To read this content please select one of the options below:

Handmade OK please: key criteria for purchasing craft items by Indian consumers

Ajay Kumar Koli (Department of Travel and Tourism Studies, Vishwakarma University, Pune, India)

Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2044-1266

Article publication date: 29 June 2021

Issue publication date: 12 January 2023




The purpose of this study is to identify the key criteria from the perspective of handmade, authenticity and sustainability for purchasing craft items by Indian consumers.


An exploratory qualitative research was conducted on the buying behaviour of Assamese muga mekhela chador (MMC). Data were collected using purposive sampling and video-recorded focus group discussions (FGDs). Output transcripts were content-analysed using the R package RQDI.


Indian consumers largely define crafts as handmade. Results indicate the crucial role of craft design and price. Craft authenticity, craft knowledge and social identity evolved as the key criteria for buying crafts. State intervention in craft certification is demanded. Indian craft consumers lack awareness about sustainable consumption.


India is home to millions of craftspeople and craft buyers. Most of the earlier craft studies focused on the problems of craft production in India. This study contributes to the consumption literature, from the standpoints of authenticity and sustainability, which are often limited to Western consumers. Understanding its own domestic craft market will help Indian policymakers and organisations to reduce export dependency and to tap potential local craft demand.



Research Fellowship received from University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi.


Koli, A.K. (2023), "Handmade OK please: key criteria for purchasing craft items by Indian consumers", Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 43-65.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles