Traditional Crafts of India
The crafts in India has a rich history. Crafts were an integral part in the life of the people. Before arrival of mechanised industry, the production of Indian handicrafts was the second largest source of employment in rural India next to agriculture. The traditional Indian industry was known in the fields of textiles, woodwork, ivory, stone cutting, leather, fragrance wood, metal work and jewellery. The village artisans such as potters, weavers, smiths produced articles and utensils for domestic use. But some specialised goods were produced for domestic and international markets. Some such specialised goods produced were cotton textiles, muslin, wool, silk and metal articles. India was famous for its fine quality of cotton and silk clothes. There are references made in many scholarly works to the professions of the weaver, the tailor and the dyer. Certain centres of metal industry were quite well known. For example, Saurashtra was known for bell metal, Vanga (Bengal) for tin industry and Dacca was identified with muslin clothes.
The muslin of Dacca
Mummies in Egyptian tombs dating from 2000 BC(BCE) were found wrapped in Indian muslins of the finest quality. A 50metres of this thin fabric could be squeezed into a match box.