India is a country renowned for its art and culture after agricultural activities. Skillful hands knowing such popular art is indeed a true heritage and treasure for the country. India has witnessed many appreciations in the art niche depicted by the monuments like Taj Mahal, Ajanta caves, Akshardham, popular temples of South India and many more. So, there is nothing new in saying the fact that India's heritage treasures excellent artisans and craftsmen. Our designs, patterns and bold use of colors not just lures the viewer but also is remarkably appreciated for the hard work of crafting and designing.
In fact all states of India signatures its own style and form of art to establish a gamut of Indian art. That has been the passion and abundance behind remarkable and successful status of a hugely popular handcrafts industry, which persistently contributes to the national economy. And also continues to make India World's major exporter and supplier of handcrafts to the Global market.
So eventually there has been a noticeable expansion in the growth of Indian handcrafts industry. Today the passion is not just limited to the country itself but could also be seen abroad. Hence, the same has generated employment opportunities for both domestic and foreign economies.
Zari work, pottery, carpets, cloth printing, terracotta show pieces, wall hangings, various embroideries patterns like phulkari, kashmiri kadai, bandhej, glass work, etc. are some of the popular Indian arts which are famous worldwide and bought as a symbol of relishing the royal Indian tradition. The most popular state for Indian crafts is Rajasthan, renowned for its royal empire and craftsmen. Crafts pieces like mirror, embroidery and puppetry making is very popular. Demand for these handcrafts automatically increases during festival season like Diwali and Holi or during any traditional occasions.
Popular Crafts of India today are:-
1. Indian Textiles The meaning of textile is a woven cloth and Indian textiles are worldwide famous for its pure quality, carved patterns and designs, durability, texture and comfort. Cotton and Silk are the most popular cloths preferred for textile purpose.
2. Zardozi As mentioned foremost India's variety of embroideries are very popular worldwide, amongst those is Zardozi karai- amalgamation of two different words- zari which means gold and dozi is the synonym for the embroidery.
3. Chikan Kadai This is another special embroidery art form, specialty of Uttar Pradesh again known for its minutely carved pattern of designs. This work is generally done on cotton, georgette and chiffon.
4. Pattachitra kala It is one of the famous art forms of India. It means cloth painting. It is a famous art form of Odisha, and preferred for making beautiful paintings and also carved on sarees. The similar art is also prevalent in the West Bengal, especially in the Odisha border villages.
5. Kanjeevaram Saree Kanjeevaram is the finest form of silk popular in South India. Kanjeevaram saris are made with rich zari work and are popular for vibrant colors as well. A wedding is incomplete in South India without these saris. They are not only exquisite but also long lasting. People preserve these saris for years together and pass them to the next generation as blessings.
6. Banarasi Saree Lists of Indian crafts is just not completed until a specialty of the city Kashi is added to the list. Banarasi saris are various forms of silk saris having rich zari and organza work on it. These saris are not only popular in northern belt of the country, but also in the eastern belt. These are known to be the attire of the Royals.
7. Dhokra work Dhokra is a kind of non-ferrous metal casting using the lost wax casting technique. This art is over 4000 years old and still been used to make beautiful dcor pieces and costume jewellery. These have a rustic feel to it and because of that this is hugely popular among modern generation.
8. Cane work Wood weaving. Cane is a strong wood used for making baskets and furniture in India, and hence known for its durability and comfort.
9. Carpets Kashmiri carpets are very famous for their minutely carved designs and patterns and thus priced accordingly as par the hard work. These have huge demand abroad.
10. Pottery- Pottery is the art which forms an artifact from mud. Pottery is still a popular profession in rural India, and is famous for making beautiful statues and idols. Most famous of them all is the Blue Pottery of Jaipur.
11. Sheesha kadai Is a famous craft of Rajasthan, where apparels and decorative pieces are made with the use of glass sequence.
12. Patola Sarees Known for its intricate and beautiful patterns, these saris are made using a tie and dye technique called double Ikat. Once worn by only the Royals, these saris are costly but hugely sought after by the rich and affluent. This art is a closely guarded family tradition and only few people in Patan in Gujarat can actually make these saris.
Indeed, the scenario and preference for Indian art has changed with times. With globalization and westernization, tastes and expectations of the customer has also been different from yesteryears. Thus, parallel knowledge of both traditional skills and western trend is opted by the industry. And that's how we can say that tinge of modernization in Indian art is necessary, without any compromises and settlement in the technique, quality and durability of the product.
Art and Handcrafts are the two significant signatures of India. It reflects the true ethnic nature of the country which differentiates it from other. Till today the skilled artisans' practice their arts and crafts as their sole profession not only because the demand for it but also for the sheer love for the art. Today, people consider handcrafts as a symbol of uniqueness and richness. Also, individuals, organizations and groups are trying to sustain the desire for handicrafts and the glory of the same, by bringing new style and options as per consumers demand.
Srijata Bhatnagar is the Co-Founder & CEO of EthnicShack. She established EthnicShack - India's most loved brand for Handmade, Hand-woven & Handcrafted products in August 2013. She has over 10 years of experience in the Online Space and contributed in various capacities in Product Management and Marketing.