Handicrafts and cottage industries play a vital role in sustaining the culture heritage of Bangladesh. The prominent handicraft in the early and Middle Ages were textiles, metal works, jewelry, wood works, cane and bamboo works, and clay and pottery. Later, jute and leather became the major raw materials for handicraft. The most predominant features of Bangladesh handicraft are the extensive use of individual skill and the interesting design motifs.
Nakshi Kantha (embroidered quilt), a very popular form of handicraft, is said to be indigenous to Bangladesh. The rural women of the country put together pieces of old cloth with crafty stitches to prepare these quilts to be used in the winter. Although kanthas (quilts) are utilitarian objects, the vivid patterns, borders and motifs often turn them in to attractive works of art. In recent years the interest in ethnic arts and craft has encouraged a kantha revival in the country. Many people now use these quilts for decorative purposes only.
Several, Bangladeshi organizations like Aarong and Probortona export handicraft from Bangladesh to all over the world. These organizations have played an important role in preserving the handicraft of Bangladesh and increasing their popularity at home and abroad.
Bangladesh has developed some special areas like Dhamral for brass ware items, Comilla for khadi, Sonaraon for traditional handicrafts, Rajshahi for silk items, Narayaganj and Mirpur in Dhaka for Zamadani Sari, Barisal for Shital Pati, which are famous for local arts and crafts. The Government has taken some institutional measures for developing and marketing different sorts of visual arts and crafts.
Among the many handicrafts products of Bangladesh the worth-mentioning are: pottery , wood work, cotton, silk, gold, silver, jute, reed, brass ware, traditional dolls, pink pearls and copper ware trays, well decorative bamboo made items, vases etc, and hand made with fine engravings and filigree work. Product made from the hides and skins of animals and reptiles, intricate wood, Jamdani and silk fabrics are also bought in a large number.
A common and often successful approach for presentation and sale arts and crafts is development of integrated craft canters or “village