains a collection of books and journals pertaining to the arts, crafts, performance, anthropology, and folklore of South India. Various crafts are also taught at the centre.

    Kutch handicraft is a way of life in the villages around Kutch in Gujarat. Several villages in the area specialize in different kinds of handcraft like mirror inlaid work, different kinds of embroidery –(muthua, ahir, soof), Bhandini, tie and dye, block printing, embroidered footwear and much more.

    Handicraft is a way of life in most villages in India. For many it is the only source of livelihood. Popularising these handicrafts helps to keep the rich tradition and culture alive.

  • Black Metal Handicrafts

    The current vintage trend in home décorhas brought back the craze for black metal items. Oxidized metallic items give a rugged look, which is extremely in these days.Black oxide is basically coating of stainless steel, copper based alloys, silver and zinc with ferrous material. To maximize corrosion resistance, black oxide is impregnated with oil. Craftsmen design a huge variety of items as per theircreativity and market demand. The most commonly available oxidized handicraft items are ash-trays, gongs, bells, candle stands, vases and various other decorative items. Oxidized look is also used in making sculptures and idols. The sculptures of animals, Human Gods and Goddesses are also sculpted.Apart from handicrafts, oxidized jewelry is also a rage among the college going, and bohemian chic inspired women.  The black finish chunk jewelry is a classic complement with the formal attire of working women.

    Shop for this Oxidised Lakshmi - Click Here Shop for this Oxidised Lakshmi - Click Here

    Apart from the aesthetic charm, black metal is actually a value for moneyinvestment, as it never gets old. It is widely used for its antique look and finish. The black finish improves the non-corrosive properties of the metal, thereby preventing them from rusting.  It makes the items long lasting and customers feel value in their purchase of oxidized items.

    Shop for this Oxidised Saraswati - Click Here Shop for this Oxidised Saraswati - Click Here

    The blackening of metal surface improves the adhesion of it, which gives the paint and varnish a long lasting hold.This again maintains the look of these items for a longer time. Moreover, they are more sturdy because the black coating on metal surfaces does not make them brittle. Baking of surfaces is done within four hours of coating to avoid embrittlement.

    Shop for this Oxidised Natarajar - Click Here Shop for this Oxidised Natarajar - Click Here

    Last, but not the least, the appearance, protection and various other qualities provided by the black oxide is very much cost effective, thus making it craftsman friendly. And its antique look makes it appealing forhome decoration as well as for ethnic looking jewelry.


    Tamilnadu is famous for fine handiwork of India, which has evolved due to its rich culture and traditions. These handicrafts are available in various Handicraft Centers of the State and Central Govt. Some of these handcrafts are listed below:

    The life-like stone sculptures, Rosewood and Sandalwood carvings, Thanjavur paintings, celestial figures in brass and bronze are some of the commendable pieces of art of the Tamil society. Besides these, brass lamps and Thanjavur art plates too are very impressive.

    Shop for this Sandal Wood Undercut Elephant - Click Here Shop for this Sandal Wood Undercut Elephant - Click Here

    Numerous ethnic art forms are created by skilled artisans of Tamilnadu. Replicas of artifacts from the Chola and Pandya dynasties have been beautifully reincarnated. The imagination and creativity of artisans is expressed in the form of amazing handicrafts which add to the style statement of homes all over the world.

    One can witness the wonderful art of the Tamil craftsmen in the Hindu Temples also. The beautiful wooden ornamental doors, chariots made of gold, silver or wood, Kavachams, vahanams, Dwajasthambams, idols, bells etc. speak high about the skilled artisans. Along with all this, silver sheeting work, gold cladding work on copper sheeting work and even gold or silver kavasams for the deities are crafted by the skilled hands of these craftsmen.

    Shop For this Thanjavur Temple - Click Here Shop For this Thanjavur Temple - Click Here

    In the Tirunelveli district of Pattamadai village in Tamilnadu, korai grass along with silk or cotton are used to craft attractive reed mats, shopping bags, place mats, runners, office folders etc. Modern design inputs and ideas have made them chic and brought them in demand both nationally and internationally.

