• Synthetic Fabrics: For much of history, the fabric was a luxury available to the elite. The east dominated the production of silk and cotton, which were transported at enormous cost and danger to human life over the Silk Routes to the West. Most people owned...

  • Victorian textiles: Growing up in a family that makes a ceremony of brewing the perfect cup of tea, I’ve seen tea cosies all my life.  Those little jackets for the teapot that keep the tea warm while it is steeping. The other day I posted...

  • Earth Democracy: This month, I found my life coming a full circle after I took a little break from the day-to-day research work of our textile craft company Marasim. I invested my time into studying a course ‘Return to Earth: A-Z of biodiversity, agroecology, and...

  • Environmental Impact of Natural and Synthetic Dyes: Imagine a world where everything we wear or surround ourselves with is grey or white.  Colour has been essential to the history of civilization, signaling prestige, hierarchy, and leadership from the Stone Age onwards.  But we pay a...

  • Embroidery As Art: Last week, I attended Shobha Broota’s new show, where she used techniques like crochet and knitting to create unique art. This is, fortunately, a growing trend, but embroidery as art is still a problem area, being associated as it is with women’s...

  • Cross-Stitch – The inspiration for this article came from our cross-stitch expert Shobha, who joined as our first full-time cross-stitch artisan in June 2021. Shobha has been practicing this craft for the past 17 years. When she was in her twenties, she joined the training...

  • Afghan War Rugs: I made my first-ever Afghan friends in 2017 in India during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit co-hosted by India and the US Department of State. I remember my excitement to meet so many fellow women founders solving problems in their communities worldwide. However,...

  • Crochet: My grandmother had a straw box that contained mostly white hanks of thread and red beads. She would take this box out when she wasn’t busy, and magically little doilies with a bead edging would emerge from her fingers. These doilies were used to...

  • Threads of Life, We’ve all grown up thinking of sewing and embroidery as women’s work: another unpaid and thankless chore.  Darning socks, sewing on buttons, embroidering a child’s dress with a  motif.  But occasionally, we read something that gives us pause and allows us to...

  • Ainu: We who love textiles know what it is to revere an exceptional piece of weaving or embroidery.  But there is a community where this is literally practiced. And that is by the Ainu.  History of Ainu The Ainu have lived on the island of...

  • Smocking: Those of us who grew up in the 1960s and the decades before then have all worn gingham dresses, very often with smocking. I know that I associate smocking exclusively with dresses for little girls.  But that’s not how the craft started.  In a...

  • In 2019 we did a lot of research and development in hand knitting, knotting, smocking, and bead-making techniques. We worked with a group of women artisans in the villages of Western Uttar Pradesh in India. Before making the trip to these villages and meeting these...

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