The Swirly Realm of Tie and Dye


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The concept of dyeing is spiritual where “Rangreza” has been considered to supreme god who intent the capabilities to color human mind, body and soul in the hues of devotion.


Looking into the history of Tie and Dye, its concept was introduced around 1909 in US, when a professor of Columbia University lectured and demonstrated on its techniques with the help of muslins samples. Although the concept of tie-dye is more ancient, and it is considered that it existed in pre-Columbian era (around 500 to 810 AD) too, it’s remaining examples includes basics designs of small circles and lines with primary colors of red, yellow, blue and green.

Talking about Shibori the Japanese style of “Tie and Dye” native of Japan and Indonesia which has been practiced since 8th century. Shibori art comes with huge varieties; there are many ways in which shibori patterns can be created by binding, stitching, folding, twisting or compressing cloth. The various techniques of Shibori art is Kanoko, Miura, Kumo, Nui, Arashi and Itajime Shibori.

Shibori Saree Artkarte

Shibori Saree Artkarte

However, the modern “Tie and dye” term got recognition during mid 1960 in United States and its echo was heard in other parts of the world also. History of Tie and Dye is more ancient in India and it is considered to be practiced before independence, there was a clan of people known as ‘Rangrez’ living in Northern part who were initially involved in the profession of dyeing fabric. The cloth surface decoration patterns or Tie and Dye is also known as “Bandhani”, it is much evolved art here and practiced mostly in Kutch and Saurashtra in Gujarat, , Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi. The term ‘Bandhani‘ is derived from the word ‘Bandhan’ that means tying up. Basically, the technique of bhandhej is used in making Odhnis, sarees and turbans but nowadays its pattern is also tried on skirts, capris, plazzos and other western outfits.

Tie and Dye is a perfect duo of contemporary and modern trend, its patterns and practice holds discipline as well as freedom. In current fashion scenario one can find most revived form of this timeless art, with flowing creativity designers are coming up with new designs and forms. Best part of this art is it never faded away neither in fashion nor in tradition.

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Image Source:


Imperfect yet perfect, Khadi for every Indian Wardrobe!


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Discovered in pre-independence era, travelled from the freedom movements to the fashion corridors, Yes! it’s all about different and simple “KHADI”. According to fashion designer Ritu Kumar “Khadi is a natural fabric and unique. The rustic, no machine look of the fabric is both sophisticated and bohemian.” Undoubtedly Khadi is versatile fabric which wasn’t explored or researched before, but was one of the most sought after choice for fashionistas.

Image source: VIDM

Image source: VIDM

Khadi has a little texture, interwoven in a pattern that it provides a way for air and breathability. It is handwoven and bit imperfect, its drab fabric with weaving flaws, but its beauty resides in its flaws. Its weaving pattern only makes it different from others.

Our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has always supported Khadi and in his address to people in “Maan ki Baat” he urged them to buy khadi. Thus, almost after the 10 days of this address massive growth in the sale of Khadi has been noticed in Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan (Connaught Place, New Delhi).  Khadi is grabbing attention of youths because of its vibrant colors, texture and affordability. Moreover, this textile acts as an ideal base for embroidery.

Looking into the taste of youths even Khadi emporiums are reviving and adding trendy designs to their stock. Lovers of this handloom can get their garments customized too. So not just contemporary outfits, one can get Palazzos, Jackets, Skirts etc. customized and designed with Khadi base.

Initially, Khadi was stereotyped and regraded as “older people cloth” or “Just political attire” but with the revival of people taste and innovation of mainstream fashion designers, the whole story changed, from sarees to western outfits, it has undergone massive makeover. Time to time many fashion shows has been organized to promote Khadi in various states (across our country) with support of Government and fashion Institutes. Be it contemporary, fusion or modern clothing, Khadi can be twisted, draped and customized accordingly. Many of our political leaders as well as Bollywood celebs love wearing Khadi Sarees. Especially, if we talk about Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, she has developed taste for Khadi and other handspun sarees.

