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Handicrafts Introduction

Handicrafts are unique expressions and represent a culture, tradition and heritage of a country. The Handicraft Industry is one of the important productive sector. Various attempts have been made to define this broad and diversified industry. The following definition strives to cover diversity and complexity of Handicraft Industry.

Defining Handicrafts:

Definition According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization/Information Technology Community (UNESCO/ITC) International Symposiumon “Crafts and the International Market: Trade and Customs Codification”, Manila, Philippines, October 1997:

Handicrafts can be defined as products which are produced either completely by hand or with the help of tools. Mechanical tools may be used as long as the direct manual contribution of the artisan remains the most substantial component of the finished product. Handicrafts are made from raw materials and can be produced in unlimited numbers. Such products can be utilitarian, aesthetic, artistic, creative, culturally attached, decorative, functional, traditional, religiously and socially symbolic and significant.

Definition according to Govt. of India:

Handicraft can be defined, which is made by hand; should have some artistic value; they may or may not have functional utility.

The Importance of Handicrafts:

The Cultural Importance:

Handicrafts play very important role in representing the culture and traditions of any country or region. Handicrafts are a substantial medium to preserve of rich traditional art, heritage and culture, traditional skills and talents which are associated with people’s lifestyle and history.

The Economic Importance:

Handicrafts are hugely important in terms of economic development. They provide ample opportunities for employment even with low capital investments and become a prominent medium for foreign earnings.

Handicrafts:An Overview

India is a country of rich culture, history and traditions. India is one of the major producer and supplier of Handicrafts products in the world. India has been major producer and supplier of handicrafts products since very long time. Before the industrial development, this art and industry was a potential economic advantage for the country.

During recent years, the importance of handicrafts has been surged due to their cultural and financial values. The small scale industries - including handicrafts can play a major role in the development of the economy of both developed and the developing countries equally. The 90-95% of the total industrial products of the world are produced in small workshops run by less than 100 people. For instance, Japan, which is at the peak of the economic development, has considered 84% of the its industries as small and medium scale industries. In countries such as India and China, handicrafts are as high as the mechanized products in quality and volume, and are a major source of their foreign earnings. These countries are focusing on the development of handicraft industry, in order to strengthen the economy.

The Indian handicrafts industry is highly labor intensive, cottage based and decentralized industry. The industry is spread all over the country mainly in rural and urban areas. Most of the manufacturing units are located in rural and small towns, and there is huge market potential in all Indian cities and abroad. Handicraft industry is a major source of income for rural communities employing over six million artisans including a large number of women and people belonging to the weaker sections of the society.

The Handicraft sector is highly creative sector and produces large variety of crafts products. This industry is localized segment of the domestic and international market. In India the production of craft products are done on both large and small scale. Because of low capital investment people can start their business on small scale. Through this flexibility the demand and supply can be managed.

The Handicraft industry is a major source of income for rural communities and provides ample employment opportunities to over 63.81 lakh artisans, which include a large number of women and people belonging to the weaker sections of the society.

Though Indian Handicraft industry is considered a cottage industry, but it has evolved as one of the major revenue generator over the years. There has been consistent growth of 20% over few years and the industry has evolved as one of the major contributor for export and foreign revenue generation.

The exports of Handicraft Goods during 2005-06 were Rs. 15,616 crores and upto the January 2007 it was Rs. 16,117.38 crores. For the growth and development of the sector Indian Govt. has launched following schemes:

Baba Sahab Ambedkar Hastshilp Yojna

Design and Technical Upgradation Scheme

Marketing & Support Services Scheme

Export Promotion Scheme

Bima Yojna for Handicraft Artisans

Credit Guarantee Scheme

Gandhi Shilp Bazaar Scheme

There is huge demand of Indian Handicrafts Products in domestic & international market. It is estimated that Handicraft Industry in India would grow with rapid rate in future and contributes its share towards economic development

Though Indian Handicraft industry is considered a cottage industry, but it has evolved as one of the major revenue generator over the years. There has been consistent growth of 15% over few years and the industry has evolved as one of the major contributor for export and foreign revenue generation.

There is huge demand for the Indian Handicraft products in both national and international market. To match the demand and supply with quality, there is need to have greater technological support and innovativeness with the uniqueness in industry.

India Handicraft Industry

The concept of Indian Handicrafts has emerged from one of the oldest civilizations called the Harrappan Civilization and the Indus Valley Civilization. The exclusive items carved by the India Handicraft Industry comprise of vast cultural and ethnic diversity that has imbibed an array of unique themes, techniques, and crafts. India Handicraft Industry has been globally popularized as the rich and cultural heritage of India for its unique appeal. Handicrafts of India use brass, metal, wood, stone, and beads to carve its products ranging from masterpieces to plain household items.

Paintings, furniture, sculptures, artificial jewelry, animal figures, figurines of deities and idols, baskets, and many more items have been complimented as the pride of India.

Besides, trading in the local markets, Indian handicrafts are also exported across the globe. Each work of art reflects the adroitness and emotions of the craftsmen which have made the work more close to heart apart from being an exclusive show piece.

