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The global handicrafts market has been up surging, due to the increasing interest of people in art and culture. A large number of micro and small enterprises have evolved in the developing countries in the past few years, where artisans from poor communities are involved in the creation of handicrafts. Their artworks are also valued on humanitarian grounds.
Handicrafts refer to products made by hand, with the help of simple tools instead of machines. Handicrafts are artistic representation of a particular culture or ethnic tradition. Handicraft products include objects of utility and decoration.
Handicraft products are made up of several materials including sheet metal, wrought iron, natural fiber, wood, river stone, beads, textiles, horn and bone, and ceramics. On the basis of type, the global textile market can be classified into kitchenware, gardenware, toys, officeware, furniture and furnishings, jewelry, bathroom accessories, and others.
The demand based on the type of handicrafts is difficult to analyze, owing to constantly evolving trends. This has compelled the handicraft producers to keep themselves updated about the ongoing trends, so that they can match the consumer expectations. At present, the growth of the furniture and furnishings segment in the global handicrafts market is increasing at a rapid pace. The market has also been observed to shift from ethnic designs to more contemporary styles. Also, the combination of ethnic and contemporary designs in handicraft products is trending these days. The quality of handicraft products has also improved over the years, due to their increasing adoption among the high class society.
With the advancement in distribution channels and increasing penetration of online retail, the handicraft products have become more visible and easily purchasable for the consumers around the globe. The key types of distribution channels for handicraft products are discount retailers, department stores, specialty stores, catalogue retailer, internet retailer, and independent retailer. The involvement of several non-profit organizations in promoting handicrafts business has not only benefitted the artisans, but also fuelled the growth of the global handicrafts market.
The artisans work independently, as well as they are subcontracted or employed by exporters or small enterprises. Owing to less initial investment and cheap labor, the handicraft market is flourishing in the developing countries, such as India.
The handicrafts made in developing countries are also exported to the developed countries. The key importing countries of the handicraft products include the U.S., France, the U.K., Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, and Hong Kong. The major handicrafts exporting countries are China, Vietnam, India, Ghana, South Africa, Mozambique, Peru, Mexico, Colombia, and Guatemala. China dominates the export market for handicrafts, followed by Vietnam and India. The improvement in trade relations between the countries of the world is further fueling the growth of the global handicrafts market.
The demand for handicrafts from offices, hospitals, hotels have been observed to upsurge in the past decade, as the traditional and hand-made goods add color to the decorum of these places and attract customers.
The increasing travel and tourism is also supporting the growth of the global handicrafts market. The tourists on recreational tour are always on a hunt to collect souvenirs and specialty handicrafts from the places they visit. This has also led to the development of a large unorganized handicrafts market especially in the developing countries.
The global handicrafts market is trade driven, due to low priced products. The key handicraft vendors in the global handicrafts market are Asian Handicrafts, Fakih Handicrafts, Shandong Laizhou Arts and Crafts, Ten Thousand Villages, Native Crafts and Arts, The Handicrafts Gallery, Minhou Minxing Weaving, NGOC Dong Ha Nam, and Oriental Handicrafts.