Image Source: Deccan Herald

Image Source: Deccan Herald

Khadhi is an inseparable part of our past, present and hope for our glorious future. It’s has signified our self-reliance and its essence of empowerment and those days are not far when this fabric will make its space in every Indian Wardrobe.

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Times of India

Deccan Herald


Handloom CRAZE!


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The world of handloom is delightful and vibrant, let’s bioscopes this world and see the three major part of it. The First part belongs to its Artists, weavers and craftsmen the ultimate foundation of this niche. Weavers not just weave cloth they weave magic, diligently put their life and soul to their work, and following their tradition life of weaver are solely dedicated to their craft.



Lovers of handloom wear it with an ideology; fabrics are appreciated widely because of its originality.

The domain of Indian handloom is as diverse as India’s geography, be ikkats from Orissa, Bandhani from Gujrat & Rajasthan, Munga from Assam every craft is unique, list doesn’t ends here, Indian varieties of silk, cotton and indigenous khadi are most sought after fabrics. Motifs and embroidery patterns like Phulkari, Chikankari, Gujrati, Kantha etc. have enticed the customers worldwide.

Lakhme India Fashion Week

Lakhme India Fashion Week 2015

Now, introducing “Showman”, the second important part of this enchanting realm, the showman is the tireless, creative fashion designer, which take the dreams of weaver ahead together to make a difference.

Just Imagine, splashing lights of ramp, heart throbbing background score, enthusiastic audience and here enters the fashionable fairies wrapped in ravishing attires, portraying ebullient dreams of fashion gurus.

Showmen of this bewitching industry keep updating their craft; Rich Indian cultural heritage have always been a source of great inspiration for them. Recently a renowned fashion designer ‘Gaurang Shah’ showcased his collection in Lakhme Fashion Week 2015, which was profoundly based on handlooms; he used fabrics like pure cotton, Kota-Tusser Chikankari and other. Designers keep reviving fashion and blend Indian handloom with western outfit, and hence create a splendid fusion which enthralls the fashion lovers to a great extent.

Now here comes the third part and indeed the most important one, and that part is “WE”, the audience, the viewers, the customers, the handloom lovers who follows the trend, appreciate the art, make handloom a part of their persona. Remember, next time when you check your wardrobe and select a handloom stuff to wear, then you may flaunt in style, perhaps you will be exhibiting the other people dreams too. The dream of a weaver, the dream of a designer and off-course your dream to look good!

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Source: Deccan Chronicle

Madhubani: Echoes of Mithila!


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Madhubani Art on Saree

‘Mithila’ the place of Devi Sita (according to Hindu mythology) has given its indigenous “Madhubani Art” to the world. Traditionally the art was made to decorate the walls of the houses with “Geru”, “Lime stone water” and natural vegetables color, art was made on marriages, religious ceremonies and considered very auspicious. Perhaps neither this world or nor the artist thought that someday this “nature inspired” art will cross the global boundaries and will become renowned.

Madhubani painting is done with nib-pens, twigs, fingers and brushes. This multiple generation art follows geometrical pattern, motifs, floral motifs etc.  Themes of this painting are based on nature or Hindu mythologies. The art is mostly done by women of rural areas. As told by one the Madhubani artist Ratan Devi (from village Ranti, Madhuban) her team women artist are very dedicated and mostly uneducated but still very imaginative. In this era of internet and globalization they still observe nature to get ideas.


The vibrant pattern of madhubani art has also become an inseparable part of Indian ethnic clothing. Especially, it is made on sarees, dupattas and stole. These patterns are also customized or made on demand; the fabric may vary to cotton, silk, chanderi or Khadi (as this art can be made easily in these fabrics).

Madhubani art is the perfect duo of culture and art, it depicts the timeless stories, and hence its admirer just wants to make it their part either appreciating on their wall or just making their fashion statement!

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Khadi – The Godly Fabric!


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I believe that where there is pure and active love for the poor there is God also. I see God in every thread that I draw on the spinning wheel. (Mahatama Gandhi, Young India, 20-5-1926)

‘KHADI’ the mere five lettered cloth has much to say!

