Handicrafts of Pakistan: A Rich Tradition

Pakistan is heir to an ancient civilization with a rich history of art and culture.

There are many different worlds contained within the geographical boundaries of Pakistan as various civilizations impacted it at different times in its history

There is art in every corner of every village where every mural is embellished — from architecture, so ancient, yet so astonishingly elaborate that even the most modern visitor can’t help but look in awe — to the stunning jewelry its women wear.

Craftsmanship in Pakistan comes from artisans who weave myths, legends, and Sufi stories into different forms of crafts indigenous to every area.

The world of its craftspeople, with their handmade goods and textiles, spans millennia and encompasses influences of many civilizations – Indus, Persian, and Turkic within it.

An artisan painting colorful design on a metal pot

For artisans of Pakistan, wood, metal, marble, clothes, clay act as canvasses for their creativity  —  happiness carved out of chaos and often creativity was the only outlet so the brave artisans of Pakistan’s deserts and mountains painted tiles, carved marble, cupboards made from wood and molded brass into toys for children and converted copper into utensils for their daughter’s wedding.

In some areas, the village itself is linked with some craft whether it’s wood carving or rugs or embroidery or metalwork or blue pottery that has gone on for generations — taught from father to son or mother to daughter.

Ceramics and pottery have their roots in Gandhara civilization, even the ruins of Gandhara have yielded toys made with clay and this tradition has stayed alive in the villages of southern Punjab and Sindh where you would find artisans creating ceramics and then painting them over with Naqashi or Kashi Kari.

A ceramic wall plate with artistic drawing

Brass and Copper have been worked in the northern Pakistan lands ever since the Mughals came and were amazed by the skill of local artisans. Extremely intricate carving on brass and metal is done in Swat and old bazaars of Peshawar to create wondrous creations which can momentarily stun you with their craftsmanship.

A brass plate with beautifully engraved design

Wood Carving was inspired by the elaborate Mughal architecture; brave artisans working in small cities are still creating furniture pieces fit for a king in places like Chiniot and Sargodha.

A wooden pen holder with engraved artistic design

The Marble carvings done in northern Pakistan can leave Michelangelo stunned. Virtuoso craftsmen work with porcelain marble pieces to create decorative items, utensils, and art which leaves you breathless with its purity and perfection.

A masterpiece of marble carving


Blue pottery is a microcosm of the Sufi mausoleums dotting Multan and Sindh. It’s blue color inspired by the heavenly color preferred by Sufi masters. The motifs taken from Persian and Turkic calligraphy and miniatures.


Blue pottery is an exclusive specialty of Multan, Pakistan

Camel lamps are a small piece of desert crafted from dried camel skin in deserts of Cholistan and Multan and then painted over to create a unique craft not found anywhere else in the world. Light pierces through the porous camel skin to create shadows of the desert night.


A light lamp made of polished, painted camel skin

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