(Last Updated on : 03/02/2014)
Delhi has been the seat of administration of several rulers in the past and therefore the royalty patronized the arts and crafts of the region. It was the hub of crafts in ancient India and has still maintained the tradition of craft making. The range of the crafts in Delhi include, blue pottery, jewellery making, zardozi embroidery, silver paper and toy making.
Delhi has an old tradition of blue pottery
. The distinctive blue pottery has a vitreous base, which is semi transparent and is made of a soft paste of powdered quartz mixed with gum. The finished product has a Persian touch and is blue in colour while the borders are sometimes green in colour.
Lac and glass
is amalgamated to produce a special kind of jewellery in Delhi, which is further decorated with sprangles or beads. Some of the jewelry are coated with ground tin powder as paint and then covered with tinted transparent varnish to give a metallic shine. To silver the bangles, tin foil is mixed with dry glue then mixed, washed and boiled. It is left to stand until silvery glue is formed which is spread on the lac as it is varnished. When the coating dries up, the bangles are brushed with glass beads. The bangles are further embellished with glass beads and bits of tin or copper foil. Dyed ivory bangles are also made in Delhi. The dye for these ivory bangles is made from a root named manfit.
is the art of embroidery with gold thread. The zardozi craftsmen of Delhi create intricate designs with golden thread embroidery or euphoria with semi-precious stones. Zardozi work is usually done on silk, velvet and even tissue materials.
Silver paper called varak
is made in Delhi. These thin sheets of silver paper are wrapped around sweets and betel leaves. Craftsmen who beat silver in to thin sheets live in Matia Mahal. This craft is gradually diminishing owing to lack of skilled craftsmen.
is a popular craft in Delhi. Toys are usually made from cane, bamboo and tin and are available in are Ajmeri Gate, Chandni Chowk, Hauz Khas, Paharganj and Ramakrishna Puram. Clay dolls are used as toys and as decorative items. Clay idols of goddesses are also used during festivals.