Khadi is not just a craft but it is a livelihood, it is not only an idea but also an identity, it was evolved to create revolution.  It is a cloth with concept and spirit; above all it was Mahatma Gandhi’s dream to make India self –reliant. Khadi unfolds sagas of freedom; it echoes the pain of struggle and victory over that. It teaches us the lessons of hope, hardwork and persistence. Moreover, its simplicity tells us to be grounded.


Since pre-independence era khadi paved the way for empowerment, it has created huge employments among poor and unskilled labor. Every step in making of khadi creates an earning, as all of its processes are done manually and seldom machinery is used. Process involves, growing of cotton (the raw-material), hand-picking of cotton bolls, cleaning and opening  cotton bolls, separation of fibers from seeds (ginning) and making of yarn via spinning wheel.  Lastly, with the spun yarn the splendid Khadi is weaved out. Raw Khadi cloth is than washed, bleached and starched.  A weaver makes approximately 2.5 meter of khadi in a day. Ginning of khadi is mostly done by women. Above thousands of women are associated with Gram Udyogs in various region of our country. Mostly housewives are involved in ginning (they do it as part time or work from home).

Khadi is considered to be a versatile fabric which can be wore all year around as it is warm in winters and cool in summers. This textile is handwoven; hence have some weaving flaws, but that make it more attractive and unique. Moreover, this textile is eco-friendly, germ-free and anti-allergic.

This indigenous cloth has seen various ups and downs ever since its evolution, but it was accepted with an open heart by the people with distinct identity hence it also depicts their ideology.

Moreover, fashion enthusiastics have always loved to do experiment with this fabric; khadi can be combined with other threads of silk or polyester to give it a different look. Khadi sarees, dress materials stoles etc. are appreciated globally.

Khadi is our legacy and we should be proud of it. This godly fabric is weaved with dedication and divinity resides in its every thread!

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Re-discovering Canvas!



You never know what is there in an artist’s mind, neither the colour palettes nor the brush strokes knows, but artist accumulates his/her thoughts by using imagination, creates the masterpiece and world is amazed by his/her ultimate talent. Art is a freedom it is not confined in boundaries; it expresses artist’s beautiful thoughts. Above all, it captures what seen through eyes as well felt with other senses.


Earlier art forms were created on walls, temples and wall hangings but art revived continuously, the legacy carried on and artists kept trying their splendid strokes in different mediums. This timeless art has embraced fashion and clothing realm also, various forms of painting have been adopted to add more value on textile and portrayed amazing trends.


The world famous Madhubani and Patachitra painting were not only made on canvas but its aesthetic forms were also depicted in duppata and sarees. Moreover, free-hand floral fabric arts and block paintings have become one of the most sought after choice for arts lovers. Patterns of painting add grace to attire and make it unique; apart from this recreations of art are also helping artists in creating their own niche!

Every art form has a story to tell and a culture to depict. Talking about Madhubani painting which was originated in Bihar (in Mithila region), depicts celebration of festivals, aspects of nature, pictures of god, goddess etc. Patachitra Painting mainly focuses on Hindu mythologies. Besides these, Kalamkari, Kerala Mural and Warli art patterns have also enticed the crafts lovers all across the globe; Kalamkari art form portrays scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharata and Puranas, whereas warli painting is geometrical and inspired by nature. Kerala Mural paintings are also based on mythologies.

These arts have been recreated or one can say canvas has been rediscovered! The only difference is, these canvases can be draped around and more grace might be added to your personality!!

Makeover of a Humble Dupatta!!!

As mentioned by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change”. Same applies to fashion, changing times beckons change in style, pattern, prints to suit the comfort and aesthetics of modern taste. Our very own humble dupatta has also undergone series of makeovers over the period of time. It is no longer a mere piece of cloth of 2.5 meters, but a grand drape where other things are kept subtle so that the dupatta stands out. Today market is influxed with chanderis, hand-painted, embroidered, benarasi and many more to drape the royal you.


