Hastasilpa (Handicrafts)

18, Nov 2020 | nepaltraveller.com

‘Hasta’ referring to ‘hand’ and ‘silpa’ meaning ‘craft’, Nepalese handicrafts still hold the same essence of originality and depiction of Nepalese culture and tradition.


As we move into modernization, where everything we do and we own is backed up by technology, there remain many local artists around the corner whose hands have not yet lost their magical touch! In Nepali, ‘Hasta’ referring to ‘hand’ and ‘silpa’ meaning ‘craft’, Nepalese handicrafts still hold the same essence of originality and depiction of Nepalese culture and tradition.

Handicrafts; products designed and made by hands with much love and patience have gained their popularity in both domestic and international markets. With its unique artistic skills and craftmanship technique, many local handicraft businesses are now flourishing in Nepal, especially among tourists. This form of art is not only limited to gift items like woodcraft, pottery, ceramics, or paintings. We can find so many other handicraft items that can be used for daily purposes. This article discusses some of such qualitative handicraft products that you can find in the Nepalese market.

Nepalese Pashmina:

Nepalese pashmina and cashmere are considered one of the very high-quality form of the handmade product with multiple purposes. This fiber is very soft and delicate which can be designed into shawls, scarfs, blankets, sweaters, puncho, pullovers, and even cardigans. Pashmina is made from an extract of a Himalayan goat found in the Himalayan region. Nepal has been producing and exporting pashmina fiber for a very long, but now, we even find fashion houses that use pashmina and come up with exclusive designs in the market. For this we can find an outlet of various pashmina houses around the Kathmandu valley, most of them also have their website for online shopping.

Silver Jewelry/ Silver craft:

Jewelry items require very delicate and detailed crafting for its exclusive look. Handmade silver jewelry makes no exception to deliver its beautiful look and design. We can find many local silver jewelry shops in locations like Jamal, Newroad, Asan, Patan, and such cultural places. Most of these shops are there for many generations where the skill of silver crafting is passed on to the next generation. Therefore, they still beautifully hold historical and cultural essence. Also, many new handmade silver jewelry businesses are now being established with their brand name to survive in the competitive market. The skill of silver crafting might be ancient, but the design that various shops deliver does not fail to impress accessory lovers.

Hemp Bags:

Hemp is another fiber from the Himalayan regions which can be processed in various products. Out of them, hemp bags have been gaining popularity among the youths with their unique and qualitative look. Hemp bags are just like any other normal bags in functionality. However, they do not go through machines for production. Hemp bags are handmade and yet very modern. Some businesses even deliver custom made bags according to your designs. 

Handmade Notebook:

Nepali Kagaj” is very commonly found in the market for various purposes. But a new business model is being introduced where Nepali Paper are now designed into stylized notebooks. There are few shops (the number is growing) that cater to the stationary need of the market through its Nepalese handmade products like notebooks. The products are very qualitative and uniquely designed. Some businesses also provide custom made products and facilitate online shopping.

The above were the products that are popularly known for their hastasilpa. The businesses offering these products not only aim to preserve and extend the historical and traditional culture of our country but also promote local/ domestic products and local shopping. Such businesses also support women's employment. However, such products have not yet gained a stable market domestically. The majority of their products are shipped outside to the international market

With ancient skill and modern design, Nepalese handicraft products have a long way to go ahead.


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