Handicrafts in India are a reflection of communities, ethnicities and tradition. India has always been a country which marries its rich cultural diversity with the economy, turning them into businesses, thus offering ample employment opportunities to local craftsmanship using locally sourced materials. Today, the handicraft industry is the backbone of rural economy, and the second largest rural income provider.
Handicraft has transformed over centuries; over time, it has incorporated various trends, and acquired its present form which is aesthetically pleasing and oozing elegance. If you are thinking of renovating your space or adding a few accents to give it a unique character, why not shop local and support the handicraft industry? Artefacts and furniture inspired by folklores, communities, dialects, lifestyles, and music and dance forms gives your lovely abode the vibrancy, class and elegance that it needs. Here are some of our top picks.
Dhokra art from Bengal is known for their aboriginal simplicity, folk motifs, and their unique form. In addition to the famous brass Bankura horses and elephants, the other popular items also include the intricate Krishnanagar clay dolls and life-like representation of diverse individuals in various poses and dance forms.
The traditional and illustrious charm of Madhubani art is unparalleled. Also referred to as Mithila art, this art form is known for its delicate line drawings and the vivid use of colours and patterns. A wall adorned by a Madhubani painting or a coffee table with Madhubani artwork or even tea coasters with a motif will add that much desired traditional touch to your space.
The origins of Namda dates back to the 11th century. The carpets and rugs are made by felting sheep wool. The plain Namda is then fashioned with the beautiful Kashmiri Aari Hand Embroidery. The tradition of making Namda is a closely guarded family secret among a tight knit community in Kashmir – it is a tedious and a long process and it requires a lot of manual and complex work.
The intricate Rajasthani woodwork is primarily produced in Jodhpur, but is also prominent in Rangarh, Kishangarh, and Shekhawati. Jodhpuri furniture and artefacts are famous for its vibrant colour combinations, motifs and the delicate wood carvings and jaali work inspired by the Royal dynasties and folklore.
Originally a home-grown craft in a small village in Rajasthan, the block print has now become one of the most popular fabric techniques for home linens and apparel. Beautiful patterns and motifs can be created on any fabric and paper using the woodblock printing technique. The prints, heavily inspired by nature, are incorporated in home décor items – think table cloth, curtains, bedsheets, pillow cases and much more.
The word terracotta originates quite literally from the Italian translation ‘baked earth’. In India, Terracotta has been used in pottery, kitchen essentials and home décor since the Indus Valley Civilisation. One of the most popular items is the traditional pot, usually used to plant house plants. Terracotta crockery like plates, bowls, pots and dishes have also gained popularity in the recent years; they’re known for their heat resistance, making them oven safe as well.