June 22, 2018

Indian Handicrafts at Present


The roots of Indian art and crafts are entrenched very deep and they are capable of influencing the generations passing by. The present status of craft in India owes much to the rich craft traditions of the past. Most of the crafts from the past continue to flourish due to their utilitarian nature, their availability to the common people, and popularity in domestic and foreign markets.

There is a great demand for rich brocades and zari work. The repertoire of saris ranges from Banarsi Amru, Tanchoi from Surat, Paithani, Patola, and Kancheevaram to the cotton saris from the tribal regions of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh etc, to enchant the modern Indian woman. There is a profusion of materials available to the consumers these days. One can get a variety of garments made of different silks and mixed fabrics.

Richly embroidered garments, woven shawls and household items are in vogue these days. Mainly craftsmen from Kashmir, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, North Eastern states etc create these products. There is a flourishing market for pherans and tablecloths from Kashmir. Woolen shawls from Himachal and North Eastern states too are popular.

Products like bed sheets, table mats, napkins, household furnishings etc made out using the various styles of textile printing ranging from tie and dye, block printing, hand printing etc are in great demand now a days.

India has an obsession with gems and jewelry since ancient times when India was referred to as the 'golden bird'. This obsession is strong till date and India has become the largest importer of gold in the world. A variety of local jewelry traditions (of different states) are present in India with the modern day gem and diamond cutting and polishing industry. The present day jewelry tradition of India is a fine example of assimilation between traditional and modern designs and techniques.

The increasing demand for Indian jewelry and gems has made this craft tradition into a full-fledged large scale organized industry, which is growing by the day. Gems and semi precious stones are not only used in making jewelry, but for medicinal purposes. People wear them under the prescription of astrologers, as it is strongly believed in India that Gems and semi precious stones, affect ones future and destiny.

Carpet weaving industry is the largest export oriented craft industry from India. Not only there is a great demand for costly silk carpets from Kashmir, which has become the status symbol in traditional Indian homes, but there is also demand for woolen and non-woolen carpets. A variety of floorings and traditional durries are flooding the markets these days and decorating the floors of Indian homes.

There is a huge domestic market for a hoard of utilitarian craft items such as bedcovers, sheets, cushions, curtains, tablemats, bags, metal furniture, mats, boxes, cabinets, wood furniture, toys, utensils, garden pots, terracotta items, brass and silverware, leather products, papier-mâché products, cane, jute and coir items, carpets, rugs, durries etc. Most of the units producing utilitarian craft items have attained the status of small-scale industry.

The demand for decorative items such as traditional wall hangings, silver cutlery, brass pots, embellished wooden sculptures, marble and wood inlay work, silk carpets, wrought iron furniture and decorative pieces, traditional paintings, enameled furniture, stone and wood carvings, metal, wood and stone sculptures etc is also on the rise in India and abroad.

The popularity of these handicraft products is increasing in the domestic markets due to the increasing demand for traditional