To know more about various types of India Handicraft Industry please browse the following links:

India Spinning Industry

India Weaving Industry

India Pottery Industry

India Metalworks Industry

India Woodwork Industry


India Spinning Industry

India Spinning Industry has gone from strength to strength since a very long time now as it was the hub of cotton manufacturing. Cotton is not only consumed to the highest extent in India but it has also become one of the most profitable textiles in the export industry.

Spinning in India can be classified into 2 categories: medium and long staple. But there was a shortfall in the ‘extra-long’ category that continued for many years. There was a massive downfall in the cotton spinning in India during 2004-2005. The production rate of cotton was about 4 lakh bales that was less by 5 lakh bales from the required rate which was 9 lakh bales. Mr. P. D. Patodia, the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Cotton, CITI-CDRA said that the manufacturing of cotton will rise to 11-12 lakh bales in 2010.

The present downfall in the cotton production has witnessed a 50% increase in the price of Indian varieties of ELS, which is detrimental for the spinning industry in India. Spinning mills require domestic accessibility of ELS cotton in increased quantity and of better fiber qualities.

To survive this downfall in the cotton trade which is a highly profitable textile in the India Spinning Industry, CITI-CDRA is conducting a conference with various research organizations such as CICR (Nagpur), JNKVV (Khandwa), UAS (Dharwad), and Regional Textile Mills' Association in R&D activities. It conducted a discussion pertaining to the development of new varieties of seeds and adopting the advanced procedure of cultivation which will add to the profit in the cotton textile sector of the spinning industry. The most important and efficient step towards the resurgence of cotton manufacturing would be to develop the ELS varieties with lesser duration crops and yield to cost-effectiveness and consistency in cultivation. This will not only motivate the farmers but will also make them stick to the desired sector of cotton crop.

The yarn spinning industry covers almost 25 percent of the total industrial production of one of the world's 10 largest economies. Trends are reviewed every year in accordance with the need and fashion. An elaborate and detailed assessment is made on various sectors of the yarn spinning such as, production, consumption, and materials. The legislative and the political consequences are also reviewed at the same time. In addition to it, other areas that are being reviewed in the yarn spinning sector are exports, imports, prices, advertising, and sales promotion patterns.

Some of the popular companies engaged in the India Spinning Industry are listed below:

Bhilwara Spinners Ltd. (LNG Group) – polyester, viscose, wool-blended fabrics and high-end products like lycra and linen. BSL Suitings and Mayur Suitings are the two brands under Bhilwara Spinners Ltd.

Nitin Spinners Ltd. - manufactures single and multi-fold yarns in the range from Ne 4 to Ne 40 appropriate for various applications such as Knitted Fabrics, Woven Fabrics, Terry Towels, Denims, Furnishing Fabrics, carpets and other Industrial Fabrics.

Sangam (India) Ltd. (Sangam Group of Companies) – Largest producer of dyed yarn in India with a capacity of 64032 spindles in one location.

Ajay Group of Industries – Manufacturer and seller of polyester viscose, polyester woolen and uniform fabrics.

The Spinning Industry in India is on set to hit the global market with other fabrics as well like the cotton textiles with its enthusiasm and consistency in work. It has already reached

a phenomenal status in India by beating the obstacles that caused a downfall since past few years and is now on its way to cover a wider area in the spinning sector.

India Weaving Industry

India Weaving Industry is one of the most significant industries in Indian economy. In 2004, the Textile government officials conducted a program for the advancement of the suburbanized powerloom sector.

One of the steps taken for it is the alteration of the main instrument called TUFS used in the weaving sector of India. The second hand machines used for weaving are likely to be replaced with more modernized ones. This will enable the beneficiary to have its take on the 12 percent subsidy in combination with the credit. This modification is implemented by the Powerloom Service Centers that are being modernized to facilitate this alteration. A group of 16 leading powerloom clusters have been given the responsibility to work together for the modernization of Indian powerloom sector. Besides, the center had also decided upon the setting up of hi- tech weaving mills and unified textile mills in India for the small scale weavers.

Weaving is an ancient handicraft and has several categories, some of which are as follows:

Silk weaving

Cotton fabric weaving

Wool weaving

Shawl weaving

Carpet weaving

Weaving in India has been setting the trend for the past hundreds of years. Before it was hand weaving and now various machineries have been implemented for a quicker and more advanced production of textiles. The North-eastern part of India is famous for weaving of baskets and mats. These are designed in various styles. Border weaving in baskets is a specialized style which is again classifies under three commonly used styles, namely, tree strand warp border, simple wrapped border and fastened twine. Functional baskets are also weaved largely in the Southern part of India. 'Kohari' basket is one such example which is weaved to provide the facility of water drainage while washing rice or fish in the basket.

Manipur, a state in India weaves all kinds of baskets. Bengal also weaves a wide variety of baskets in different styles. Mat weaving is also popularly practiced in Bengal. Mat weaving a popular Indian handicraft in Pondicherry, a state in India. Mat weaving follows several designs such as horizontal and vertical stripes and also floral ones. Sugar cane and bamboo are used as materials for weaving of mats. The traditional weaving art is still followed by many states in India such as Himachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.