    The hand woven beautiful kanchipuram silk saris of Tamilnaduare famous for their delicate and fine work. The saris have motifs of sun, moon, peacock, swan etc. woven along with gold thread, with the pallu having a different pattern in most cases.

    The art of casting icons of bronze as in the Choladynasty is still done in a modified manner. Swamimalai, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli are the centres for best bronze icons.

    Tanjore Gold Leaf Paintings, another form of art, depict stories with the Ramayana and Krishna-Leela themes. In this extremely beautiful art, craftsmen use gold leaf, metal pieces and semi-precious stones to decorate the paintings.The best of these paintings are available in Chennai.

    Shop for this Wall Hanging Leaf Krishnar - Click Here Shop for this Wall Hanging Leaf Krishnar - Click Here

    Paper Mache is also a spectacular handicraft of Tamilnadu, where the waste paper pulp is hand beaten and mixed with clay and then transformed into dolls, icons of gods and goddesses, masks etc. It is then dipped into a thin solution of white clay and paper pulp, which on drying is colorfully painted with oil colors.

    The History of Papeir Machie Art in Poompuhar

    Stonecraft, yet another craft of the people of Tamilnadu, involves carving of stonesto make sculptures, garden lights, nameplates etc. Mahabalipuram is famous for this craft.

    Pottery making by people of many parts of Tamilnadu includes making figures of deities, water jugs, tea and dinner sets, and many other stylish and decorative items. Red, black and grey clay are used for the purpose.

    Several places in Tamilnadu are famous for their wood craft. The famous rosewood carvings of Madurai include the making of exquisitedesigns on table tops. Articles of household use and beautifully and minutely carved woodcrafts are made for decorative purpose.

    Tamil women have a unique style of floral embroidery called pugarapart from the beautiful geometric patterns which they stitch. Appliqué work is done in Tanjore for decorating carved chariots used during processions.

    The famousBhawani Durries of Coimbatore are hand woven in cotton and silk with stripes or traditional designs on them.

    Brass and bell metals are used in Nachiarcoil in Thanjavur district of Tamilnadu to cast articles like vases, tumblers, water containers, candle stands and kerosene lamps.

    The making of musical instruments is another major craft practiced by the people of Tamilnadu as music and dance is vital component of the Tamil culture. Veena, Thamburas, flute and Vangiyam are made out of bamboo, bronze, sandalwood andkarungaali woods.

    Tamil craftsmen engaged in so many different types of handicrafts are an asset to our nation. Along with providing various items of utility, they help us in adding style and decoration to our houses, work places, and temples.


    When it comes to handicrafts, the various types of beautifully crafted items come to mind and the wonderful fact is that most of them are available at Poompuhar in Tamil Nadu!

    Now, if we think of handcrafted items in textiles, Poompuhar has many things to offer. For example, the expertise with which the handbags of various sizes and shapes are made is worth appreciation.

    Mini hand bags are available of the dimensions 12x10x1 inches and 14x10x1 inches which have been priced at Rs. 700 each. Both the bags are differentyet unique in their shapes and colors.

    Shop for this Mini Hand Bag Voilet - Click Here Shop for this Mini Hand Bag Voilet - Click Here

    A hand crafted textile hand bag of 14x10x1 inch dimensions, having a stunning design with elephants, peacocks, trees and flowers on it and having long straps is available at Rs. 650.

    Shop For This Textiles Hand Bag - Click Here Shop For This Textiles Hand Bag - Click Here

    There is a college bag,called joolna bag, which is of the dimensions 14x10x1 inches. This lovely bag is priced at Rs. 1,050.

    Shop For This Joolna Bag -    Click Hear Shop For This Joolna Bag - Click Hear

    Another beautiful hand bag of the dimension 12x10x1 inches, is available with an impressive patch work on it. It is priced at Rs. 1,650.

    Shop For This - Patch Work Hand Bag Shop For This - Patch Work Hand Bag

    Another12x14x1 inch silk bag of a lovely shape with beaded handle to add to its beauty, has a beautiful floral design on it. This gorgeous bag is available at justRs. 950.

    Shop For This Textiles Silk Hand Bag Pink - Click Here Shop For This Textiles Silk Hand Bag Pink - Click Here

    A 12x10x1 handcrafted textile silk purse is available at Rs. 950. An elegant design enhances its look. Yet another 12x10x1 inch hand crafted textile silk hand bag is available at Rs. 950. It has stripes on it along with a nice design. Its handle has been made in a stylish braided way.

