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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 Europe for hundreds of years. This traditional art has survived among dedicated artisans in southern India who follow the age-old techniques and natural dye recipes … Continue reading Kalamkari: A Tradition Continued and Renewed

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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 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 … Continue reading Our Chindi Collection: Learning by turning trash into treasure

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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 in South East Asia) has withstood the passage of time is a testament to its versatility and beauty.  One has to just take a peek … Continue reading Exquisite Ties: By Shanthi Kumar

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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 colors and mordants derived from local plants and minerals. Once prized by sultans and Europeans alike, Kalamkari fabrics suffered from the introduction of machine-printed textiles … Continue reading Authentic Kalamkari Worth the Work

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Justin Beiber Fan and Karate Kid- Rupa!

I recently gave my tenth grade exams and I have a long summer vacation ahead of me. I’ve been keeping myself busy with the summer workshops at MarketPlace. So far I’ve participated in an art competition, a craft making session and I also got to watch The Karate Kid! The Armaan Club arranged the film screening for those of us who have been learning karate … Continue reading Justin Beiber Fan and Karate Kid- Rupa!

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Meet Artisan Priyanka Medhe!

Priyanka Medhe, 33. Sahara Cooperative I gave birth to a child almost 10 years after I got married. This is a big issue in our society and I was subjected to taunts and insults for years because I hadn’t produced a child. Neighbors and relatives would advise my husband to leave me and marry someone else. This was obviously very traumatizing but I was lucky … Continue reading Meet Artisan Priyanka Medhe!

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Shraddha’s Plans for the Summer and Beyond

(Shraddha Gupta, 15, years old, daughter of artisan Malati Gupta, WARE. ) I just gave my 10th grade exams and am on vacation for the next 4 months till we start junior college (11th grade). I am going to study Commerce for 2 years before I start college. I have a pretty clear plan for what I will do in the next few years. I want to … Continue reading Shraddha’s Plans for the Summer and Beyond