Handloomed in India
We're extremely proud of our evolving collection of hand-woven textiles created in partnership with India's oldest certified fair-trade artisanal weaving cooperative in West Bengal, Sasha. These textiles turned out so beautifully, we couldn't be any more excited to share them! (While the fabric was produced in India, the dresses were all proudly stitched in Kenya by our team.)
Proudly made in India
A few years ago, we were lucky enough to spend some time in Calcutta with the incredible team at Sasha (India's first self-managing artisanal fair-trade collective, founded in 1978), and we were blown away by their mission as well as their work. Given their heritage and location, it made sense to work with both linen and cotton, which is grown in the region. With Sasha, we were able to source ethically grown linen and work with their experienced weavers in West Bengal to make these beautiful textiles.
In order to highlight the depth and complexity of these hand-spun and hand-woven fabrics, we wanted to explore a few spheres of texture, as well as be able to share several of the many textile traditions in the region. Since we started working with Sasha, we’ve produced several collections of textiles together ranging over five different weaving traditions, including a luminous cotton-linen blend, a breathable natural cotton khadi, a delicate jamdani, a fun and durable discharge textile, and finally (currently!) a selection of hand-woven ikats that we’re very excited about!
Khadi textile production is an intricate, two step process: first, hand-spinning the fiber into yarn using a wheel called a charkha, and then using a handloom to weave the yarn into fabric. This process results in a textile that has a beautiful, uneven texture and a weight that's both cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Our hand-loomed blend of cotton and linen textiles creates subtle texture and movement within the weave. The textiles in this collection are 70% linen and 30% cotton, making them super easy to wash and wear, since they’re more wrinkle resistant, more durable, and drape a bit heavier when worn than pure linen.
Jamdani fabric is a light, embroidered muslin fabric perfect for the fair-weather months. It’s a 100% cotton textile that is washable, wearable, durable and breathable.
Discharge prints apply a design to dyed cotton fabric by printing a color-destroying agent, to bleach out a white or light pattern on the darker coloured ground. It’s a fun way to play with design and creates a look that is both modern and chic!
While Ikat textiles are traditionally produced using a stitch-resist technique, the ikats in our collection are woven rather than stitched to create a patterning that is a bit more controlled while still retaining the beauty of a truly hand-made textile.
What's next? Great question! We're always in search of textiles that are both beautiful and ethically produced, particularly when they involve artisanal techniques that can and should be carried on. So many of the textiles we see these days are mechanized reproductions of what would have been originally hand-made, and it's important to us to keep these groups and these traditions engaged. We'd love to hear from you if you have any thoughts or suggestions, and as always, we'll keep traveling, learning, and appreciating the places and people who create the beauty in our world, wherever it may be.