We say that we are proud of our rich culture of arts and crafts. But do we really care about the facts of Indian Handicrafts ; do we value the scrupulous efforts and the contributions of our artists? The product that we buy is their hard work and dedication for keeping the authentic taste and the new trends and designs in mind. Well, after reading these interesting facts about Indian Handicrafts you will know exactly why Indian Handicrafts are renowned and valued worldwide.
1.Kancheepuram Saree– Chennai
The famous Silk saris also known as Kancheepuram Saree of Chennai in Tamil Nadu, has legends that state that the weavers of Kancheepuram are the descendent of the sage Markanda known as the Master Weaver of Gods. It is said that silk fabric was the most loved fabric of Lord Vishnu and this is the main reason that there are number of hand-looms around Lord Vishnu’s temple in Chennai and the weaving traditions are quite unique. Every Kancheepuram saree is made from one of the world’s best and superior quality silk. Hand woven from the pure mulberry silk, it takes one week time to complete one saree. After carefully extracting silk yarn it is dyed with vibrant and rich color and weaved with Zari. The silk used in making the saree is one that is not cut or broken. The Zari used is made using pure gold or silver. One Kancheepuram Silk Saree can fetch up to Rs 1, 00,000.
World’s most expensive Kancheepuram Silk Saree “Vivah Pattu” stated in Guinness Book World Records was sold for Rs 39,31,627 ($100,021; £50,679), on 5th January 2008 made by Chennai Silks, India and it features reproductions of 11 paintings by the celebrated Indian artist Raja Ravi Varma. It took a total of 4760 man-hours to produce the sari. The sari was produced using 7,440 jacquard hooks used for interlacing design and 66,700 cards used for punching design with the help of CAD software.
“The sari is very much wearable. The weight is not a concern because once the sari is draped; one can hardly feel the weight. The saree was made on a request from a Kuwait-based businessman, (anonymous).
“The silk sari is made up of Navratna stones like diamond, emerald, ruby, yellow sapphire, sapphire, topaz, pearl, cat’s eye and coral. It also has embroidered in metals such as gold, platinum and silver,”
List of ingredients:
- Gold 59 gms 700 milli grams
- Diamond 3 carats 913 cents
- Platinum 120 milli grams
- Silver – 5grams
- Ruby 2 carat 985 cent
- Emerald 55 cent
- Yellow sapphire – 3 cent
- Sapphire – 5 carat
- Cat eye-14 cent
- Topaz -10 cent
- Pearl-2 gms
- Coral-400 milligrams.
You can buy best Kancheepuram Saree from the silk emporiums in Tamil Nadu.
- Place to Buy: Chennai Silks- Tamil Nadu
- Price: Rs 6500 onwards.
- This is the most expensive Kancheepuram Silk Saree.
2.Pashmina Shawls – Kashmir
Pashmina Shawls are world famous; everyone has heard about the Pashmina wool, it is the purest form of wool naturally available. This wool is acquired from the underbelly of Carpa Hircus goats that are only found in Himalayan territories. The fact behind pure Pashmina products being so expensive is the process of making it.
- It takes 4 years for a Capra – Hircus sheep to grow up so it can give enough hair to weave a Pashmina Shawl.
- The Pashmina wool absorbs more water than ordinary wool.
- The diameter of a human hair is about 75microns, and the diameter of Pashmina is less then 19microns, Pashmina is 8 times warmer than ordinary wool.
- It is said that the pure Pashmina shawl can pass through a ring and this is the easiest way of identifying an original Pashmina.
Pashmina artisan weaving Pashmina Wool for making a Shawl.
- Place to Buy: Kashmir.
- Price: Rs.1000 onwards.
- Pashmina artisan weaving Pashmina Wool for making a Shawl.
3.Meenakari Artwork– Lucknow
Meenakari is the art of colouring and ornamenting the surface of metal by fusing beautiful colours over the handcrafted designs and decorating the products. Meena refers to the deep blue colour of the heaven and Kari means handcrafting. The Meenakari Artwork was invented by Iranian Craftsmen and later Mongols spread it across India. This art work then flourished in Jaipur and Udaipur from Rajasthan. Gold has been used traditionally for Meenakari Jewellery as it holds the enamel better, lasts longer and its lustre brings out the colours of the enamels. This art is just not confined to jewellery but also exists in decor products like bowls, sculptures, jewellery boxes, idols, chairs and dining sets, trays, cupboards, key chains etc. Initially it was only done on gold but now it is also done on silver and copper. Gold is basically used for jewellery, silver for bowls, spoons, decorative thals etc. and copper is used for handicrafts like sculptures and idols.
Handcrafted elephant figurine with Meenakari Artwork for home decor
- Place to buy: Palace Road and Bada Bazaar – Udaipur.
