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What is Handicraft?

handicraft_products-BanglabeeHandicraft, more precisely expressed as artisanal handicraft, sometimes also called artisanry, is a type of work where useful and decorative devices are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools. It is a traditional main sector of craft. Usually the term is applied to traditional means of making goods. The individual artisanship of the items is a paramount criterion, such items often have cultural and/or religious significance. Items made by mass production or machines are not handicraft goods.

Usually, what distinguishes the term handicraft from the frequently used category arts and crafts is a matter of intent: handicraft items are intended to be used, worn, etc., having a purpose beyond simple decoration. Handicraft goods are generally considered more traditional work, in traditional non-industrial and transitional societies created as a somewhat more necessary part of daily life (in comparison to industrial societies), while arts and crafts implies more of a hobby pursuit and a demonstration/perfection of a creative technique. In Britain in the late nineteenth century, however, the Arts and Crafts Movement was not a matter of hobbies, but of creating useful as well as creative work for people, using natural materials and traditional techniques. In practical terms, the categories have a great deal of overlap.