Shawl weaving is one of the most eminent handicrafts that is enormously practiced in India Weaving Industry and are not only sold all over India but also exported across the globe. Few variations in shawl weaving are as follows:

Kashmiri Shawls




Kullu Shawls


Carpet weaving industry is one of the most leading export oriented handicraft industry in India. There is a great demand for the expensive silk carpets from Kashmir in the traditional households in India. Woolen and non-woolen carpets are also highly adored in various homes in India.

These are some of the popular weaving mills in India:

Gurupal Silk Mills

Naik Weaving Mill

Nilesh Silk Mills

Potabatti Weaving Mill

Rajasthan Spinning and Weaving Mills Ltd.

Sanjay Weaving Mills

Santigo Textile Mills

Someshwar Industries

India Weaving Industry is expected to do better with the setting up of automatic air-jet or water-jet looms which are of vintage kind and have a life span of 10 to 15 years. A series of progressive actions also are to be implemented for the betterment of the weaving pattern in India soon.

Indian Pottery Industry

Indian Pottery Industry has its origins in the earliest era of civilization. Tradition of pottery in India is an age-old handicraft which was claimed to be the expression of human emotions at the beginning.

Indian Pottery Industry speaks volumes about the culture, traditions, architecture, and in-built talent of Indian artisans who have manufactured innumerable pottery pieces across the length and breath of the country. This is one of the most sensual arts in the Indian handicraft industry.

Indian Pottery Industry came into existence with the Indus Valley Civilization and the artwork has been continuing in various areas such as pottery, earthenware, and porcelain for ages. Pottery and earthenware are utilitarian and also decorative while porcelain and studio pottery belong to the sphere of art. Pottery making are both handmade and wheel-made that is practiced all over India. Ever since the Harappan Civilization, pottery making in India has been a significant craft and the potters were always esteemed at that time. They were the best masters of their trade. Seals and grains and water are always supplied in lumps so as to facilitate the efficient use of it while making pottery.

Potteries in India are called as the 'lyric of handicrafts' because of its lyrical and universal charm. It is an amalgamation of concept, design and execution. The making of Brahma is one of the most esteemed legends in Indian Pottery Industry.

The potteries are of various kinds which are listed below:

The common earthenware

Kullar (cup-like container)

Lamps for Diwali

Toys for Dussehera

Pots for seedling at Sankranti

ainted pots for marriages

Karigari Pottery


Flower vases

Tea sets

Paper weights

Decorative animal figures

Blue Pottery is one of the most famous of its kinds in the Indian Pottery Industry. Delhi is famous for Blue Pottery in India. Such a distinctive name is entitled to the pottery so as to highlight its eye-catching outlook and differentiate it from other potteries. The specialty in Blue Pottery is that, a Persian blue dye is used to color the clay from which the potteries are made. This is the exclusive attribute of Blue Potteries it is also equally famous in Jaipur, a state in India. Some of these potteries are transparent and are adorned with animal and bird themes. The Jaipur Blue Potteries are made of Egyptian paste and are kept at a very low temperature after it is made.

Religion has also made its presence in the Indian Pottery Industry with the making potteries of various deities and idols of worship. These are categorized under 3 heads:

Figurines of Divinities

Ceremonial Pottery

Votive Offerings

Today, in the villages of India, around 15 lakhs of potters are trading their talent and about 95% of them are involved in traditional red or local clay pottery work. With this innovativeness and hard work combined with enthusiasm, Indian Pottery Industry will keep on ruling not only its own country but also the globe. Indian Metalworks Industry

Metal work is an age-old tradition in India. Indian Metalworks Industry has been reigning successfully since last 5000 years from now. The beautiful image of the dancing girl from Mohanjodaro is one of the most outstanding works of the Indian Metalworks Industry.

Metal works in India had used a wide array of metals, such as, iron, copper, silver, and alloys like bronze, bell metal, white metal, and etc to manufacture items like pots, pan, utensils, photo frames, figurines of deities, mythological characters and animals.

Indian Metalworks Industry has reached the level of excellence in craftsmanship with its exclusive works. One of such example is the iron pillar at Mehrauli (Delhi) which belongs to the Mauryan. The craftsmen during Chola period mastered at bronze sculptures.

Traditional vessels of iron and brass are the specialty of Ladakh in Kashmir. Kashmir is also well-known for other metal works, especially the richly graven traditional household items such as, bowls, samovars, plates and trays. In 'Naqasi', epicurean floral and calligraphic designs are embossed on copper and silver pieces. Figurines of deities and household utensils are some popular metal works in Banaras.

< A nomadic tribe called Godiya Lohar in Rajasthan crafts iron utensils for regular use and those who mastered in craftsmanship makes idols, lamps, and curios. Jaipur prides its craftsmanship in brass engraving and lacquering. Items carved out of these metals are photo frames, bowls, plates, boxes, and etc. The art of Koftagari or damascening work is is practiced at Alwar. Other states that bears fame for beautiful and ethnic metal works are Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Tamil Nadu.

