Sunday, October 2nd, 2022

Indian Handicrafts You Need To Pick Up On Your Next Trip

There is a whole world to explore, if only we find time off from our phone/tablet screen. The Internet is full of websites that are easily your one-stop shop for almost everything. So next time you find yourself browsing the world wide web for some pretty Ikkat dresses, beautiful unique pottery and breathtakingly offbeat places, do find time to investigate just a little bit more. Here are a few of the many handicrafts of India that have put the country on the world map.

Pashmina shawls

A fine type of cashmere wool, Pashmina shawls are incredibly rich and soft, made through a painstaking process done entirely by hand. From combing and spinning, to weaving and finishing, the entire process to make one shawl takes dozens of hours. Available in beautiful colours and coupled with exquisite embroidery, this handicraft is a must buy when you’re in Kashmir. 

Artisans in Agra doing marble inlay work on marble
Artisans in Agra doing marble inlay work on marble Kelly R Richardson/Shutterstock

Parchinkari craftwork

Parchin Kari is the art of inlaying colored or semi-precious stones into a stone base, often in geometric or flower patterns. In the walls of Taj Mahal, the semi-precious stones glisten against the white surface of the marble, inspiring a generation of craftsmen that continue to practice the art in the bylanes of Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. From the elaborate and intricate pillars of Mughal architecture, Parchinkari today has found its way into our homes in the form of table tops, coasters, chess boards and cabinets.    

Pochampally's tie and dye method
Pochampally’s tie and dye method Shutterstock

Ikat sarees

Fans of Ikkat, this is where you need to be. Telangana’s Pochampally village is home to some of India’s oldest handloom centres in India, which churn out gorgeous Ikat sarees with intricate designs. A Malaysian-Indonesian word, Ikat means ‘tie and dye’, and involves the process of wrapping (or tying) and dyeing sections of yarn before they are woven into fabric. Pochampally was also selected as one of the best tourism villages in the world by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation.

Madhubani paintings

A folk art that has brought accolades to the state of Bihar, Madhubani art is also called Mithila art and is one of the oldest art forms prevalent in India. A signature of the art form is the use of geometric patterns and bright colours, often painted with handsThis folk art of Bihar is also referred to as Mithila art and is one of the oldest and most famous Indian art forms. Madhubani paintings are one of the most famous traditional crafts of India. They are usually painted with fingers, twigs or matchsticks (now pen nibs) and often have geometric patterns and bright colours. These colours are made from natural extracts from plants and other natural sources. 

Blue pottery cups for sale in Jaipur
Blue pottery cups for sale in Jaipur Shutterstock

Blue Pottery

While its origins are from a Turkish-Persian style, Jaipur’s blue pottery has continued to entice travellers who always manage to grab a couple of trinkets on their trips. Made using Egyptian paste and dough that is made using quartz stone powder, multani mitti and a few other ingredients. Blue pottery derives its unique colour from cobalt blue dye that is also the reason for its name. 

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