Pretty with a purpose

Embroidery detail from the Reversible Malabar Jacket

The hand embroidery which enhances the design of most MarketPlace products is beautiful, but it has another serious function.

Including hand embroidery allows the artisans to work from home and keep flexible hours. Most of the women want to be able to manage their time to allow them to sew as well as care for their children and fulfill their home responsibilities.

To allow this option to as many women as possible, the cooperatives maintain a ratio of two embroidery artisans for every one person who is sewing products on a sewing machine. Over 150 embroidery artisans go every day to their mandals, workshops, to return the work they took the day before and pick up their new assignments.

53a-02-8The embroidery designs and colors are determined in Design Workshops.  Sometimes the embroidery follows the pattern of the fabric. In other cases, a new motif is created, which is marked on the garment.

The stitches used are fairly basic because we have learned that a new embroidery artisan can be trained in 3 hours in these techniques and begin earning immediately.  Complexity is achieved by combining a variety of stitches and through inventive design.

View our videos of the artisans at work: Flowers and petals and Double lines.




  1. What are laundry instructions for clothes? Does cotton shrink and should I allow for that when choosing a size?
    Clothes are beautiful. Can’t wait to see what I have ordered.

    1. Thanks for asking! Here’s the info from our website.
      Washing Recommendations:
      Most MarketPlace products are 100% cotton and can be machine washed. Machine wash separately in cold water using a gentle cycle and full load setting. A handful of salt or a quarter cup of vinegar added to the first wash will help set the dye. Line dry.
      Our cottons are pre-washed before cutting and/or before embroidery, so shrinking is not a problem. Treat the items gently, like hand-washables, and they will last forever. As I write this, I’m wearing a jacket I bought in 1998 and it still looks fabulous.

      1. My order has arrived and I love the jackets. Beautiful fabric, perfect fit and great styling. 😍
        Will be shopping for more. Great job, ladies.

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