Our Chindi Collection: Learning by turning trash into treasure

MarketPlace is known for its creative use of design and our chindi collection is a good example.  Chindi means “scraps” and we use the scraps from our production to fulfill a variety of purposes.  First, we reduce waste.  Second, this project is a means to train new artisans and get them comfortable using the sewing machine.  Third, it is also an introductory way for new groups to gain confidence in production, keeping to timelines and quality.  Last but not least, the beautiful hand-dyed fabric scraps inspire unique and creative designs.

The managing of the chindi project is no easy task.


After production, the scraps are collected and organized. Tons and tons of chindis arrive after each shipment.  They are separated by size and color, including background color.  If one chindi is a blue pattern on a white background and the other is blue on a dark blue background, they might not look good together.


The sorted chindi are ironed and then cut according to the size specification.  Above are shown 6” square chindis but other designs call for 2” squares or triangles.  Many of the scraps can only be made into long, narrow strips, so we design products just for them. This is how the Kareli Jacket is made.


The trainees are then given a stack of the cut chindis which they keep by the machine for easy access.  They take one from each stack and attach them together to make a long strip and then attach the strips.  By doing this they learn how to start and stop the machine, how much they need to press on the pedal, that the corners have to match, etc.  Depending on the end use, the chindi creations are made into a variety of shapes and sizes.


It is difficult to predict how many chindis will be generated and if the final use of the chindi pieces is color-specific, we could run out of some colors.  To solve this, we use techniques of printing and dyeing the chindis after they have been sewn together.  In this case, the patchwork fabric for the Kareli jacket is hand block printed with melted wax.  It is then all dyed in one color.


The wax print acts as a resist and does not absorbs the dye, retaining the original color of the patched fabric in the places covered with wax.



After it is dyed in a coordinating overall color, the chindi piece still retains some of the characteristics of the original fabrics.


And here you have the fabric ready to cut sew and embroider.


Imagine the number of hands that have used their fantastic skills to bring this jacket to you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s