Direct from Market: The Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair
Carole Sloan -- Gifts & Dec, November 25, 2012
The mood was buoyant and business brisk at the 34th Indian Handicrafts and Gifts Fair, organized by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) from October 15-18, and one of the biggest industry sourcing event in Asia. A large number of buyers from traditional U.S. and European markets, as well as those from new and emerging ones from Latin America, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa shopped across an area of 97,000 sq. meters at The India Expo Center & Mart in Greater Noida, near Delhi. Nearly 2,400 participants exhibited over 950 products lines of handicrafts, including eco-friendly home furnishings, garden decor, textiles, furniture and hardware.
Long boats used during the Onam festival in Kerala are the inspiration for these graceful aluminum tealight displays from Sanjeev Kahali decorated with a mosaic of luminescent glass.
After the steep decline in exports in 2008 and 2009, an increase of 33.48 percent in exports during the first five months of its current financial year has injected a heartening optimism into the industry. To maintain this upward trajectory, EPCH has launched several multi-pronged initiatives according to executive director, Rakesh Kumar. Its Next Gen program aims to meet global compliance standards, especially in terms of child labor issues. In addition, the Council plans Brand Imaging Programs for product-specific shows, a new Home Ex
Screen printed canvas bags, stamped distressed wood furniture, old-fashioned hardware—all capture the latest trend of rustic charm in these products from Khemchand Handicrafts.
Several trends were noteworthy, creating a sense of yearning for the rustic elegance and simplicity of bygone eras while holding on to the 21st century's clean and contemporary feel:
• A resurgence of arts and crafts themes in metal ware, glass, marble, wood, wrought-iron, hand-made paper, leather, canvas, ceramics, and textiles, encompassing furniture and frames to table top, garden décor, and textiles.
• The theme of wanderlust evidenced in clocks, maps, globes, lamps, footstools, trunks and storage accessories in riveted metal looks and complemented by hunting motifs prominent in portable furniture that sported distressed wood, jute and hessian trimmings, cane, rattan, canvas and bamboo that harkened back to the jungle. Khemchand Handicrafts laid out a line of bags in 700 GSM canvas in grey, khaki, beige and sage trimmed with leather, jute and blanket remnants; other travel accompaniments were in styles and designs reminiscent of safari camps and made of plywood and mango wood, faux leather, hessian and blanket fabric. Desks with covered leather and brass trimmings, wine accessories and magazine holders from Suneast International Inc. were elegant and masculine.
Oversized décor from East Coast Industries capture the trend of metal products that hearken back to days of yore.
Two Roots Co. transformed the jeans you thought you misplaced.
Cheerful and colorful, these hand-painted tin and aluminum home accents from Noah’s Ark are sure to delight the young at heart! Front to back: trinket dish, candle ring, wall plaque, shoe-maven jewelry stand and paper towel holder.
• Botanicals, woodland creatures, birds and other natural elements - in wood, textiles, metal crafts (bird cages and garden décor) and mixed media to impart a sense of simplicity and back-to-nature. Makers Mart
A complete range of metal galvanized iron greyware from Makers Mart with multi-function possibilities.
• Three Rs—rescued, recycled and re-purposed—seen in products that exhibited patchwork, découpage, hand-stitching, uneven and distressed paint, mottled and antiqued finishes and mixed materials. Noble Art & Craft House showed a huge variety of chests and bins, garden and porch décor, beautiful Christmas décor of fire-etched wood, as well as wall hooks fashioned from industrial faucets. Dileep Industries displayed an eye-catching line of oversized tableware and hospitality décor fashioned from broken,
Luminous oversized soda lime recycled glass bottles from Dileep Ceramics.
• Turkish and Moroccan and North African and Aztec influences in design, earthy color
Eye-catching cast papier-maché animals with very tightly woven recycled, dyed cotton rag by Starline Overseas.
Ornate designs and intricate handwork are the hallmarks of these lovely mixed media frames from Dada’s International.
The most product lines and variety at the fair was in metal craft which, as in years past evinced incredible creativity and attention to detail. Finishes ran the gamut from shiny to matte, muted, distressed, mottled and cracked. Tableware was largely in shiny and burnished or pewter-like finishes and new functions and variations of traditional utensils were shown. A surprise was to see highly polished garden décor - picks, sticks and other floral decoratives. Color was incorporated into metal in imaginative new ways, with designs embossed, etched and printed to truly warrant the soubriquet, artmetalware. Metal was followed by wood and glassware. Ceramics were
Tradition and modernity coexist: Spices, jewelry, knick-knacks—all will find homes in these colorful wood drawers. Embossed aluminum sheeting and decorated ceramic knobs, or ceramic drawer fronts give a touch of cheerful, traditional whimsy.
A project to revive languishing crafts such as chikankari (the distinctive embroidery of Lucknow), zari handicrafts and shawls as artware is being undertaken by EPCH. The Council is also executing ambitious international marketing projects for India's North eastern region (silk, cane and bamboo products) and the handicrafts of Uttarakhand in the north. In September, the Indian government tweaked sourcing norms for foreign direct investment (FDI) exceeding 51 percent in single-brand retail, diluting the earlier requirement for compulsorily sourcing 30 percent of merchandise from local, micro and small to medium enterprises. That spurred Swedish retailer IKEA to plan to invest $450m in 25 stores in India. IKEA will train 200 Indian artisans on international best practices and labor laws even before its proposal to set up shop gets a nod from the Indian government. EPCH is also exploring the possibilities of collaborations with Wal- Mart and U.K.'s Marks & Spencer.
A selection of bar and home accessories in glass and leather make a statement for Sunset International.
10. From HNS Homes, floor seating options, clockwise from top right: square cushion jacquard woven from rag silk sari remnants; black hand-knit cotton yarn; machine embroidery on brown and tan faux leather; round white hand-knit cotton yarn; red and white hand-knit from hosiery rag yarn.
Tour Transpac's Las Vegas Showroom