(Last Updated on : 01/11/2014)
The states of South India have attracted the attention of connoisseurs of the craft world and have a relatively good demand not only in the Indian market but international market as well.
Endowed with abundant forests, woodwork is a popular craft in South India. It is mainly done on rosewood and sandalwood. Red sandalwood also called raktachandan is available in Tirupati area in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh from which cutlery, dainty boxes, paper knoves in various designs are made. Madurai in Tamil Nadu is famous for rosewood carvings. Karnataka is famous for beautiful elephants, images and furniture made from rosewood. Sandalwood is also used to make utility and decorative items, which are etched with designs of flowers, creepers, birds and animals. The rosewood carvings of Kerela are somewhat similar to that of Karnataka. Magnificent figurines of females are carved out of kumbli wood in Kerela.
Weaving sarees is a household tradition in rural South India. The gorgeous and expensive South Indian sarees are famous not only in India but has drawn the attention of foreigners as well. Tamil Nadu is famous for the Kanchipuram sarees. The traditional Kanchipuram sarees have been given a modern look with fewer motifs and by introducing new colours. Andhra Pradesh is famous for cotton sarees with rich golden borders and heavy pallus in Gadwal and Kothakota. In Karnataka cotton sarees are made in dark earthy colours. Irkal is a special saree of Karnataka which is dominated by rich colours like pomegranate red, peacock blue, parrot green etc.
Andhra Pradesh is famous for bidriware and filgree work. Several decorative bidriware items include trays, spoon, vases, boxes of various shapes and sizes, ashtrays and manu more. Karimnagar in Andhra Pradesh is an old center of silver filigree work which includes items like pan daans, hookahs, jewel boxes etc. This state is also famous for the traditional Kalamkari prints on fabrics. Machilipatnam is famous for Kalamkari paintings, which is a mixture of block printing, and hand painting.
Pottery is another form of craft, which is more or less practiced in all south Indian states. Pottery from Karukurichi in Tirunelveli district is noted for its attractive shapes and technical superiority. The base colours for the pottery of Tamil Nadu are red, black and grey colour. A glossier finish is given after a coating of red ochre. Khanapur in Belgaum district of Karnataka is famous large sized containers and jars because of the availability of a local clay.
Embroidery is also very much a part of the South Indians. In Tanjore in Tamil Nadu a different style of appliqué work is done for decoration on temple hangings. Andhra Pradesh is famous for bead embroidery, which is done on fine fabrics to adorn them. It is usually done on sarees and blouse pieces. Jangaon is famous for this type of work. White and coloured beads are used on dark and bright bases. Karnataka is famous for kasuti embroidery. It is done with two types of stitches and the embroidery has a soft feminine angle.
Thus, the crafts of south India have their own distinct style.