Indian Metalworks Industry is growing at leaps and bounds in the steel manufacturing with an installation capacity of 36.12 million tonnes. Ore miners is one of the most well-established sector in this industry. Few companies that are engaged in iron mining are National Mineral Development Corporation, Kudremukh Iron Ore Co., and Essel Mining & Industries Ltd. India is also quite well-known for manufacturing coal based sponge iron. It has occupied 15 percent of the global output and Jindal Steel & Power Ltd. is the largest producer of the same in India with an installation capacity of 650,000 TPA.

Flat metal products are highly manufactured by SAIL, Tata Steel, Ispat Industries, Jindal Group of Industries, and Uttam Steel and Bhushan Steel.

Indian Metalworks Industry has acquired a commendable status not only in India but also in foreign states by selling its unique products in the local as well as in the global market. India Woodwork Industry

India Woodwork Industry is one of the fastest growing industries in India's economy. India possesses around 100,000 registered woodware units and more than 200,000 artisans along with countless other woodworking related units in the sector. Wood has always been a major part of Indian handicrafts and various beautiful things are crafted out of it. India takes pride in manufacturing exquisite and handsome wooden handicrafts in diverse motifs.

The wooden handicraft of India is draped with a vast cultural and ethnic diversity which is applied to a range of themes, techniques and crafts. These wooden handicrafts are unique in their own style and are claimed to be an absolute personification of the Indian heritage. India Woodwork Industry has not only specialized in serving architectural purpose but also manufactures furniture both in traditional as well as ultramodern style.

In the rural areas of India, furniture and other household utensils are carved out of wood in different shapes and styles. These simple objects are so uniquely blend that they in no way look like daily use stuffs. Animal figures are also an excellent example of India's ethnic woodwork. These wide ranging exclusive styles adopted by the India woodwork industry to carve out various stupefying objects are prepared in different parts of India. Some of the most well-known states of India involved in woodwork are as follows:

Gujarat - Famous for woodwork in carved chests, almirahs, and wooden swings. The wooden swings vary from plain Hewn wood to lavishly embellished ones. There is also a tradition of embedding indigenously made gold, silver, and bronze hues on wood in a place called Sankheda village in Gujarat. Surat, another place in Gujarat, is well-known for its marquetry-work which is called as 'Sadeli' by local people.

Kashmir- Famous for its exclusive Kashmir houseboat made out of a specially mollified wood that does not soak in water. Also, the houses in Kashmir are made of wood with latticework windows and geometrically patterned ceilings. Hoshiarpur (Punjab) - Gained immense popularity for carving inlaying ivory which is now replaced with plastic to cut down on the cost. Wooden furniture, trays, and mirror frames are usually crafted using intricate designs that were claimed to be the royal patronage ages back.

Saharanpur (U.P) - The leading place for commercial purposes. Sheesham and Teak are the chief woods used for manufacturing traditional as well as contemporary designed products-screens, cigarette boxes, tables, trivets, bookends, and so on. Of late, Saharanpur is dealing with wood seasoning only.

Kerala - Specializes in arena handicrafts that along with representing their customs and beliefs also portray their spiritual values and emotions.

Other areas - West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh are also engaged in carving out various uniquely designed items out of wood.

India Woodwork Industry uses various kinds of woods, for example, Walnut, Sandalwood, Teak, Sheesham, Deodar, Ebony, Redwood, Rosewood, Red, Cedar, Sal, and many more. Recently, embedding of brass wires (Tarkashi) has gained lot of attention worldwide. India has set up over 3,000 woodworking units and the number is increasing with the passage of time.

Handicraft Exports

Handicraft Industry has evolved as one of the major contributors for Export and foreign


Exports of handicrafts including hand knitted carpets during 2005-06 were Rs.13412.92 Crore.

Export items- Art Metal wares, Wood wares, Hand printed textiles, Embroidered and Crocheted goods, Shawls as art wares, Zari goods, Imitation jewelry, Carpets, Leather products, Jute products, Paintings, Bamboo products, Earthen ware, Marble Sculpture, Bronze Sculpture etc.

India's major export markets are USA, Germany, UK, France and Japan, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Italy etc.

(Rs. in Crores)

US $ Million

export markets are USA, Germany, UK, France and Japan, Saudi Arabia, Canada, and Italy etc. (Rs.

Handicrafts Policies

Indian Handicraft Industry contributes very important role in Indian economy. For the proper functioning and operation of industry it is very essential to have some policies and regulation in place. In India, the Ministry Of Textile is responsible for the formulation of policy, planning, development, export promotion and regulation of the Handicraft Industry. There are several other bodies and organizations which help to formulate and execute these policies. All policies should be implemented for the greater development of the whole industry so that it can help to strengthen the economy.

Industrial Policy:

There are no restrictions regarding location for establishing manufacturing units.

All producers of handicrafts are exempt from obtaining Industrial License to manufacture. The delicenced undertakings, however, are required to file an Industrial Entrepreneur Memoranda (IEM) in Part 'A' with the Secretariat of Industrial Assistance (SIA), and obtain an acknowledgment. No further approval is required.

Trade Policy:

Handicraft products fall under the ITC (HS) code 97.

Paintings, drawings and paintings, domestic articles of wood etc. which come under


Original engravings falling under 9702

Original sculptures categorized under 9703

Products under the code 9704 are freely importable.

