Here’s What You Should Know Before Exporting Your Handicrafts to the United States (A Must Read)

Through the ages, the Indian handicraft is famous around the whole world for its unique workmanship and exquisite designs. Handicrafts of India represent their deep-rooted rich culture and heritage and distinctive skills that are passed from generation to generation. The handicrafts of India come from the remotest corners of its different states with infinite varieties that are being refined every day. The main product of handicrafts consists of woodwares, embroidered and crocheted goods, art metal wares, shawls, Zari goods, hand-printed textiles, and imitation jewellery. These pieces of art add aesthetic, decorative, and artistic value to a space.

At present, Indian handicraft is gaining immense popularity worldwide, especially in countries like the USA, the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Australia, and so on. In this article, we will lay special emphasis on the United States and walk you through various aspects of the United States handicraft market, its demand and supply, industry trends, size, growth, opportunity, and a lot of various other important indicators that you should be aware of before exporting handicrafts from India to the United States. In this complete guide, we will also share how you can export your handicrafts to the United States in an effective manner and free of hassles.

Table of Contents

1)  Overview

2)  Key Industry Trends

3)  Interesting Facts About the Indian Handicraft Industry

4)  United States Handicraft Market

5)  Key Buyer Requirements in the US

6)  How to Export Indian Handicrafts in the US in an Effective Manner?


The United States is among the most developed countries in the world. The majority of the population of the country has large discretionary income at their disposal to spend on widespread novelty. When you talk about widespread novelty, handicrafts of India come to our mind. We know very well how much the foreigners love the arts and crafts of India. Talking about the share of Indian handicraft exports, the USA tops the list with 28 percent of the total share. The Government of India has launched various programmes like Babasaheb Ambedkar Hastshilp Vikas Yojana, Research and Development Scheme, Handicrafts Artisans Comprehensive Welfare Scheme, and a list of various other programmes under the National Handicraft Development Programme to promote handicrafts on the global stage especially in countries like the US.

Key Industry Trends

Key Industry Trends
  • The continuous lockdowns implemented in India because of the rising number of cases of Coronavirus disease have had a very negative impact on the growth of the handicraft industry. However, post the Covid pandemic, markets have shown immense growth. Exports from India have increased year on year by almost 2 percent to the US $3.39 billion in the financial year 2020 despite a high number of Covid cases.
  • The Government of India has taken various steps to promote handicraft exporters. The government has increased incentive rates for handicraft items under the Merchandise Export from India Scheme (MEIS) from 5 percent to 7 percent, thereby assisting in recovering the input costs involved in the production of handicrafts. This has resulted in competitive pricing and increased exports.
  • The Indian handicraft industry is expected to exhibit strong growth at a CAGR of around 10 percent between the years 2021 to 2026.

Interesting Facts About the Indian Handicraft Industry

Interesting Facts About the Indian Handicraft Industry
  • Annually, the Indian handicraft industry grows at a rate of 20 percent.
  • Countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and so on contribute significantly to the total handicraft exports of India.
  • India’s share of handicrafts in the global market is only around 1.2 percent. This figure is extremely low compared to the potential of the handicraft industry of India.
  • Close ties between the government of India and the government of the United States have promoted the exports of India resulting in an inflow of huge foreign exchange beneficial for the growth of India’s economy.
  • According to the estimates, Indian handicraft is known to be a US $100 billion global industry which shows the immense potential of this industry.
  • The value of handicrafts produced in the year 2020-2021 was 26,213 crores according to the National Council for Applied Economic Research’s National Census of Handicrafts.

