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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.

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    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.

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    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.

  • The Popular Arts of Jammu and Kashmir

    Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most attractive destinations in India. The craftsmen of Jammu and Kashmir have mastered the art of making some of the most intricate and artistic items.

    There are a variety of items made in Jammu and Kashmir:

    • Shawls
    • Carpets
    • Papier mache
    • Wood carvings
    • Chain Stitch
    • Khatumbandh
    • Basketry
    • Namdas
    • Basketry

    These are some of the 5 popular art pieces:

    Kashmiri Shawls

    Are you looking for comfortable and stylish shawls? The Kashmiri shawls are soft, fashionably elegant and sophisticated. The precision and concentration invested in the making of the shawls make them a sought-after commodity in the international market. These shawls are made of three fiber, wool, Pashmina and Shahtoosh. The shawls are unique with very interesting designs.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    Kashmiri Carpets

    Kashmir’s art is renowned for its hand-made Kashmiri carpets. These carpets are unique because they are hand-made. Artisans mostly use silk yarns or wool to weave the carpets. The carpet has fine finishing with intricate designs, making them distinct from any other carpet.

    Papier Mache

    Papier mache is an old form of handicrafts in Jammu and Kashmir. It is made up of the pulp of paper and adhesive solution.

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    The paper is soaked in water for a few days then mixed with an adhesive solution. It is then molded, painted and polished. The art of papiermache uses original gold painted items making it quite expensive.

    Woods Carvings

    Wood carvings is one of the oldest arts practiced in Kashmiri. The craftsmen carve some of the best intricate wood designs. The art of carving furniture and other decorative items requires a high degree of skill and craftsmanship.

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    The craftsmen use wood from walnut and chinar of Kashmir. This is because the wood has fine texture and pattern. The popular types of carving practiced in Kashmir are raised, engraved, undercut and plain.

    Chain Stitch

    Chain Stitch is natively known as jalakdozi. It is a stitch done with a hook. The rugs are made of hand-made cloth or hessian cloth.

    The embroidery is done on traced designs, ranging from floral patterns to animal and human forms. This stitch is done on rugs, wall hangings, cushion covers, and duvets covers.

  • The Art of Pottery in India

    The art of making decorative vessels using clay is one of the oldest forms of art. In India, it is one of the oldest crafts that is still being practiced. Pottery adorns majority of Indian homes because of its exquisite and elegant features.

    Image Credit - wikimedia Image Credit - wikimedia

    Pottery is the art of making earthenware using moist clay and then drying them. Drying is done either by exposure to the sun, fire, baking in kilns or ovens.

    Indian pottery comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. This craft is used to make every type of earth-ware like cooking vessels, food bowls, storage red pots, urns, flower pots and decorative pots.

    The raw materials used in making pottery are clay and water which can be found throughout the country.

    Image Credit - pixabay Image Credit - pixabay

    There are two popular methods of making pottery in India. They either use their hands or wheel to makes pottery. There are different styles or types of pottery in India.

    • Glazed pottery
    • Unglazed pottery
    • Terracotta
    • Papier-Mache

    Unglazed Pottery

    This is one of the ancient forms of pottery in India. There are three different types of unglazed glazed pottery.

    • Paper thin pottery with makes use of incised patterns.
    • Pottery made using the scraffito technique, which involves polishing and painting intricate patterns.
    • The third is polished pottery, which makes use of stylized patterns of arabesques.

    Glazed Pottery

    Glazed pottery is popular in many states in India. This kind of pottery has a white background and the patterns are green and blue. Delhi and Khurja are renowned for the blue pottery. This pottery does not use clay, instead, it is covered with finely ground glass and then fired.

    Terracotta

    This style of pottery is mainly involved sculptures. This form of pottery is commonly displayed in places of worship. In the rural parts of India, women make decorative sculptures to adorn their homes. During festivals, they also use clay to make idols of their gods and goddesses.

    Papier Mache

    Papier Mache is an old form of pottery in India. It makes use of pulp paper and adhesive solution. After soaking the paper in the solution for a few days, the paper is molded and painted.

  • Papier Mache training at Srirangam, Tiruchirapalli.

    Happy to share that we are conducting Papier Mache training for 50 women for 6 months at ‪Srirangam‬, Tiruchirapalli‬.

    Papier-mache (literally meaning “chewed paper”) or paper mache is a handicraft technique that uses paper in the form of pieces or pulp, often reinforced with textiles, and then glued together using an adhesive. The traditional method of making this adhesive was using a mixture of flour or other starch mixed in water, but now chemical based glues are also used. Papier-mache items such as dolls, masks, puppets and lamps are quite popular in India and abroad.

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    Papier Mache training in process

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