Imports of items in 9705 are restricted.

Characteristics of Indian Handicrafts for exports; as defined by Govt. of India are:

They are quota free and neutral to fiber content or composition, barring 100% silk.

They include Garments, Made-up and clothing accessories.

Are produced in cottage industries.

Should not have zippers.

Must be ornamented using any one or more of the following Indian folk styles.

Hand painting, Hand printing, Batik, Tie and Dye, Kalamkari.

Hand embroidery, Crocheting.

Appliqué work of sequins, wooden or glass beads, shells, mirror, ornamental motifs of textiles materials.

Extra wrap of welt ornamentation of silk, art silk or zari threads.

Should conform to shape and styles of each item as defined in the agreed list of different countries.

Should satisfy the dimensional aspects.

Tariff-non-tariff Policy:

Except for 9704, all the items under 97 attract a total import duty of 35.2 per cent. This includes a basic duty of 35 per cent and a special additional duty of four per cent. Items under 9704 do not attract any import duty.

Export prospects of handicrafts from India

handicrafts sector occupies animportant place in the Indian economy as it contributes significantly to employment generation and export earnings. The economic importance of the sector also lies in its high employment potential, low capital investment, high value addition and continuously increasing demand both in the domestic and overseas markets. The sector provides employment to more than 60 lakh craft persons mostly from rural areas. industry is highly labour intensive and decentralized, being spread all over the country in rural and urban areas. Details of concentration of major handicrafts at different places in India appear at Annexure I. The Office of Development \Commissioner (Handicrafts) under the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India is the nodal Government Department at the national level for the development of handicraft sector in the country. Through its various agencies like Export Promotion Councils for Handicrafts, State Handicrafts Development Corporations, Apex Societies and (17.28%), UK (13.69%), Japan (7.85%), and Sweden (4.38%). On the other hand, the countries showing a significant growth during the period included: Korea Republic (54.74%), Canada (37.34%), France (25.41%), and Netherlands (25.03%)., it has been supplementing the efforts of the state governments by implementing various developmental schemes of the Government of India. The handicrafts sector has been identified by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, as a thrust area for export promotion. The Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) functioning under the aegis of Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) and governed by the policies of the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, since its inception in 1986, has been playing an important role to promote exports of Indian handicrafts. To boost exports of handicrafts, the Council undertakes various activities like participation in national and international trade fairs, arranging buyer-seller meets, organizing workshops, seminars and training programmes. The various handicrafts promoted by the Council inter alia include artmetalwares/EPNS wares, hand printed textile and scarves, wood carvings and other artwares, embroidered and crocheted goods, zari and zari goods, shawls as artware, imitation jewellery and several other handicrafts, namely artistic leather goods, papier machie products, lace and lace goods, toys, dolls, lacquerware, marble crafts, etc. For knowing latest developments in the exports of handicrafts and also participation in trade fairs both in India and abroad, access its website: the year 2004- 05, the Council undertook various export promotion activities. Some of the important ones included: (i) Participation in many trade fairs abroad, viz. FAME trade fair at Manila from 19-22 April 2004; Impex- Gift & Homeware International at Melbourne (Australia) from 18-20 May 2004; Gifts & Premium Show held at Hong Kong from 28 April to May 1

(i) World Imports. World imports in 2003, as may be seen from Table 1, registered a decline of 8.94 per cent when the same reached a level of US$10,046 million as against US$11,032.7 million in the previous year. USA continues to be the largest importing country. However, during the period, its imports registered a decline of 15.92 per cent when the same nosedived to US$4,352.8 million from US$5,172.2 million. The countries registering a declining trend during the period included: Italy (66.33%), Germany

WORLD TOTAL 11,367.0 11,032.7 10,046.0 (-)8.94 Source: United Nations, 2003 International Trade Statistics Yearbook, Volume II, Trade by Commodity, New York, 2004. Source: Office of the Development Commissioner (Handicrafts), Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, New Delhi. Category wise India’s exports of handicrafts to major markets in 2003-04 and 2004- 05 and their exports in select markets during this period appear at Annexures II and

Export Promotion Councils

1) The All India Handicrafts Board : (West Block VII, R.K. Puram, New Delhi- 110022). This board acts as a Commodity Board for handicrafts and has an Export Section with a Deputy Director (Exports) in charge. The Board collects and disseminates information, arranges exhibitions, sponsers sales and study teams, and invites foreign buyers. The regional offices of the Board handle registration and process requests for any specific export promotion measures.

2) The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council : (D-15, Commerce Centre, 4th Floor, Tardeo Road, Bombay- 400001) The council aims at providing facilities and incentives regarding the exports of pearls, precious and semiprecious stones, diamonds and sythetic stones; to assist in improving and modernising of the jewellery craft of the country.

3)The Handloom Export Promotion Council : (123, Mount Road, Madras- 600006) It superintends the export promotion of INdian Handlooms in the country.

4) The Handicrafts and Handlooms Export Corporation of India:(Jawahar Vyapar Bhavan, Anex-I, Tolstoy Marg, New Delhi 110001). A government of India undertaking, it supplements the export efforts of the private sector, besidesexporting directly. It undertakes varoius exort promotional and developmental measures such as publicity and Indian participation in foreign exhibitions, and invites reputed designers for advise and assistence. It also has branches, showrooms and warehousing depots abroad.

