A Holistic, All-Natural Guide by Rhituparna Mitra
The tropical Indian summer is here, and it’s the perfect time to adopt eco-conscious summer practices from knowledge that lies in our cultural plethora Ayurvedic and slow living regimes! Isn’t it amusing how we sit inside our air conditioned rooms, ironically berating climate change, all the while knowing that our extensive carbon emission is the very cause of our discomfort?
Rhituparna Mitra is an eco-conscious maven and a passionate environmentalist who leads a … Read Full
Kaithoon, a village of about 15,000 people in Rajasthan, is home to the ethereal kota doria weave. With 2500 looms, it houses weavers who have been working here for 300 years – their forefathers were brought here from Mysore in the 17th century by Maharao Kishore Singh, a general in the Mughal Army. This textile is locally known as Kota Masuria, because of it’s roots in Mysore. A true blue Kota Doria combines cotton and silk yarns in a … Read Full
It’s officially my first chance at procuring, wearing and learning about weaves that aren’t part of the mainstream saree narrative – and discovering Saaranga Chennai was instrumental in making this long overdue event of my six yard revival journey happen. South India has a plethora of handwoven treasures, each state having it’s array of weaves right from the affordable to the resplendent. The Chedi Butta – woven in Veeravanallur – is one such daintily beautiful weave, that has roots all … Read Full
We’ve all encountered a kantha – be it saree, dupatta, suit, cushion or blanket. But a little known fact that differentiate’s this eastern Indian tradition from several other embroidery crafts is that there lies a profound functionality behind it, for it was in it’s truest essence a craft tradition of the poor. Discarded textile scraps sewn together with a running stitch – the basic foundational block of needlework – to create something new. One of India’s oldest embroidery traditions, the … Read Full
We’ve all heard of recycling and upcycling, recreating new garments with the old. Following the same principle, there exists an eclectic, beautiful textured handloom textile that is literally a saree recreated by scraps of older sarees! The process is fascinating yet simple…
The warp is with new yarn and the weft is with strips of thin cloth obtained by tearing old sarees length wise. For non textile experts, this simply means that long, thin strips of cloth cut from old … Read Full
White on white chikankari is a soothing, pristine and royal textile to wear – the feeling takes you all the way back to when Noor Jehan, wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, probably introduced it.
This beautiful, long kurta is sustainably special in many ways
– it is a hand-me-down, and I always promote raiding and reusing clothing from wardrobes around you especially when it comes to gorgeous Indian textiles. Buy Less, Use More.
-it features exquisitely intricate shadow handwork … Read Full
I’ve always had a thing for ayurvedic, organic, all natural skincare. When I was younger (read: had a lot more free time), I had this phase where I’d only use things from the kitchen for my face – which was quite an elaborate, Cleopatra-esque routine. Nowadays I fall for naturalist marketing, delicious fragrances and lovely packaging all too easily – but we all must know this, the rules in India for publishing every single ingredient on the product are very … Read Full
This look is inspired by a resplendent portrait of Maharani of Cooch Behar, Indira Devi – mother to Gayatri Devi. A passionate, fierce and unstoppable woman, with an immensely interesting life story narrated later in this post. AIn her portrait we find a glimmering tissue blouse, three tiered pearls and a sheer saree creating a classically royal look which was quite the favorite among the globe-trotting Maharanis of Cooch Behar. Bare face, dark lips and natural beauty are a quintessential … Read Full
My primary inspiration to style my dailywear looks always leans towards making my outfit revolve around my accessories – and this handcrafted beadwork neckpiece is the star of this look. To give you a quick mental association, think of the quintessential Gujarati torans with the coconut, animals, “Welcome” or “Shubh Labh” played out in tiny colourful beads and you’ll know instantly what craft this piece comes from. Traditionally handcrafted beadwork jewellery is BIG in accessory trends right now, although the … Read Full
Continuing the #desidrapes rainbow series, today is the day for a beautiful dhakai jamdani handloom saree as blue as the Mediterranean sea. Traditionally, muslin patterning in the extra weft technique is known as Jamdani and Sir George Watt gave the fine muslins of Bengal the name of “ring muslins,” after testing their fineness by passing them through a ring. However, this was no secret to … Read Full