    Shop For This silk purse - Click Here

    Shop For This silk purse - Click Here

    Shop For This Silk Hand Bag Green With Stripes - Click Here Shop For This Silk Hand Bag Green With Stripes - Click Here

    Besides these bags, there are attractive wall hangings of various sizes and shapes made out of silk and other handmade textiles. A 10x14x1 inch wall hanging with the picture ofan elephant, a camel and a horse in a landscape orientation is available at Rs. 1,750.

    Shop For This Silk Wall Hanging Elephant/Camel/Horse - Click Here Shop For This Silk Wall Hanging Elephant/Camel/Horse - Click Here

    Another silk wall hanging of the dimension 19x11x1 inches which has been artistically handcrafted with peacock design is available at a price of Rs 1,950.

    Shop For This Silk Wall Hanging Peacock - Click Here Shop For This Silk Wall Hanging Peacock - Click Here

    A silk handcrafted wall hanging of the dimension 18x 6x1 inches with elephant design is available in portrait orientation.

    Shop For This Silk Wall Hanging Elephant - Click Here Shop For This Silk Wall Hanging Elephant - Click Here

    Ties, runners and dinning sets are some other attractive things which are made out of the handcrafted textiles and put for sale at very reasonable prices.

    These lovely pieces of art not only add beauty, but also talk about the owner’s aesthetic sense and style.

  • Revival of Our Handicrafts Industry: A Boon for Indian Artisans

    The handicraft sector is the second largest employment generator in villages, the first being agriculture. This is the largest decentralised and unorganized sector of the Indian economy. It is the craft of the people symbolising the inner desire and fulfilment of that particular community. These artisans form the backbone of the nonfarm rural economy.


    India is a country that is by tradition very rich in art and craft. About seven million artisans in the country are engaged in some kind of handicraft. These handicrafts include pottery, mats, metal ware, weaving woodwork, etc. Most artisans have learned their skills from their parents and grandparents since cultural and family associations have a greater influence in India than market requirement or training. The handicraft industry is a home based one which requires very little expenditure, training or infrastructure to set up. The locally available materials and the individual skill is what is needed to make handicrafts.

    There were times when Indian handicraft received royal and aristocratic patronage, which is why Indian handicrafts are quite in demand the world over. Every piece of handicraft holds secrets, myths, and faiths that have transferred through generations both by the artisans and through people associated with it.


    The agricultural community depends on the handicraft as a secondary source of income in case of drought, flood famine, or lean harvest.

    In the recent years, there has been a decrease in the number of artisans engaged in the handicraft industry. These artisans are engaged in manual labour work or are unemployed, giving up their high skills. One of the major reasons for this change is the commercially and machine-made cheaper alternatives available in the market. The limited exposure of the artisans to the market, loss of urban consumer interest, competition has also added to the decline of the handicraft industry. Today India adds only 2% to the global handicrafts market. Thus, you find that many of these artisans are living in abject poverty and economic conditions.


    The government, the private, and the non-profit organizations have played a major role in trying to revive the handicraft industry. However, the impact has been isolated and limited. Much effort is required to completely revamp the handicraft industry using rural resources. Various organizations are helping by setting up exhibitions both domestically and globally to showcase the crafts produced by these artisans. These organizations are creating marketing opportunities for craftsmen to sell their products at a better price to a wider consumer base. They are using unique business models to create these market linkages from artisan to consumer, thus being profitable to all involved, especially the artisan.

    With the advancement of communication networks all across the country, it can be used positively to the artisan’s advantage. New designs, ideas, orders, and markets can be within the reach of the artisan with the right training. Educating customers too is an important part of revitalizing the handicraft industry. Today online marketing is a buzzword to buy and sell products. Some organizations are already connecting buyers and sellers directly online.

    The handicraft industry is very important for the country as it is the second largest employment generator in the rural sector. Efforts must be made to revitalize and develop it to its full potential. It is also an industry that helps to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the country. The new initiatives can help boost the lives of millions of artisans in the country.

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