The cotton cause

Uzramma (centre) is reviving the economic honeycomb of cotton-cloth makers. Photo: Kumar/Min
Reposted from: Live Mint The fulcrum of an initiative that wants to take the weave back to the worker

The Malkha Marketing Trust has just moved into expansive new premises in the heart of the commercial district in Secunderabad. Despite their best efforts at disseminating the information through social media, not all their client base is aware of the showroom’s move from its Masab Tank Road address in twin city Hyderabad. For four years, it was the only outlet for Malkha cotton fabrics and had built up a loyal following. Consequently, there are real levels of anxiety in the callers... Read More

Jamdani on Dover Street

Image source: The Hindu
Reposted from: The Hindu As Varana welcomes London’s elite, graphic designer Sujata Keshavan tells us why she switched lanes and how this is the first Indian fashion experiment of its kind Dover Street in London’s Mayfair, a neighbourhood salted with high fashion stores like Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton and Victoria Beckham, became the address of Varana on May 10. Spread across four floors that were previously occupied by Alexander McQueen, the womenswear boutique is a project by renowned graphic designer Sujata Keshavan, and her partners, Ravi Prasad and Meeta Malhotra. Their ambition is to deliver to the world an Indian luxury... Read More

Legendary Paithani

Image source: Parisera
Reposted from: Parisera

Introduction and etymology

The name Paithani is derived from its land of origin, the Paithan or Pratisthan. From the elaborate veins, florals, peacocks, parrots and even Buddha himself gazes from its pallav and the design continues on borders. The Paithan is also called the Kashi of Deccan, flourishing along the banks of Godavari. This visually stunning sari is an epitome of handcrafted luxury.
Ravi verma portrait of a royal woman wearing Paithani (1893).
(Source – Wikimedia Commons) Paithani bridal sari from 19th century.
(Source – Wikimedia Commons)


The ancient legacy of Paithani can be traced back... Read More

An ode to coffee

Photo: MM Getty
Reposted From: Daily O Harper's Bazaar raises its cup to six start-ups that are changing the way we brew. There’s more to coffee than chain stores and instant powders. In fact, there’s a new vocabulary emerging, one that pays attention to flavour, the environment, the roots of your morning cuppa. There’s single-estate (sourced from one plantation) and shade-grown (grown under a plush forest cover). And you can forget the pre-packaged granules simply stirred in hot water. Now, you have different grinds depending on the equipment. Have a French Press? Opt for coarse. Finer for the siphon-like Aeropress, medium for filters and... Read More

Ahmedabad is India’s first UNESCO World Heritage City

(Right) Rani Sipri's Mosque and Tomb; (Left) Shah Ahums Mosque in Ahmedabad
Reposted from: ArchitecturalcDigest

The city that’s known for its unique heritage of urban living and multiculturalism joins the likes of Paris, Cairo, Brussels, and Rome in the UNESCO list

The 600-year-old walled city of Ahmedabad presents an interesting duality of sorts. Traditional medieval houses, with intricately carved wooden facades, coexist with modern architecture; centuries-old craft practices move in perfect tandem with state-of-the-art technology, ancient wisdom is still given utmost importance, but is viewed from the prism of contemporary issues and ideas. It is to acknowledge this interesting amalgamation of the old and the new that UNESCO has awarded Ahmedabad the World... Read More

The block story goes overseas

Image source: The Hindu
Reposted from: The Hindu

Ajrakh prints and handwoven fabrics in natural dyes from artisan clusters across India are now part of indie fashion labels abroad

Don’t be surprised to spot Ajrakh, one of the oldest block printing techniques in the world, on your next shopping jaunt in the US or the UK. Thanks to a number of independent ethical brands, the printed red-blue-black fabrics from Gujarat, handloom weaves from Varanasi, and Goan natural dyes are finding a place in global fashion. Rachel Bracken Singh, Design Director - Anokhi, who also co-founded the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing in... Read More

Sustainable textile innovations: lotus fibres

Image source: Fashion United
Reposted from: Fashion United In view of resources dwindling fast and natural fibres like cotton being resource-intensive to process and petroleum-based fibres like acrylic, polyester, nylon and spandex not being the most environmentally friendly, it is about time to look for sustainable alternatives when producing fibres and fabrics. In a new series, FashionUnited will explore the sustainable alternatives and textile innovations that are currently being pursued all over the world. The good news is, there are many alternatives out there and though not all may be suitable for large-scale production, the versatility of natural materials is just mind boggling. Thus, the... Read More

Pretty sarees, poor weavers: The fight to revive India’s looms

Women Weave exhibition in Delhi, India (WION) | Image Source: WION
Reposted From: WION Sally Holkar can easily pass off as a regular fashionable lady of foreign descent but chat with her about textiles and her eyes glint with enthusiasm and passionate love. Clad in matching separates of blouse, pants and overall jacket in the hues of blue and indigo, Sally Holkar paints a picture of a lady who loves her job and is serious about it. I interview her at The Lodhi in Delhi, where she returns every year with an annual exhibition-cum-sale of handwoven Khadi products from Women Weave. Women Weave is a charitable trust founded in 2003 by Sally which... Read More


Image source: Verve Magazine
Reposted from: Verve Magazine
Rubeina Karachiwalla, founder of Ruby’s Organics, talks to us about the making of her brand, struggles of a first-time entrepreneur, and the idea of healthy cosmetics
 India’s beauty, cosmetic and grooming market is currently valued at 6.5 billion dollars and is estimated to reach 20 billion by 2025. The industry is ever-expanding with international and homegrown brands launching innovative products almost every day. While we may be spoilt for choice, it is also important to regularly evaluate the cosmetics we use, and consider swapping out the chemicals for something that’s a little more eco-minded.
Looking... Read More

Meet the Desi Artisans Whose Contemporary Take on Traditional Indian Arts Is Winning Over London

Reposted from: The Better India Combine western funk with eastern artistry and you have Funky Kalakar! With the invasion of mass production in practically everything we buy, traditional practices of Indian artisans and craftsmen, passed down through generations, are gradually fading away with little to no scope for a sustainable future. An up and coming brand, Funky Kalakar brings the best of East and West together and offers a platform to showcase the country’s rich crafts tradition.

Founder Amey Alshi, who comes from a family engaged in a saree business in Maharashtra, always wanted to start his own enterprise but was unsure of... Read More

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