5) The Indian Institue of Foreign Trade : (Ashoka Bhavan, 93 Nehru Place, New Delhi- 110024). Besides training courses for export executives, this Instiute carries out surveys of various markets and publishes them.

6) The Trade Development Authority of India : (Bank of Baroda Building, 16 Parliament Street, New Delhi- 110001). Handicrafts and garments are included in it's trade promotion activities among other items. It also has offices in New York, Frankfurt and Tokyo. Besides inviting buyers, it arranges buyer- seller meets in selected markets.

7) The Export Credit Gaurantee Corporation : (Head office : Express Towers, 10th Floor, Nariman Point, Bombay-400001). It provides export credit intelligence and issues, covers against risks. It also has branches in Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai and Cochin.

8) The Export Inspection Council : (14/1-b Erza Steet, World Trade Centre, Calcutta- 700001). This Council has especially been set up to ensure the quality control and Pre- shipment Act. The Council has also set up a number of Export Inspection Agencies.

9) The Federation of Indian Export Organisation : (Allahabad Bank Building, 17 Parliament Street, New Delhi-110001). It is a non profit servicing institution, set up jointly by the Government, industry and trade. FIEO is an apex forum coordinating and supplimenting the insitutions. It also gives special attention to the export promotional activites of small sector including crafts.

10) The Trade Authority of India : (Pragati Maidan, New Delhi-110001) The TFA is an autonomous organisation established by the Government of India as a company. Started in March 1977 it has today become a highly effective organisation giving a new orientation to the country's trade promotional activities. It unifies policy direction, controls and implements programmes of India's participation in fairs and exhibitions, both in India and abroad. Handicrafts continue to recieve the special attention of the TFA

Handicraft Materials

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Craft Focus Magazine Trade only, latest products,inspiration, news and advice

India is a treasure trove of the most exquisite handicrafts available. Various raw Materials have lent themselves to an array of exotic items that are instantly captivating. The amazing diversity in Indian cultures and traditions, ensures variety in the transformation of every single material to a handicraft item. The deft hands of the craftsman breathes life into these Materials shaping them into beautiful pieces of art. Click on to read about the different

Materials used in different parts of India, and the various handicraft items made out of them.

Silver Rose Beads Exquisite Gemstone and Pearl Beadsdiamonds, sapphires, and rubies

Metal Spinning MEXICO Custom made Products up to 60'' diaAluminum, Mild Steel, Copper, Brass

Handmade 3D Mural Tiles Handmade Ceramic Mural Art Tiles,Rooing Tiles,Ceramic Glazed Jaalis!

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Aluminum Crafts Splendid designs with panache, Indian artisans produce marvelous work of aluminum crafts each unique in their own way blending perfectly the antique & contemporary art work.

Bead Crafts Beads of transparent & semi transparent nature are pleasingly used to give shape to varied aesthetically appealing products helping in enhancing the overall impact on the onlookers.

Brass Crafts Brass craft ornamentations always have a spell bounding effect on people with their minute & detailed engravings highlighting the effortless beauty put into them by the dexterous craftsmen.

Cane/Bamboo Crafts Add feathers to the surrounding's beauty by incorporating fragilely designed cane & bamboo items in the decor, thus, depicting the rich Indian artistry in the most sophisticated style.

Ceramic Crafts Express imaginative thoughts & add magnetism to the milieu with these artistically designed ceramic products projecting the artist's mastery over one of the finest Indian artwork.

Coir Intoxicate the senses with the finely crafted coir fiber poducts. Bring the Indian rural touch to the rich & suave drawing rooms & highlight the intricate formation of eye catching coir artifacts.

Gems Give concreteness to imaginations by imparting exclusive shapes with refinement to gem products. Enhance the frailness of gem jewelry products by incorporating equally fragile patterns.

Glass Glassware depicts the richness & sophistication of the traditional art craft coupled with elegance & frailness. An ultimate decorative item, glassware products have never lost the

enigmatic spell.

Paper Crafts Bring color to life by decorating the environment with attractively handcrafted paper products available in unique range of designs, vibrant hues & variety.

Ironmongery The raw appeal imparted to the varied products through engravings done on forged iron Materials adds a classy touch to any setting projecting the rich tradition of ironware.

Ivory Grace the pristine beauty of a living space with the extraordinarily crafted ivory ware products, thus, reminder of the rich past culture & tradition with their masterful cuts, carvings & designs.

Jute Elaborate & intricate designs make the most appealing environment friendly jute products perfect for decorating any setting, leaving an aesthetic & pristine touch.

Leather Crafts Leather crafts have always enamored people with their soft & royal sheen & rich material. Available in a wide range of products, leather has been in usage since ages without losing its timeless charm.

Metal Crafts Metal crafts have lured the customers with their refined artwork. Be it copper, bronze or non ferrous elements, all appeal the eyes when coupled with inlay work & embellishments.

Papier Mache Crafts Alluring crafts made of waste paper Materials, papier mache crafts have created a niche market for themselves successfully with wild imaginations carved out beautifully on these Materials.

