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Handicraft | The Sign of Art in Artistic Fashion of Bangladesh

Handicraft | The Sign of Art in Artistic Fashion of Bangladesh

Nurnaher Islam Etee
Dept. of Fashion Design
KCC Women’s College (Affiliated by Khulna University)
Khulna, Bangladesh
Email: meherin.etee@gmail.com


Crafts is a particular skill or art performed with the hands, such as weaving, pottery, etc. Crafts are also called handcraft is the work produced by hand such a skill or art.


A handicraft is precisely expressed as artisanal handicraft of handmade, is any of a wide variety of types of work where useful and decorative objects are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools.

It is a traditional sector of craft, and applies to a wide range of creative and design activities that are related to making things with one’s hands and skill, including work with textiles, moldable and rigid materials, paper, plant fibers, etc.

Handicraft basket made by a Bangladeshi women
Handicraft basket made by a Bangladeshi women

Meaning of handicraft:

Hand means the items which is made by hand, often with the use of simple tools, and are generally artistic and for traditional in nature. They are also object of utility and object of decoration.

Some common types of handicrafts and textile based handicrafts are Clay, Noksi kantha, Bed Sheet, Metal, Jewelry, Woodwork, Stone Craft, Glass and Ceramics etc.

Handicraft Lampshade
Handicraft Lampshade

Textile based handicrafts:

  • Textile based handicrafts are hand knitted, crochet, block printing, screen printing, batik, hand printing by pen, tie-dye and varieties types of work.
  • They are used in products ranging from bed-cover to sheets, dress material to upholstery and tapestry. The famous embroidered articles of silk and cotton often embellished with mirrors, shells, beads, and metallic pieces are also found. Embroidery is done too on leather, felt and velvet etc.
  • This segment of the industry accounts for almost half a million strong employment in addition to a large number of designers, block makers, weavers and packers involved in the trade.

Common Products list of Handicrafts:

There are almost as many variations on the theme of handicrafts. Different items are used to made handicraft products. Different categories of  handicraft made products are as follows-

1. Textile or leather made handicraft
2. Wood, metal, clay, bone, horn, glass, or stone made handicraft
3. P
aper or canvas made handicraft
4. P
lants other than wood made handicraft
5. Other handicraft products

Some common handicraft products which are used in our daily purpose as –

Bag, pottery, baskets, wall hanging, travel kit, toys, card, earrings, ashtray, carpet, embroidered quilt, bracelet, wood works, dresses, cushion, pillow-cover, bed cover, woven cloth, silk product, traditional Jewelry, candles, terracotta, hand-made paper items, hand loom etc.

Wood made handicraft products
Wood made handicraft products

Raw Materials of handicraft:

Many environment friendly raw materials are used for making handicraft. They are –

Wood, bamboo, straw, bead, stone, sea shell, coconut shell, brass, copper, leather, jute, cane, grass, natural fibers, and natural dyes etc.

Handicraft bags
Handicraft bags

Best Handicraft Manufacturer in Bangladesh:

KaruPolli is a best handicraft manufacturer, seller & exporter from Dhaka, Bangladesh. KaruPalli means the village of artisans. Their products come from rural areas i.e. villages. So, the rural people get the direct benefits of these product manufacturing projects.

For the demand of people Bangladeshi handicrafts are increasing, more creative people are coming to this profession and more exclusive & creative products are coming out. They also collect exclusive products from artisans & suppliers around the country.


The Handicrafts manufacturers & exporters had formed a national association in 1979. The name and style of Bangladesh Handicrafts Manufacturers Exporters mainly formed with the Manufacturers, Exporters Association, in short “BANGLACRAFT”.

  • The Association was mainly formed with the Manufacturers, Exporters Traders, Producers, Designers, Promoters and Suppliers of handicrafts items throughout the country.
  • Accordingly the Association was registered with the Joint Stock Company and the Ministry of Commerce, Government of the Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh.
  • Banglacraft also became an “A” class member and became affiliated with the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FBCCI)

SWOT Analysis of Bangladesh Handicraft Sector:

Strength for our handicrafts sector:
  • It provides large product variety and range as it is full of diversified culture.
  • Industry provides services to different market (Handicrafts, Textile, and Jewelry) because of diversified product range.
  • Naturally we are resourceful in craft raw materials.
  • Products are high value added, and handicrafts have various applications.
  • It is the potential source of foreign revenue because of higher export.
  • Industry provides potential sources of employment.
Weakness for our handicrafts sector:
  • Industry needs low capital investment but some banks are not interested to give lone to small entrepreneurs.
  • Low barriers are following the entrepreneurs for new entry in market.
  • Mainly women’s are interested to work in this industry but maximum women are not getting the proper support from their family.
  • Lack of effective marketing technique.
Opportunity for our handicrafts sector:

The Handicraft business can be developed by ensuring proper use of the following opportunities-

  • GSP in EU markets.
  • Emerging demand for handicrafts goods in developed countries such as USA, UK, Japan, India, Canada, France, Germany, Italy etc.
  • Developing of domestic and international tourism sector.
  • Potential source of foreign revenue.
Threats for our handicrafts sector:

Our Handicraft business has the following threats which reducing our business and causes of unemployment-

  • Hand – crafted products have to compete on price, design and adaptability with modern machine made products, which make difficulties for our traditional products to be competitive in international market.
  • Artificial automated product produced by competing countries, as Chinese embroidery machine products compete with our hand stitch.
  • Use of polyester, nylon, acrylic and other man made elements in competing artificial products which reducing the product cost of artificial product.
  • Quality products produced by competing countries like India, Pakistan, China, South Africa, etc.
  • Competing countries are enjoying better trade terms sometimes.
  • Competing countries are offering better technological support and R&D facility in their countries.

Some informative suggestions to overcome the problems:

In accordance of the discussion with the craft-peoples, some craft-exporters and BANGLACRAFT the following suggestions has made to make a way for the development of handicraft’s business in Bangladesh –

  • Set up handicraft industrial park, handicraft village, clusters of producers linked with lead exporters to ensure sustainability
  • Enhance capacity of the exporters for getting market information.
  • Develop fund for identifying new markets and new products.
  • Access to finance is made easy.
  • Facilitate exporter participation in trade fairs, designing catalogue and preparing for exhibition.


In our country the handcrafts are mainly regulated by non-technical persons who possess very little technical knowledge and there is no involvement of textile engineers.The workers are mainly un-skilled women and children.We can develop this sector as a wide earning sector to contribute to our national economy by involving Textile Experts in this sector and by developing manpower skill. Governmental consideration is needed to participate national  and international trade fair for our own development.



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