The handicraft sector has a special place in India's rich culture and traditions. The Phulkari of Punjab, Ajrakh and Bandhani from Kutch, Andhra Pradesh's Kalamkari, Lucknow's Chikankari work, Kantha from Bengal among the many more, form the magnificent treasure of Indian handicraft. Passed on from generation to generation these art and craft forms have still maintained their fineness and exclusiveness. Each has intricately crafted or painted motifs and patterns on fabrics ranging from silk, cotton, georgette, chanderi, etc which have evolved over time by the artisans.
Since the COVID pandemic hit globally, there has been a drastic impact on livelihoods and overwhelmed many people with tough situations. Businesses have been hit badly, and one such among the many is the handicraft sector. From a good amount of traction and sales of handcrafted apparels and accessories to an extreme fall, these rural artisans and small business communities are in a dire situation. As people have reduced their spend to only essential products, apparels and accessories coming under the non-essential category could be a reason for the reduced purchases. This has led to unsold products piled up. There are no exhibitions or events where they can showcase their work. This has made it difficult to reinvest capital in production of newer designs to keep up with changing trends.
In times like this, it is necessary to unite and support such businesses. Keeping the entire scenario along with the hardships being faced by these rural artisans, Phulari has come up with the #pledgehandcrafted initiative. The idea behind this initiative is to support them and also preserve India's rich cultural heritage. Every contribution is important. Let us be a ray of hope in their lives, and bring a smile to their faces by spreading the word.
To lead our #pledgehandcrafted initiative, we have with us Riddhi Mukherjee Bose, a saree-cognoscente. Hear what Riddhi has got to say by clicking on https://youtu.be/oXgEichY3P4
In this picture, you can see Riddhi sporting our beautiful Ajrakh saree. It is made from natural dyes giving it an earthy feel and rustic look. The entire saree had hand-block printed floral motifs and geometrical patterns that are commonly seen in Ajrakh products. It has been accessorised with a choker and bindi to enhance the overall look. This Ajrakh saree is ideal for all types of functions and pujas.
Here is a glimpse of some of our handcrafted products that are lovingly made by rural artisans and small businesses across our country India. The beauty lies in the uniqueness and dedication of these artisans.
- From Punjab comes a craft form that is loved by all women irrespective of the age. The reason lies in the bright, alluring and versatility these Phulkari apparels have to offer. From sarees, dupattas, kurtis, lehengas and salwar suits, explore the beauty of Punjab.
- An all time favorite since ages is the Chikankari embroidery hailing from Lucknow. It is a must-have is every woman’s apparel collection. They are stylish, comfortable and elegant, making them an outfit for multiple occasions. Just mix and match or accessorise the product to create a holistic look.
- For people who love hand-painted attires and want to carry India’s heritage, Andhra Pradesh’s Kalamkari will be an ideal pick. From sarees to dupattas, these Kalamkari products are available in a wide range of colors and designs.
- Bandhani, a tie-dye technique used for making chic, elegant attires is highly recommended for casual or big celebrations. They are easy to carry and are sure to get you plenty of compliments. If you don’t own a Bandhani product, you can check out our Bandhani Collection handcrafted by local craftsmen.
- Treat yourself to the Ajrakh Collection that consists of sarees, dupattas, stoles, bottoms, etc. It is an ideal choice for handcraft lovers and people who love experimenting with outfits. Unlike other art forms, Ajrakh products aren’t very bright as they are made from natural dyes.
Apart from the few mentioned craft and art forms above, there are plenty others to browse through. All you have to do is head to https://phulari.com/
So, to all my readers, this 2021 let us all do our bit by #pledgehandcrafted. We invite you to join us. It's simple to be a part of the #pledgehandcrafted initiative. Here's what you got to do:
- Post a picture in any of your handcrafted product (not necessary a product from Phulari)
- Use the hashtag #pledgehandcrafted and #isupportsmallbusiness
- Tag @phularicom
Don't forget to tag your friends so that they too can be a part of this noble cause.