These unique scarves have cachet that's simply unmatched in the mass market. Each is hand woven, strand by strand, by women in Delhi, India, using traditional techniques described below. You'll take pleasure in knowing that you're supporting The Hope Project India which helps desperately poor citizens in the critical areas of health care, education and income generation.
Bandhani (pronounced bon' duh nee), whose name is derived from the Hindi word for tying up, is an ancient form of tie and dye. A skilled craftswoman, with the aid of a long-grown finger-nail or a spiked finger ring, pushes the silk upwards from below to form a tiny peak. She then deftly wraps the tip with a fine cotton thread to create a dot the size of a pin's head. One at a time, dot by dot, a precise and intricate pattern materializes. Once the tying is done, the silk is handed over to the dye artisan, who gently dips the piece into a vat of color. The untied areas accept the dye, while the tightly bound dots retain the original color. The process may be repeated several times, with subsequent courses of tied dots, then dye dips. Finally, once dry, the threads are unraveled to liberate the design and display the distinctive dimpled, elastic texture of Bandhani.
Khadi (pronounced kah' dee) is produced when an artisan spins fibers of cotton, silk or wool into threads on a hand-operated spinning wheel (a charkha In India), and then weaves these threads on a hand-operated loom to make cloth. In many remote Indian villages, this is still done today in much the same way as it has been done for millennia. The tactile quality of Khadi is unique and the touch against one's skin is unsurpassed. Wearing a garment made entirely by human hands, and experiencing its energy and integrity, is in itself sufficient reward. Moreover, your choice of Khadi helps sustain the vitality of these ancient traditions, and promotes ongoing self-sufficiency for the village artisan.
Kantha (prounounced kahn' ta) has been practiced for thousands of years and is derived from Sanskrit word for rags - it's the original recycling art. Traditionally, old, well-worn saris were layered together and quilted using colored threads from the sari borders, to make warm blankets or clothing. The needlewoman, with patient handiwork, creates a decorative motif with the ingenious use of a simple running stitch. Designs range from elaborate folk motifs that tell a story of the artisan's village life depicting hunting, farming and dancing, to elaborate florals, animal and bird scenes, and complex geometrics. Truly works of art, no two pieces of Kantha are the same. Each piece embodies the emotions and energy of the artisan, and that energy can be felt emanating from the work. The creator is believed to be able to stitch her wishes into the fabric to ensure happiness, prosperity and fulfillment.