Traditionally Dupatta was mostly worn with salwar suits, Lenhga etc. But nowadays it has become a fashion statement; in addition to this it has got vivid names and variations. Like, when its lighter version is worn around the neck it is called ‘SCARF’, when it’s tie-n –dyed or other avatar is paired up with kurtis, skirts and jeans it becomes STOLE, these indigenous rectangular pieces are separable yet inseparable part of women’s wardrobe!


The best thing about this accessory is it can be worn in variety of ways and each way will give you a different look. So, depending on your mood, fabric, color and attire you are free to mix and match:

So, here we go ladies…

Classic Style: The most common form of wearing Chunni across both the shoulders, covering the torso. This elegant style is goes very well with chiffon or cotton dupatta. Moreover, the designer, embroider or hand painted stoles looks very beautiful in this style as the patterns/designs are reveled completely.

Boho Chic Style: Well, if you are thinking to team up smaller length stole or chunni with Kurti and skirt or with jeans then wear it around your neck, leaving its one end at front and one end at back. Bandhani (tie and dyed) stoles go well with this style. Also, you can wrap it around the neck leaving both the ends at front.

Office style: Stoles are considered cool at office too and are frequently worn with Indian as well as western formals. Leaving salwar suits for a moment, stoles are paired up with Kurtis and palazzos. With formal Kurtis, stole’s side border can be tucked on the shoulder with pleats or can be spread freely over the arm. Moreover, printed or plain chiffon stole can be knotted and worn with formal shirts, top or tunics.

Traditional Style: Dupatta can be draped in myriad of ways with lehenga, ghaghra or sharara. You can wear it over the head and tucking the other corner in hip. Drape it as a loose half sari or popular south Indian semi saree pattern. Moreover, it can be worn by taking one half over the shoulder and another half pleated or draped over the wrist. The dupattas of traditional and ethnic outfits are quite long so that it can be used freely in covering head or making pleats.

So, what are you waiting for, just open your wardrobe, find out your ‘Magical Piece’, drape it with grace and compliment your look!

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Sheer Art! Crafted with Love…

As the famous saying goes ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’, Artkarte was started two years back with positive intent to cater the art-lovers with unique handicrafts from all across the India and now it is striving to become one of the most sought after destination for purchasing handcrafted products.
Art has no defined form; its horizon is broad and it has vivid expressions. If we look into handicrafts, it is such a form of art where in-tangible ideas get visibility and accepted worldwide. In each state of India handicrafts are different acquiring the particular region’s touch and style, be it Kashmir, Rajasthan, Gujrat, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Kerala, Tamil Nadu or any other state of India, the hard working weavers and craftsman have dedicated their life in making the exquisite products with perfection.

Artkarte primarily aims to bring products from all across the India which are crafted out of love. Mostly, these unique products are handcrafted; the vivid sections it includes are; Apparels, Jewellery, Paintings, Pottery, Accessories and other custom made handicrafts which are elegantly designed. Secondly, it aims in promoting weavers. While researching on handicrafts, we came to know that, in creations of handicrafts, mostly the whole families of artisans/weavers are involved but their combined efforts are noticed rarely. These weavers not just weave for earning money, for them weaving is a passion; it is a way of life and a cultural identity. Through this platform their product can be showcased worldwide and they might get the height they deserve.


Be it Pure Cotton, South Cotton, Khadi, Benarasi, Tussar, Munga or Bhagalpuri silk, Artkarte is one stop destination for handlooms. Most of the handlooms available here are designed by women; some of them are tireless home-makers devoting their precious time in creation of these masterpieces. In addition to this, we are also trying to engage artists to recreate the paintings on sarees, unstiched kurtis and dress materials. The patterns of madhubani and other paintings are enhancing beauty of textile
Due to lack of demand and support the weaving of banarasi, bhagalpuri and munga silk sarees are on the verge of extinction; hence our effort here is to help these weavers and make these craft available to customer. As a part of corporate social responsibility, we are promoting women artisans to carve their niche in the landscape of art and handicrafts.
In this journey we are really thankful to our customers for their support, whose every single purchase have created a livelihood.

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