As a continuation of art history craft is one of the majestical art-form in Bangladesh since ancient period. Craft is a versatile art form. It includes muslin (a cotton fabric of plain weave), jamdani sarees (one of the finest muslin textiles of Bengal), nokshi katha ( a type of embroidered quilt, is a centuries-old Bengali art tradition in Bangladesh), shitol pati (handmade mat of rattan or murta plant with traditional design), patachitra ( a general term for traditional, cloth-based scroll painting), shakher hari (decorated pots), Laxmi sara (a pot with the image of the deity of Laxmi), wood made materials, dolls etc. Modern craft-art of Bangladesh is a very small part of the whole. The history of the craft department of the Dhaka University fine art faculty is also of some years only. Present faculty of fine art was established just 67 years ago in 1948 as government fine art institute. From the very beginning of this institute craft was included in the syllabus.
Along with other subjects Shilpacharya (the great teacher of art, an honorary appendage) Zainul Abedin, the founder of the institute had a wish to provide a realistic and complete education on craft. But in that time he couldn’t achieve his target due to lack of scope and capable teacher. Artist Junabul Islam is the founder of the present craft department. In 1968 he was appointed as a teacher of craft department. At the beginning the students were trained in `tie and dye’ and `batik’. After that these two subject is included in the syllabus of Pre-degree and BFA (Bachelor of fine arts) as a subsidiary. BFA and MFA course under this department were started in 1982 and 1989 respectively. And the honors course was introduced under this department in 1992-1993 session.
The main motto of this department is to uphold and promote the modern and creative form of the traditional craft practices. It also involve in the development of this art form. And from these perspective it is operating its academic program. The syllabus of this department is organized in such a way that the students can get a vivid knowledge on the two main part of craft i.e. a) applied craft and b) creative craft. The department try to make sure in building up the capability of the students in both side. The commercial opportunity of the applied craft is also a major consideration of the department. The syllabus of the department includes batik, tapestry, general weaving, wood work, patina (metal work), screen print, appliqué, drawing, design, sketch etc.