Handicrafts- The Perfection in Imperfection

Each handmade product has a moment of time captured in its art by the artist; A small drop of paint in block print fabric or a stitch out of place in handmade quilts. Personally I feel that the beauty of handmade creations is the small imperfection in each product. Because humans are not machines, we should always keep in mind handmade products may feature inconsistencies or slight flaws. Those are signs that the product wasn’t mass produced by machines.

Hand Block Print Quilts and Curtains

The Japanese art form called Wabi-Sabi means just that, products being irregular or having slight flaws. Customers never found this problematic; in fact such imperfection was considered aesthetic giving the item authenticity.

In certain cultures artists believe leaving a deliberate imperfection in their creation has some deep cultural significance. In Punjab region of India and Pakistan, an embroidery technique called Phulkari, is highly popular. Intricate patterns using brightly colored threads are woven fabrics, while most Phulkari patterns are highly regular, but sometimes women introduce small color or pattern changes into their work. Sometimes it is to be considered a “nazar-pattu” so the wearer avoids peoples evil eye, other times to mark occasion like wedding or child birth.

Hand Block Process

While the above are deliberate imperfections, some are unavoidable, like in block printing imperfection is unavoidable, expected and must be embraced. An artist working with vegetable dyes during the process will leave some paint stains across the fabric. So next time you come across an imperfection, admire the beauty behind the work rather than considering it as a flaw.