Pottery The age old tradition of pottery has been kept alive by craftsmen blending the antique with modern designs. Adorn the setting with these ethnic crafts available in wide range of designs.

Stone Crafts Stone crafts find place in any setting due to their extreme functional aspect. Be it kitchen, garden, office or a public place, stone crafted products have immense importance.

Silver Crafts Owing to the unique appeal and intricate craftsmanship of adept Indian craftsmen, there is a huge demand of aesthetically created silver crafts.

Terracota Crafts Terracotta work has always enhanced the decor with their appealing beauty leaving people dumbstruck. Giving shape to varied figurines & plaques, these earthenwares are worth possesing.

Textile Vibrant colors with intricate & interesting patterns impart a definitive character to the varied facets of Indian textile, thus, constantly introducing the customers to the rich Indian textile tradition.

Wood Crafts Redefine the appearance of the home furnishing area by incorporating distinct decorative items in wood Materials. Shaped with fine cuts, intricate detailed work, imaginative designs make them look unique.

Wrought Iron Crafts The raw appeal of wrought iron crafts is still intact with people dazed by the antique & fabulous artwork perfect to impart individuality to a milieu with their flawless beauty.

Competitive Situation

German giftware and handicrafts consumption is growing more or less in line with the relatively slow growth rate of income during the last years. Thus, expectations for additional growth are not very high. Annual growth rates of between 1.5-2 percent are forecast for the next few years for the overall giftware and handicrafts market. In general the market shows good business opportunities if prices and quality are competitive and delivery schedules are fulfilled.

Apart from its own producers, Germany is supplied by giftware and handicrafts from nearly all of the European countries. German firms often import specific product groups from a particular country. Major suppliers of pottery are, for example, Spain and Portugal; fine exclusive stationery comes from Italy, France and Switzerland; candles from Poland, China and Portugal; dried flowers from the Netherlands etc.

Fierce price competition in Germany is intensified by the increasing quantity of Chinese and Asian made products on the market. For India this situation coupled with the relatively strong Indian rupee which means that firms proving to be most successful in the recent past have offered niche market giftware and handicrafts, i.e., exclusive to Indian handicrafts items or new-to-market products.

A few well-established German manufacturers of giftware and handicrafts items are:

Koziol GmbH, Erbach

Krebs-Glas-Lauscha GmbH, Ernstthal

Barti GmbH, Garching

Duni GmbH & Co. KG, Bramsche

Rastal, Hoehr-Grenzhausen

Fartak, Lahr

GIES Kerzen, Glinde

Jet Papier GmbH, Bernau

Margarete Steiff GmbH, Giengen

WMF AG, Geislingen

Rosenthal AG, Seib

W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik, Roedental

Walther-Glas GmbH, Bad Driburg

Sales volume of specific sub-sectors (estimates):

Some estimates of individual giftware and handicrafts subsector volume sales are provided as follows:

Seasonal: Market insiders estimate the total volume of the seasonal items market, including Christmas, Easter, Valentines Day and the German counterpart of Thanksgiving, at DM 7.7 billion. In 1997, about DM 3 billion were spent alone for Christmas decoration, Christmas floristic items and Christmas trees only. Christmas items are usually imported from China,

Taiwan, Thailand, Philippines and India.

However, Indian Christmas decorations as candle

stands or Christmas tree hangings and soft toys find a ready market in Germany if they are

moderately priced.

Hobby and art supplies: The present market volume of hobby and art supplies in Germany is estimated at about DM 3 billion, while the total European market should amount to DM 12 billion. Insiders believe that this specific market segment still offers some potential for new products. A recent survey shows that apart from their school days, most of the Germans who do regular DIY or hobby work are between 60 and 69 years (10.8 percent of the German adults) old. With the fast ageing of the German population a stronger demand for hobby and crafts is likely.

Incentive items: From 1992 to 1998, the total German market for incentives increased from nearly DM 3 billion to DM 6 billion.

Toys: In 1998, annual sales of licensing products amounted to about US$ 4.2 billion in Germany. Also in 1998, the toys market volume expanded to DM 6 billion. Total annual sales for computer games and learning games alone, increased to DM 2 billion in 1998 compared to the pre-year level of DM 1.7 billion.

Market Access

EU member states and Asian countries, China and India in particular, are major suppliers of giftware and handicrafts to the German market. Indian firms making a first approach to the German market are advised to have comprehensive product literature and data sheets professionally translated into German. Although English is widely understood, a well- prepared translation gives an important marketing edge, particularly in the initial presentation. Indian firms should preferably appoint an agent or distributor who can maintain a stock sufficient to answer short-notice orders.

Customs Duties

Customs duties vary according to material and product. Though duties are high for a few items, i.e., dried flowers, potpourri (16.7-20 percent), T-shirts (12.0-13.2) and hand- woven, woollen blankets (13.4 percent), the majority of customs duty rates falls in the range of 5-8 percent. For example:

Customs Duties (in percent)



4.1 - 7.5



5.6 - 6.3




Plush animals









Silver jewellery



In addition, there is a 16 percent sales tax, which is eventually passed on to the consumer in form of the value-added tax (VAT). But the VAT has to be paid when entering the German market by the exporter/German importer.

