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The Art of Itajime Shibori: Techniques, Surprises, and Master Artisans

Itajime Shibori is a captivating fabric dyeing technique that originates from Japan, known for its unique and intricate patterns. This ancient art form, which translates to "clamp tie-dye" in English, involves folding, clamping, and dyeing fabric to create stunning geometric designs.  In this blog, I, the owner of Asusnti, selling shawls and sustainable clothing, will explore the art of Itajime Shibori: techniques, surprises and master artisans who keep this tradition alive.   What Is Itajime Shibori? The verb "shiboru" means "to wring, squeeze, and press" in Japanese, capturing the essence of the various manipulations involved in the shibori technique. While the word shibori is often associated with the famous Japanese style of fabric dyeing, commonly known as "tie-and-dye," it actually...

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Meet our Linen Collection from India

 A few hours travel by train from the bustling metropolis of Kolkata in West Bengal, is the town of Phulia. This town has been renowned as a centre of excellence in hand weaving since Partition when hundreds of skilled weavers migrated here from Bangladesh. Seeking new lives, they established themselves in Phulia, building hand looms and specialising in complex weaves like jacquard and jamdani, which are designs based on their Tangail sari culture of their home towns.​ Our Artisan Partners  From the late 1950s, weavers began to form cooperative societies to organise and better market their products. Our weaving partner is in one such village weaving society established in 1958 by 52 local weavers. Today the society consists of 213 member weavers and workers, coming from the villages...

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The Story of Our Jiva Kimono

Crafted at the Dhonk workshop in Ranthambore in Rajasthan, our Jiva Kimono offers multiple wearing options, with block printing details emphasising its relaxed styling and versatility.  A social enterprise and an arm of Ranthambore-based NGO Tiger Watch dedicated to saving the Tiger, Dhonk offers alternate livelihoods and skill training in the heartland of the tiger, Ranthambore. They work with the indigenous tribes which include the crucial ex-hunter's community to train them in the art of manual kashida embroidery and hand block printing which is Craftmark certified.  Hand-stitched in small batches and block printed by hand using AZO-free dyes, each piece is individually crafted with attention to detail in the open air workshop in Ranthambore. Under the judicious supervision of master printer Gopalji and...

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Kantha

Kantha is a centuries old tradition of stitching cloth, and one of the very oldest forms of embroidery, which can be traced back to 1500bc.  Mainly seen in the East Indian states of West Bengal and Orissa, and in Bangladesh. A very simple embroidery stitch – a running stitch - Kantha refers both to the stitch and the cloth it creates.  Kantha has been used for centuries to mend and “make good” textiles; its ripple effect across the fabric adding strength and making the fabric serviceable again.  This ancient craft was, and still is today, passed down from mother to daughter. It is a skill learnt in childhood by millions of rural women, many of whom are impoverished and live in socially conservative...

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