Category Archives: Indian crafts

Painted Prayers of India


At this moment I am exactly doing rangoli.

Rangoli is called painted prayers of India.




I am doing rangoli since I was a kid. When I was a kid we had a raised platform in the courtyard especially made for rangoli. We used to buy permanent paints (samples used to come in small amounts) and used to take 2-3 days to make rangolis all over house at different places. We never used to get tired. I still do it but now with flowers or powder colours.



All over India rangoli is done at different festivals or even on everyday basis and has different names such as Alpana in West Bengal, Kolam in south etc.






from Bangladesh


please click to enlarge to see stepwise alpana

Here are some sites with beautiful patterne , info & how-tos…

Animation of a rangoli design.

Some beautiful rangoli designs.

Tips and rangoli designs.

more rangoli patterns.


Tomorrow is diwali and I wish I had more time to do this post on my favourite art & craft but…  (maybe…no Iwill definitely do a region wise post again on this topic),   (& if my fellow bloggers have done a post on same topic  I would add their links later.)

via: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

celebrating kantha artisans


I was not paying any attention to ongoing Lakme Fashion Week spring summer 2008, Mumbai until I saw this photo feeling a little heaviness around my vocal chords!


It is a rarity, the kind of scene I have not seen before! A fashion designer brought with her kantha artisans on stage to take a bow . I have developed sudden admiration for fashion designer from Kolkatta; Agnimitra Paul who celebrated kantha embroiders in such a beautiful way. (Such things are long over-over due from fashion industry)

Just to celebrate kantha artisans, here are few random kantha work images and how-to and award-winning artisans’ work.


How to do kantha work step by step. More here.


What is kantha embroidery and history.


A few award winning creations and the artisans.

Continue reading celebrating kantha artisans

rakhi-the thread of bond

Rakhi-the thread of love and protection:

I do not know of any Indian festival without at least one element of design entwined into it. Rakhi is no exception. In fact it is so laden with crafts and designs that with changing fashion and market new avatars of rakhi keep coming.


The sister ties a rakhi on the right hand of brother and brother is thus bound with love to protect the sister. The history of rakhi is told here.


Today, rakhi is also market and convenience driven.

I live in a metro city. So the work and distance to my brother’s place had me tie rakhi to him on Sunday already. But my daughters tied rakhi to my husband (his sister stays too far away, on her behalf) today.


The Chinese are always so eager to penetrate any and every market. They are already into our rakhi festival. Indian markets are full of made in china rakhis.


Our film industry does not remain far behind. In kid’s rakhi there is always an element of advertisement. Hanuman rakhis, Jadu or Ganesha my friend rakhis (films released or to be released) become the most popular too.


Rakhis originally made with colorful threads have taken many embellishments with it. From beads, jari and zardosi to stone, diamonds and even swarovski crystals and gold, silver designs are woven with threads. In the small scale industry of rakhi making, now big gold and diamond brands also want to have a say.


Generally brothers sport rakhis but in few casts (Marwar-Rajasthan) woman too wear rakhis. Today we too are tempted to wear rakhis.  Not only we sisters get promise of protection we get fabulous gifts from brothers too. 

A few; Types of rakhis.


And if you are smitten by rakhi, you can make one on your own: a few DIY projects for how to make rakhis.


                               thali (dish) decoration with rakhi

(Rakhi images courtesy chennaibazaar, homeindia, indiagiftsportal).

Colour crafts from India


                   accent pillow- balang


                                            Table linen


bandhej scarf and beach wrap

Traditional Indian handcrafted work on cotton is real eye candy. Each region of India has much to offer. This is from Tilonia, Rajasthan.


                block prints table linen and duffel bag

 The Barefoot college in Tilonia assists local artisans in marketing their products in India and around the world.


                          accent pillow-applique work


            accent pillow in balang pattern embroidery

These applique work, block-printing, bandhej and balang pattern embroidery work from artisans are available in their online store .


 accent pillow in applique work