Handmade vs machine-made is a popular topic. Humankind is in the era of advanced technological advancements. Still, the charm of handmade exists and continues to grow.
Handmade Persian rugs with creative knots tend to outshine the industry-made woven carpets. Or, the elegance of a handmade Rolls Royce dulls the charm of any high-tech SUV. Comparisons like these imply why handmade is important today.
The difference between handmade and machine manufactured goods are many. But if you wish to compare the value of handmade products vis-a-vis the industrial ones. Then, you need to read further below:
- 8 Key Differences Between Handmade VS Machine Made
8 Key Differences Between Handmade VS Machine Made
1. Handmade Products Are Unique
The attribute that sets handmade items apart from machine ones is their uniqueness.
No two handmade items can ever look the same. It is the distinctness of products made by hand that makes them special.
Owners of handmade products cherish the fact that no one in the world has the same product as theirs. The uniqueness of the art made with hands sets it apart from those made with a cookie-cutter approach.
Being made in small numbers, the handmade products are distinct. You know from a distance that a particular product is a handmade creation.
2. Handmade Products Can Be Custome-made
You can get handmade products made as per your wish. Since the artist who creates the work is a real person, they can do adjustments the way you want.
Such luxury is not possible with mass-made products in a factory. The handmade items have a scope of edits which cannot happen with the ones made with machines.
That is the reason you can have the choice of colors and fitting as per your preferences.
For instance, if you are allergic to a particular fabric, you can opt-out. Or if you have a liking for a particular color, then, you can have a custom-made order in your favorite color palette.
3. Products Made By Hand Have A Personal Touch
This is the biggest difference between handmade products and industrial ones.
You can add a name/initials or whatever you wish to on a handmade product. That is why handmade items work well as gifts of remembrance. A handmade artist can create an anniversary/ graduation/ birthday or any memorable gift.
With a machine-made production, there is no scope for adding personal details. A mass-produced production line can not afford to make changes even if they are small ones. That is why the personalized benefits make handmade gifts lovelier than machine-made ones. The gifts made in industrial zones can never have a personal appeal.
4. They Are Natural And Sustainable
Since they are handmade, the production of handmade items takes time. At times, even a simple-looking product takes about a year to make.
For instance, making khadi fabric from raw cotton takes months to create. That is when several weavers are spinning the loom wheel to create the yarn.
This sounds disappointing because of the long production cycle. But on the flip side, the slow production leads to slow fashion which in turn leads to less pollution.
Also, most handmade products use natural fabrics. Thus, with the absence of synthetic products, handmade crafts are sustainable. This is a positive side of creating/using handmade products.
5. Handmade Products Create Less Waste
The growing and sourcing of natural materials is a long-term process. Thus, with the use of natural fibers, the production cycle stretches. Plus, converting the natural materials to fibers adds to the processing time.
Most natural materials tend to be more stable as compared to synthetic counterparts. Moreover, handmade items have an aura of sentiments attached to them. Thus, that makes the users tend to them with care and concern.
All these reasons combined tend to less wastage created from handmade items.
Though not all handmade items need to be from natural sources. Some could be from waste as well. That leads to the topic of ——->
6. Handmade products Use Recycled Materials
Bulk manufacturing by machines is a big contributor to pollution. The rejected goods end up as waste dumps in soil and water bodies.
Some handmade products are even made from waste and rejected synthetic machine-made products. That means not all handmade items are from natural materials.
The materials could be plastic, foam, or any kind of item that finds no use. There are a few handmade brands that even make use of products from the garbage and dumpster yards.
The creation of such handmade items prevents soil and water contamination. Thus, it makes sense to use handmade items that prevent the garbage from ending up in landfills.
In the long run, this can reduce the effects of climate change.
Although handmade products have plenty of merits. But there are a few issues as well.
As discussed earlier, handmade items take a long time to create. For obvious reasons, human labor can never replace industrial machinery. That makes the production cycle long. At times it can take months and years as well.
For instance, the ikat fabric-making process involves dyeing and tying the threads. Then, there is the use of a loom to create patterns adorning fabrics. After that, the ikat fabric turns into apparel, bags, and other accessories. The cycle of coloring the threads to create a finished handmade product takes long.
That is why the long processing time is one big drawback of handmade products.
Often handmade products are more expensive in comparison to machine-made ones. It may not always be the case, but obscure art is bound to cost more than its industrial counterparts.
These high production costs coupled with inconsistent sales cause a high retail price. Many times the high retail price further leads to low or no sales. That then initiates the vicious cycle of shutting down handmade creative businesses.
Hence, many creative makers refrain from starting or expanding their handmade businesses. It is worse when the crafters refrain their kids to join the family’s legacy business. This leads to a complete wipe-out of a particular craft.
For instance, the famous Rogan art from Kutch, India is on the verge of decline. The art form involves creating stunning artwork from dehydrated castor oil. The addition of vegetable-derived pigments to the castor oil results in vibrant art. But for a few years, only one family is keeping this art form alive. Though erstwhile it was a thriving art in the region, but then it faded with time due to lack of demand.
Centuries ago, almost every piece of furniture, gadget, or tool was handcrafted. With time, the bombardment of technological advancements resulted in fewer handmade products.
But with the liking for vintage and creativity, handmade skills are back in demand. Including handmade goods in our daily lives brings positivity. So, it makes sense to have more handmade every day.
This article points out a few handmade vs machine made differences. It could be interesting to know how creative skills compete with machines.
Do you know what products are still made by hand? Then, why not share them here.
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