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Handicraft home décor products are abundant in a craft rich country like India. Here are 10 beautiful home décor ideas hand-picked for you.
Have you ever gone shopping for handicraft home decor products across India? OK, I do not mean literally across the country, but say, to fairs, like Dastkar, Sampoorn Santhe or other exhibitions that showcase products from different parts of our country?
I love the annual exhibitions held in my city and try to make it to one or two of them in the hope that every year I will discover some new treasures. If you haven’t been to any, then do check out the next exhibition coming up in your city (and keep an eye out when you travel too!)
Here are ten of the lovely and unique handicraft home décor products made in different parts of India.
Clay pottery is supposed to be one of the most ancient forms of handicrafts in India. There are multiple types of clay pottery – terracotta, red, black and grey pottery. Uttar Pradesh and the Northeast are known for their painted black wares.
Besides this, Krishnanagar in West Bengal, Bikaner, Lucknow, Pune and Himachal Pradesh also make home decor products made of clay. You can choose from lovely terracotta planters or clay serving utensils.
Brass provides a durable and sturdy decor option. There are so many brass handicrafts and show pieces made, like vases, table tops, wall art, lamps, ornament boxes, plates, bowls and figurines. A lot of brass products are used for gifting purposes during the festive season.
The manufacturing of brass ware is mainly done in Rajasthan. True brass tends to oxidize quickly when exposed to air and hence check that the brass product you are buying has been given a clear coating of lacquer. Any brass product will have to be regularly polished to keep the shine intact and remove any tarnishing.
Dhokra is one of the oldest forms of handicraft. This tribal handicraft originated in Madhya Pradesh. The other states where Dhokra handicrafts are made are West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.
Dhokra jewellery, candle stands, pen stands, ash trays, horses, elephants, peacocks, owls, religious images, measuring bowls and other show pieces are available at most of the art and craft fairs across the country. Dhokra cast metal and ironware has a rugged vibrancy about it. It looks beautiful in any corner of your home.
This is a simple looking art but involves tedious folds and a lot of hard work. Bright colored papers are combined together to form varied items like kites, masks, decorative flowers, lamp shades, puppets, hand-fans etc.
Papier Mache is another form of paper handicraft in India. This craft industry is mainly located in Delhi, Rajghir, Patna, Gaya, Awadh, Ahmedabad, and Allahabad. My favourite paper craft is paper lanterns made out of recycled paper. Light, easy to put up and colourful, these decor elements look wonderful in any house.
Another beautiful and very intricate paper art is called Sanjhi – the art of hand cutting designs on paper. It is art typical of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh though it is also practiced in Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. Traditionally, motifs from the Krishna stories are created in stencil and used to decorate spaces during festive seasons, or are used for filling in with colors in water and on the floors of temples. They can be framed and put up as wall art or can be used to embellish furniture or floors or walls in the house.
Jute is one of the most affordable natural fibers. There is a huge range of jute products which includes bags, rugs, lamps, tables, office stationeries, jewellery, footwear, wall-hangings and many more. West Bengal, Assam and Bihar, being the leading jute producers, lead the jute handicrafts market in India. Jute products are eco friendly and offer a natural, green way to do up the house.
Shells make for beautiful handicrafts. Shell art is the art of making decorative objects using just shells or shells and rocks. Shell Handicrafts can be made out of three types of shells – conch shell, tortoise shell and sea shell.
The products that can be made out of shells are – bangles, forks, decorative bowls, lockets, spoons, buttons, curtains, table mats etc. Goa, Orissa and other coastal areas are the places where shell handicrafts are made and sold in abundance.
Wood craft was prevalent in India even before stone sculpture came into existence. Gujarat, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh are known for their unique form of woodwork.
Axes, toys, utensils, decorative pieces, jewellery and many more designer household goods like lamp shades, candle stands, vermillion boxes, jewellery boxes, bangle holders etc. are some of the common wood crafts used in almost every Indian house. Carved wood furniture is a treasured furniture item in a lot of homes.
Shisha or mirror work embroidery involves attaching small pieces of mirror to fabric, wood or metal. A variety of home decor products are made using this craft, such as cushion covers, bed spreads, wall art, pen stands, trays etc. Mirror work products make for bright and warm products. In parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, torans or door hangings made using shisha work are supposed to ward off bad luck or evil eyes.
Kalamkari is a traditional art predominantly from Andhra Pradesh. It is the art of hand painting or block printing on cotton textiles. There are two styles of Kalamkari art – one where a kalam or pen is used for free hand drawing of the subject and filling in of colours – this one is completely hand worked. The other used block printing along with hand painting for decorative floral designs.
Kalamkari uses natural dyes and involves a lot of painstaking processes. The fabric is then used to make multiple products like coasters, picture frames, journals, file covers, wall art frames etc.
The practice of hand and mirror embroidery, originating and mostly practiced in Punjab, is known as the phulkari. It literally means flower working. The main characteristics of Phulkari embroidery are use of darn stitch on the wrong side of coarse cotton cloth with coloured silken thread.
Phulkari art done on dupattas and scarfs were worn by women all over Punjab during marriage festivals and other joyous occasions. Slowly the art was also done on home decor products like cushion covers, bed spreads, table mats and wall art.
Picture credits: Pottery making, Brass handicrafts, Paper lanterns, Jute work, Shell work (Used under a Creative Commons license); Phulkari work courtesy Wikimedia Commons; all others credited to Simran Dhaliwal
Simran Dhaliwal is an engineer, a wannabe traveler and a newbie runner. She has worked
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