Handicraft is a term used for the work where decorative objects are made using traditional means and are handmade using simple tools. Items made using machines of mass production are not considered as handicraft goods. Handicraft items are mostly used for decorative purposes though utility items such as clothes etc are also produced by handicraft.
Origin of Handicraft in India can be traced by to almost 5000 years and evidence of Handicraft has been found during excavations of Indus Valley Civilization. In modern India, handicraft manufacturing centers are spread across the country producing variety of items using locally available raw material and traditional approaches of manufacturing that have been inherited and preserved over the ages. Indian Handicraft represents the cultural brilliance and diversity of the nation. The items produced are a blend of artistic imagination with utility. The popular handicraft works include:
- Wood Craft: Different types of woods like Sandalwood, rosewood, teak wood, Shisham etc. are used to produce wall plaques, toys, idols etc by craftsmen of different regions of the country. The regions that are popular for wood work are Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala and Karnataka. These days more and more intricate designs are being produced that enhances the elegance of the room and gives an antique look. Wood work is best suited for rooms with a retro theme where the furniture and doors are wooden.
- Painting: Madhubani paintings fromBiharand Mughal paintings from Rajasthan are amongst the most popular Indian handicraft items. They are mostly available as wall hanging paintings and in huge demand and due to the vibrant colors used in them. The other regions ofIndiaspecialize in variety of floor painting and wall paintings that are done to decorate the house. These days skilled labor can be hired to paint the desired design on walls/ doors / floor or ceiling.
Textile: Handicraft items of Indian textile derive their prominence from the expert weaving techniques, designs and vibrant colors. Textile handicraft is popularly available in silk and cotton and printing techniques include kalamkari, bandhani, batik and screen printing. The cloth can be used for decoration as well as wearing.
- Pottery and Stone craft: Decorative pottery items are produced by craftsmen of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh andGujarat. The painted pottery is very popular as decorative items.
- Marble Inlay work: Colored stones and marbles are used to produce a range of statues, stands, lampshades, utensils from craftsmen of Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan andBihar. They are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and are most suited to decorate corners of the room. A well fitted marble statue enhances the elegance of the room.
- Cane: Indian craftsmen produce a wide variety of cane furniture like Sofa sets, Chairs, Tables and decorative pieces like Lamp shades and painting frames. Cane furniture is relatively cheap as compared to wood and with right color gives a stylish look to the house.
- Terracotta: A variety of statues, stools, containers, tiles, jeweler, and jars are produced using baked earth. Many expert craftsmen use complicated molds to produce a fine variety of decorative items. They are widely available throughout the country and can be picked up from any local market.
- Metal Work: Precious and not precious metal is widely used across the country to produce ornaments and other decorative items like idols, statues and lamps.
- Carpets: A number of expert craftsmen produce carpets with brilliant color combination and unmatched quality.
The Indian handicraft items can be effectively used as an object of decoration as it fits into any décor and provides a traditional look to the room.