Items that originate from certain animal species, i.e., snakeskin or hides of some animal, it must be ensured that the export of these products complies with the Convention on Endangered Species (CITES). Regarding sample orders, exporters should be aware that one sample with a maximum value of DM 50 each or, five identical samples of one product group not exceeding a total value of DM 50, are usually customs free.

Product Standards

In view of the wide field of products that could be considered as giftware and handicrafts, it is difficult to name standards. Compliance with EU standards and regulations is strongly suggested. There are, however, only few product groups in the giftware and handicrafts field that have to follow standards. It is essential that CE-labelling be observed where required. The CE-mark (including conformity statement and technical documentation) is mainly required for toys (88/378/EEC standard). While the quality regulations for candles are obligatory assuring a certain level of quality, the toy regulation and the electronic standards have to be observed because of safety considerations:

Major Distribution Channels

Wholesalers Importers/distributors Commission agents/sales representatives Department stores Mail-order Internet sales Tele-shopping

The individual channels are described in detail in the following.


Besides offering wide range of goods to retailers for direct sales, this channel also supplies large quantities of individual articles. They are very particular in maintaining consistency in the kind of products and their quality. One of the distinguishing features of wholesalers is to provide distribution and storage facilities. Specialised wholesalers deal in sales to retailers as well as to final consumers. They maintain high quality standards and but have a narrower and in-depth range of arts and crafts.


Most Indian giftware and handicrafts companies use importers/distributors to market and sell their giftware and handicrafts lines. They buy and sell on their own account. Thus, the companies take advantage of the distributor's expertise, his sales force and his existing distribution channels. Distributors call on giftware and handicrafts retailers, purchasing groups and supermarkets. The distributors' mark-up varies depending on the giftware and handicrafts item, but at least 50 percent. While the mark-ups vary according to the distributor; they usually also depend on the exclusivity of a product and on its competitiveness in the overall giftware and handicrafts market.

Germany hosts more than 45,000 giftware and handicrafts retailers. Several retailers import directly from the United States and sell to the German customer. Usually these are small companies looking for items new to the market and handling small orders only.

Commission agents:

Commission agents provide Indian companies with direct access to the German market and direct control. Independent commercial agents are normally working on a 15 percent commission and operate on a regional basis. They concentrate on specialist retailers, purchasing groups and department stores. Commission agent contracts are based on stringent EU and German regulations. An Indian firm wishing to appoint an agent should make sure that such standard contracts meet its expectations. In order to facilitate market entry efforts by the agents their initial commission is often a few percent higher than the "usual" commission. These additional payments are to reimburse the agent for substantial advertising and any special efforts facilitating the new product's market entry.

Department Stores:

Indian companies interested in establishing business contacts with major department stores, mail-order houses and retailers may also choose the direct approach. Department stores in particular, prefer to deal directly with manufacturers. Their buyers are very specialized and only handle a limited range of products. At some occasions department stores also buy through independent commercial agents. Quite often they have their own buyers as well as a few agents that usually work with them and who know their assortments. If a department store decides to import a particular giftware and handicrafts item, it places bulk rather than small orders.

Mail Order:

On an average, each German consumer buys products totaling to DM 500 each year from mail-order houses. There are about 200 mail order companies in Germany. In Europe, Germany is the largest mail order market, followed by Great Britain and France. The total European market volume for mail order products is estimated at approximately DM 90 billion. Of the 20 major mail order companies in Europe, 12 have their headquarters located in Germany. Among them are the world's largest mail order companies: Otto Versand in Hamburg and Quelle Schickedanz AG & Co. in Fuerth. In addition, several German mail order companies operate in other European countries, as well.

Internet Sales:

Germany will become market leader among the EU countries with regard to sales over the Internet by the year 2000. It is anticipated that by then German electronic sales, which are estimated to reach a volume of DM 500 billion worldwide in 2000, become second in the worldwide ranking after the United States and before Japan. A typical German Internet user and a major German mail-order publication is between 20-39 years old, is highly educated and earns more money than the average German consumer. This age group consists of about

4.5 million Germans. Seventy percent of these consumers are male. Already today, the Internet is a major sales channel for German mail-order houses.


QVC and HOT are the two tele-shopping channels in Germany. They operate all over Germany and offer various types of giftware and handicrafts; jewellery, fashion, health, beauty; household consumer goods; collectibles and home accessories.


and home accessories. MODE OF TRANSPORTATION CHOOSEN BY US . Our study is basically to show

Our study is basically to show the richness of India in “Handy Craft”. India is huge producer and exporter of handy craft products such as clothes , gems , jewellaries , leather products , paintings etc. Gems and jewelleries are exported through ariel route ( shown by red line)whereas all other products are transported through sea route ( shown by black line ) because they are transported in bulk.


As we conclude the whole data we can see the result that India enjoy the Monopoly in this sector and every handycraft industry is influenced by India because India is the largest producer and exporter of handycraft and supply chain management and logistics play the important role in this this particular sector, this is the backbone of this industry . An effecent supply chain gives the competitive advantage to this industry.