Author Archives: MarketPlace: Handwork of India

About MarketPlace: Handwork of India

MarketPlace: Handwork of India is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing economic opportunities for women artisans in India, and empowering them to bring about changes in their lives, the lives of their families, and their communities.

The Wonderful Art of Batik Block Printing

By: Shanthi Kumar The art of Indian block printing is a labor-intensive, painstaking process that has survived the test of time because of the beauty of the handmade fabrics. The art flourished in the 12th century under the patronage of … Continue reading

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Kalamkari: A Tradition Continued and Renewed

Kalamkari.  Even the word, a mixture of Persian and Indian, reflects the storied past of this textile art. Kalamkari is an ancient Indian form of hand printing on cloth and kalamkari textiles were a prized trading commodity throughout Asia and … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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Exquisite Ties: By Shanthi Kumar

It is ubiquitous in today’s textile industry. Trendy and classic, colorful and elegant, simple but exquisite, ikat is here to stay. The fact that this age-old tradition (dating back to the 5th and 6th century in India and even earlier … Continue reading

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Artisans’ Kids Bust Stereotypes

We asked the artisans’ kids what they felt about some common social stereotypes. We then asked them to write down one social “rule” that they have proven wrong. Here are some of the answers we got. What did the kids feel … Continue reading

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Celebrating Independence

August 15th is Independence Day in India, commemorating the day in 1947 when India became free from British rule. As the country celebrates with speeches and concerts and kite-flying, the artisans reflect on what independence and freedom mean on a … Continue reading

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Authentic Kalamkari Worth the Work

  Sometimes it isn’t about efficiency. Sometimes it’s about taking the time and trouble to create something truly special. The ancient Kalamkari process is very complex and time-consuming, involving up to 17 steps of hand block printing and dyeing with … Continue reading

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