Blessed with rich art and cultural heritage reflected in every detail that goes into making any handicraft item, India is truly a paradise for art lovers. India’s craftspeople have a mastery of their craft that cannot be learned in a few years, which makes these art forms more valuable. However, to pay homage to the timeless handicraft industry of India, we bring you a list of some of the most renowned handicraft art forms from around the country.
Coming from heaven on earth – the Kashmir valley, Pashmina is a suitable type of wool that makes shawls. The usage of this fabric was the mark of royalty back in time and is still referred to as the ‘Fabric for Kings.’ The fabric is purely hand-processed. Every step of combining and spinning to weaving and designing. In addition, the fabric is exceptionally soft, light-weighted, yet capable of keeping you warm enough. The beautiful traditional paisley designs with intricate detailings make these shawls desired worldwide.
Fun Fact: In fact, it takes nearly 180 hours to complete the production of a single Pashmina shawl.
Many parts of India are popular for intricate wood art. This art form has been in India for over 5000 years. It was born decades before stone sculptures came into existence. Skilled artisans carve and shape wood planks to build assorted pieces of aesthetics. Elaborate chariots, furniture, and temples to delicate jewellery, cases, holy idols, and more are built with pieces of wood.
Fun Fact: Woodwork and wood carving started as temple art to decorate royal palaces.
Moreover, one of the most eco-friendly crafts and the oldest craft to exist, bamboo handicrafts items make for ideal souvenirs you can take home from India. Bamboo today is used to make toys, mats, baskets, jewellery boxes, furniture, and decorative items. Bamboo art is practised in Assam, West Bengal, and Tripura.
Fun Fact: Nevertheless, the history of bamboo craft dates back to the 2nd century AD.
The Art of puppetry and puppet making is native to Rajasthan. Know as Kathputli in Hindi. However this art form is sadly on the brink of dying. But that could not stop us from mentioning this art form on our list. Puppet making and puppetry both require unique skills. The puppets are crafts using wood, cotton cloth, and sometimes metal wires. Hence, the most popular combination is wood (used for the face) and cotton cloth (used for the body). Today, you will find tiny puppets used as keychains and in wall hangings.
Fun Fact: The puppet masters of Rajasthan used their Art to entertain people and provided social and moral education through their shows.
Nevertheless, in designing fabrics countless art forms are used. Nearly every state of India has its art form used in adorning fabrics. Lucknow, the city of Nawabs, has given us Chikankari. Punjab and Haryana are famous for their beautiful Phulkari work.
Moreover, Uttar Pradesh gave birth to the rich Zardozi art. Bihar is famous for Madhubani paintings. Andhra Pradesh is popular for Kalamkari. Ajrak prints come from Bhuj. West Bengal masters in Kalighat and Patachitra.
Fun Fact: Traditional forms of textile printings is used in modern fashion industry and contemporary Art.
Carpet weaving is yet another essential art form in North India. It has been a flourishing industry since the 16th century. India produces the most beautiful carpets with intricate details and designs, such as the Taj Mahal and more. Quality and designs are both the hallmark of Indian carpets. This is why the demand for Indian carpets around the world is high. Today, however, Uttar Pradesh has the most significant carpet weaving industry. Although the industry has started using machinery for manufacturing carpets, the Art of hand-weaving a carpet is still alive and in demand.
Fun Fact: Moreover, India is the largest producer and exporter of carpets globally.
If you want to make such art forms, sign up for art workshops on the Rooftop app and learn more about creating them at home from our artists.