United States Handicraft Market

There has been a significant rise in the demand for Indian handicrafts in the US market for a few years. To understand the end market for Indian handicrafts in the US, it is important to know how the home accessory industry is organized. Each handicraft product that is supplied is produced based on one or a combination of several raw materials. Raw materials that are used include metal, leather, paper, pottery, wood, soap, textiles, stone, glass, shells, and so on. The home accessory market in the US is categorized as follows:

1)  Accessories and Gifts

2)  Accent furniture

3)  Portable lamps

4)  Area rugs

5)  Wall décor

6)  Lighting fixtures

7)  Tabletop and tabletop accessories

8)  Collectibles

9)  Softgoods

10) Permanent botanicals

According to a survey of retailers in the US, the three most popular product categories are wall décor, lamps, and accent furniture. In addition to home accessories, the market of imitation jewellery is at its peak because of intricate exquisite designs. According to the market experts and some organizations, the imitation jewellery market holds significant potential for developing country producers like India because of the variety of local materials that can be used and the opportunity to apply local skills of the artisans and creativity to design unique and beautiful fashion accessories.

Accessories and gifts are one of the largest market segments in the US. The segment includes a bunch of products from baskets, photo frames, boxes, home fragrance products to candles and bookends and offers the most opportunity for handicraft producers like India. The segment of accent furniture that includes products made of materials like wood, metal, glass, and so on occupies a strong position in the US market too. Portable lamps along with the area rugs are high in demand in the US market. Wall décor is one of the most popular product categories according to the industry resources and various buyers. This category includes a variety of products like wall art, mirrors, picture frames, and so on. The Wall décor segment is expected to gain more momentum and growth in the coming years. Consumers in the US demand unusual tabletop accessories and serving pieces such as carved wooden bowls, Papier Mache, napkin rings, and a lot more. Collectibles, a very broad and overlapping segment of the industry defined as decorative or useful items for which there is a demonstrated secondary market, have also shown tremendous growth rates and demand over the past few years.

Key Buyer Requirements in the United States

Key Buyer Requirements in the United States

1)    Quality

The handicraft product should be 100 percent authentic and of premium quality. It should display the workmanship of the artisans and should have a proper finish. Finishing can include the type of paint or polish used, accuracy and vibrancy of different colours, or how finely metal edges are filled. Handicrafts must be consistent in dimensions and designs though not identical and must be well packed in clean materials that prevent damages.

2)    Design

The basic design of handicraft products should be in line with the trends – lines, shapes, colours, and finish. The products fetch a high amount if it is unique in the market. Handicrafts should be designed to be of high quality at a low cost using available and affordable materials.

3)    Price

It is a very sensitive element of the market. The price of the handicraft should be according to the quality of the product. Higher pricing of products can result in loss of revenue and eventually loss of customers. This in turn hampers the profit margin of the exporters. Exporters should be willing to negotiate with the buyers.

4)    Capacity and Delivery

Exporters should be able to meet the minimum and maximum requirements of the buyer and should be able to handle quick re-orders. Handicrafts should be delivered on time, as ordered, and it should be determined beforehand who will bear any unforeseen expenses.

How to Export Indian Handicrafts in the US in an Effective Manner?

How to Export Indian Handicrafts in the US

The answer is quite simple. You can make your website list your products and spend a lot of money to bring customers to your website. This can be very cost ineffective way and you will face hardships to get the audience to buy your products. The best way you can adopt is to list your products on e-commerce handicraft trade platforms like Craftezy.

Craftezy is an online trade platform that acts as a mediator between buyers and sellers. It works on a commission-based model where a user is charged a minimal fee for each transaction. This empowers exporters to provide and sell the best handicrafts with no added cost. Craftezy has a very user-friendly platform that enables exporters to list their products without any hassles and helps them from the point of initiation to the part where the product has been delivered to the buyer.

India has long been a gigantic handicraft producer and is becoming an increasingly important exporter of handicrafts in the US. The Indian government has started focusing on increasing handicraft exports by investing in a design capacity and showcasing the brand, India. Platforms like Craftezy help you in reaching a global audience and making you a successful exporter of handicrafts. If you want to succeed in the business of Indian handicrafts exports, Craftezy is your one-stop solution for all the problems during this process.

Register with Craftezy as a Seller click here

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