handicrafts of Pakistan

Fun discovering Top 22 Handicrafts of Pakistan

It is so much fun discovering handicrafts of Pakistan especially going deep into the bustling bazaars of the country to find artistic gems.

Where to find the best Pakistani Handicrafts

The best artisans can be found at :-

  1. Sindh
  2. Karachi
  3. Silanwali
  4. Multan
  5. Punjab
  6. Chitral Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
  7. Bannu and Swat
  8. Gilgit Baltistan
  9. Baluchistan
  10. Islamabad

Handicrafts meaning in Urdu

The word handicrafts mean “dust’kaari” in Urdu and “the crafts of the hand”.

The handicraft association of Pakistan handles new designs and how to have new artwork developed for mass production.

Best Handicrafts of Pakistan

  1. Multani Blue Pottery
  2. Sindh Ajrak
  3. Peshawari Chappal
  4. Woolen Chador and Cap of Swat
  5. Ghandara Jade and Stone Sculptures
  6. Chiniot Furniture
  7. Carpets of Quetta
  8. Ralli Clothes of Sindh
  9. Kashmiri Paper Mache of Lahore
  10. Camel Skin Lamps Multan
  11. Himalayan Salt Lamps Khewra Punjab
  12. Wooden Figurines Silanwali Sargodha Punjab
  13. World Cup Football Sialkot
  14. Leather work of Sialkot
  15. Musical Instruments including Bagpipes of Sialkot
  16. Calligraphy art work
  17. Mirror Glass embellishing work Punjab
  18. Brass and Copper Decorations Karachi
  19. Cotton Cloth Lahore
  20. Ethnic Jewelry Karachi
  21. Hand crafted paper kites of Lahore
  22. Handmade guns of Darra Adam Khel Peshawari
  23. Pakistani Truck Art

Handicrafts and blue Pottery of Multan

Multan is one of the oldest cities of Pakistan, no wonder has the most handicrafts in all of the country.

 handicrafts of Pakistan

Multan Blue pottery or ‘Kashi Kari’ originated somewhere in the Turkish-Iranian belt. Multan is the city that has been around since Alexander’s time has perfected the art of painting blue patterns on white clay utensils.

Some say this style of painting is also available in Jaipur, India. Now the artisans are experimenting with colors beyond blue and to tell you the truth – it’s equally lovely. I still like the blue work better.

 handicrafts of Pakistan

Ralli Sewn Quilt Handicraft Sindh

Ralli or Rilli embroidered quilts are mostly in shades of red and are typical of interior Sindh. I’ve found masterpieces in the Ghanta Ghar (Clock tower) bazaar of Sukkhar, which are Rembrandts’ in their league.

The best bedspread is the one that has a story to tell. These quilts would have village people, animals, and utensils all depicted in one big embroidered quilt cover; it’s gorgeous.

Sindhi Ajrak and glass studded Cap

Hand printed with naturally occurring dies, Sindh Ajrak is a staple gift from people of Sindh.

 handicrafts of Pakistan

Camel Skin Lamps Handicraft Multan 

Camel skin lamps radiate a soft glow, whatever the wattage of the bulb inside. Couple that with the elaborate patterns painted on top, these lamps are a very pleasing article for your living room.

Jade and Stone Figurine Gandhara Sculptures Taxila

Jade & stone figurines not only look good on your trinket stand, but they also said to bring good luck in the Buddhist faith.

Starving Buddha Sculpture carved from Stone
Starving Buddha Sculpture carved from Stone : Gandhara Art

 

Who would mind extra space in heaven for a few hundred rupees, huh? The stone chessboard and samovar teapots are definitely worth buying.

 

Wood Sculptures Silanwali Sargodha

Wood figurines, tools, and pots from Sillahwali town have unique patterns carved on their surface. The best of the lot is the bulls’ figures, which I guess they have specialized on.

Kashmiri Paper Mache Jewelry Handicrafts Lahore

Brought to Lahore by migrating craftsmen of Kashmir, Kashmiri Paper Mache works are exquisite and are a sight for sore eyes. The intricate designs are nowhere to be found, except here.

Salt Figures Handicraft Sculptures Khewra Mines Punjab

The red-salt stone objects from Khewra and Kala Bagh Salt mines look very nice in your bedroom. These rocks are carved and converted to bedside lamps as well. They give off a beautiful red glow to the room and also ease the breathing of residents with asthma.