- Price: Rs 500 onwards
- Meenakari Home Decor Products Available online. CLICK HERE
4.Tanjore/ Thanjavur Painting– South India
The famous Thanjavur Paintings of South India was believed to have Hindu Gods as a theme of painting, but it does not only depicts Hinduism, but also have Jainism, Islam, Christianity as a theme. Also the paintings of the Royal Kings are depicted on Tanjore Paintings. Numerous steps are involved in the making of a Tanjore Painting; the first involves drawing of the preliminary sketch of the image on the base. The base is made up of a cloth, which is pasted over a wooden base. The second step consists of mixing chalk powder or zinc oxide with water-soluble adhesive and applying it on the base. Thereafter, the drawing is made and ornamented with cut glass, pearls and even semi-precious stones. Laces or threads may also be used to decorate the painting. To further augment the effect, wafer thin sheets of gold are pasted on some parts of the painting, while the other parts are painted in bright colours.
- Place to Buy: South Keezha Veedhi- Thanjavur
- Price: Rs 4000 onwards.
- Tanjore Painting Available online. CLICK HERE
5. Blue Pottery -Jaipur
The famous Blue Pottery Art was introduced by Mughals to India in 17th century and in 1950 in Jaipur and the products were only made for the Royal Families, later in 1960 Princess Gayatri Devi and Kripal Singh Shekhawat announced to sell blue pottery as part of local business. Blue Pottery is an art of using blue dye to fill colours in the pottery products. Natural materials like clay, fuller earth (multani mitti), rock salt, glass and gum and water is used for making blue pottery products. 80% Quarts and 10% to 5% of these natural materials is used. Every design on the product is drawn free handedly and is hand painted. Once it is coloured using blue dye and other colours it is then baked in the oven. Blue pottery has wide range of products that can be used in decor.
Hand-painted Blue Pottery Plates
- Place to buy: Jaipur Blue Pottery Art Centre.
- Price: Rs 200 onwards.
- Click here to buy blue pottery decor online.
6. Pattachitra Painting– Odisha
“Pattachitra” the name itself says a lot about it. ‘Patta’ means cloth and ‘Chitra’ means painting. Pattachitra is art of painting on a cloth or canvas. Pattachitra is famous art form of depicting paintings of Lord Jagganath and the stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana on cloth. Pattachitra is not just limited to mythical stories but are now used as a form of spreading awareness about fight against cancer, Aids etc and social messages like child labour, dowry and child marriages are depicted through these paintings. Also this amazing art is made using all the naturally available products.
- Place to Buy: Sun Crafts-Puri(Odisha)
- Price: Rs 1000 onwards.
7. Kalamkari Art Saree – Andhra Pradesh
Kalamkari Sarees are undergone a long process of making. In the first step the cloth is stiffen by seeping it in astringents and buffalo milk and then drying it under the sun. Afterwards, the red, black, brown, and violet portions of the designs are outlined with a mordant and cloth is then placed in a bath of alizarin (Chemical used for dying textile in red). The next step is to cover the cloth in wax, except for the parts to be dyed blue, and immerse the cloth in indigo dye. The wax is then scraped off and remaining areas are painted by hands. At the end what we get is beautiful hand-painted Kalamkari Sarees with prints of Ramayana, Buddha and Buddhist art forms, which are 100% natural.
- Place to Buy: Kalamkari Saree Store- Andhra Pradesh
- Price: Rs.1500 onwards.
8. Warli art – Maharashtra
Warli art was introduced years back in 2500 or 3000 BCE. Their mural paintings are similar to those done between 500 and 10,000 BCE in the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, in Madhya Pradesh, this shows that warli art is eons old. Warli art depicts the lifestyle and events of the warli tribes drawn on the walls of caves and huts. This beautiful warli art is still used as a theme for printing designs of products like Mugs, Bed sheets, Wall Paintings, Garment prints and Accessories, which does not only give a classy look to it but also reminds us the culture of the Adivasi tribes which is somewhere left behind.
- Place to buy: Colaba Market-Mumbai
- Price: Rs.500 onwards.
9. Dhokra Art – Chhattisgarh
Dhokra art form is the earliest one found 4000-5000 years back and the tribes making this art is the Dhokra tribe of Chhattisgarh. It takes 6-8 months for completing Dhokra product and this is the reason why the artisans do not take orders in bulk. Also known as Lost Wax art, Dhokra products are made using all naturally available products like hill clay, river bed clay, black clay, cow dung, bee wax and brass. Dhokra art products have no joints and are made in a single form; this is why there are no similar dimensions, shape and design of all products. The ‘dancing girl’ of Mohenjo-Daro is the oldest form of Dhokra artifact found in the hub of Indus Valley Civilization in 6000 BCE.
- Place to buy: Art emporium – Chhattisgarh
- Price: Rs 400 onwards.
- Click here for Dhokra Products
10. Block Printing – Rajasthan
Block Printing is eons old tradition of printing on textile using wooden blocks. The designs are carved on a single wooden block. The ink used for block printing is the vegetable colour. One block can have only one colour. This art of traditional block printing is done by the Chippa community of Rajasthan since the last three centuries. Block printing is done on a large scale in Sanganer in Rajasthan. Sanganeri block printed bed sheets, cushion covers, and garments are famous worldwide.
- Place to buy: Udaipur, Jaipur and Sanganer.
- Price: Rs 650 onwards.
Shop the best block print here.