Khewra Salt Mine Lamps
Khewra Salt Mine Lamps made of Himalayan Salt great for Asthmatic patients 

 

One salt piece that is shaped like a cross on a tombstone has a macabre appeal like none other.

handicrafts of Pakistan

World Cup Hand stitched Footballs

Lastly, the living room would be incomplete without a hand-crafted Telstar-18 world cup fame football (soccer) from Sialkot.

Leather designer work on Sialkot

If you want anything made of fine leather, Sialkot is your city to got to.

Musical instruments of Sialkot

Sialkot has the best ethnic musical instrument shops like the flute, Dhol and they have graduated to making Bagpipes and Guitars too.

Caligraphy arts of Islamabad

Islamabad has the best Calligraphy artists in Pakistan. This is because Pakistani art has morphed into calligraphy as a medium of self expression ever since the repressive regimes have take power in the center, Islamabad.

Hand Crafted custom made shoes of Karachi

In each of the major cities like

  • Islamabad
  • Lahore
  • Peshawar
  • Karachi

Western Boots

There are hand crafted shoe makers who make perfectly customized shoes with high quality leather. The shoes are not inexpensive, but still a lot more low cost than the alternatives in Western countries.

Each pair of shoe costs around Rs 35000

Khussa semi Jodhpur slip on Shoes

Embellished Khussa slip on leather shoes have been around since the times of Mughal Kings.

Multan artisans are particularly famous for their finely embroiled work.

Captain Chappal and Chawat

The Pushtun belt to the West of Pakistan cannot think of wearing any other shoe for any extended period of time. 

Sandals with tie on straps have been hand crafted to perfection in Peshawar and Quetta.

Hand-knotted Carpets of Quetta

They say these hand knotted carpets like the “Kavkaz” type, comes from Afghanistan, but I wouldn’t know.

I find these carpets selling in Pakistan and absolutely adore them, especially the ones with a pictorial theme sewn into the pattern.

Hand made Wooden furniture of Chiniot Punjab

Chiniot has been a centre of wood artisan for hundreds of years. High quality Kashmiri wood would come drifting down from the Valleys of Kashmir to the make -shift ports of Chiniot on the Chenab river, to be converted to furniture for royalty.

Brass and Copper carvings on Utensils at Karachi Sindh

Brass carving work shines so bright in spot lights that they immediately make your living room look tasteful

These hand crafted brass carving works are so intricate that they cannot be duplicated anywhere else.

The best works can be found at Zainab Market Saddar Karachi.

Cotton Cloth

Muslin or Cotton Cloth in Pakistan is so light, it feels like you don’t have anything on.

This region of Indus valley has been trading with the Mesopotamian empire at least a thousand years BC  and mostly in cotton clothes and spices.

Woolen Hand knotted Chador and Cap of Swat and Chitral

Both these cities Chitral and Swat have the finest wool and artisans to make you an embroidered overcoat, a chodor and wool cap

Ethnic Jewelry

The Jewelry of Sindhi women is worth keeping as a display piece at home.

Earthen and Stone Pots

Earthen pots are still being used in Pakistan and hence, the artisans have several varieties of beautifully crafted pieces on display all around Pakistan, especially Wah.

Pakistani Truck Art

Colorful paintings of trucks that have a story line woven in the design

Pakistani Truck Art with a Theme and Storyline
Pakistani Truck Art with a Theme and Storyline

Handmade Guns of Darra Adam Khel Peshawar

Ever since the unsuccessful Tirah Campaign of Colonial British 2oo years back, the Pashtun belt has had their own private gun factory in Darra Adam Khel and their prime produce since those times is the dreaded Jezail long range rifle.

Jazail Long Range Rifle of Pakistani Tribal Pashtun : The bane of British Colonials
Jazail Long Range Rifle of Pakistani Tribal Pashtun : The bane of British Colonials

The Best way to buy Pakistani Handicrafts

The best way is to inbox me or you can try Etsy.com

Conclusion

Pakistan has the best arts and crafts scene, but too bad local artisans don’t get their due share in the presence of travel advisories by mostly Western governments.

For related links go to

Fun Facts about Pakistan

Evolution of Pakistan’s map

 

Top ten songs of Pakistan

 

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One Comment

  1. Adiba Khali says:

    No doubt arts and crafts from this part of the world are excellent as this in an old civilization
    But Baluch sind and kp and gilgit baltistan .are a treasure trove . How about a part 2?

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