ABOUT THE COLLECTION
THE SHE FOUNDATION
Our fabulous Limited Edition embroidered cushions have been carefully made by artisans in India using Kantha panels from SHE (Self Help Enterprise). SHE works with nearly 900 artisans throughout Bengal to produce traditional Kantha stitched panels. Kantha is an ancient Bengali stitching technique dating back to the Buddhist Era when old fabrics and saris were layered together and joined with tiny stitches to create warm wraps and quilts. As block printing and mass production developed in the late 19th century, interest in Kanthas and their labour intensive manufacture dwindled. In the 1940s an arts college was founded which began to work with local tribal women to help them earn in income by producing Kantha shawls and panels. The creation of SHE has helped to re-establish the Kantha technique and introduce it to new audiences across the globe. The artisans who create the panels are often neighbours who work on their textiles in between tending their families and flocks. Skills are now being passed down to the younger generation again and brought to disadvantaged communities as a way to generate an income. The SHE Foundation also contributes to health services in small villages and has provided medical support in surgeries, installed water pumps and provided nutritional supplements to villagers.
Our wonderful new Limited Edition cushions are made from panels of traditionally made Khadi fabric. Khadi is an ancient form of hand loomed fabric, usually made from cotton or fine linen. The technique dates back to the Indus civilisation and became extremely popular in the late 17th century when the East India Company were importing thousands of pieces of fabric into Britain each year. As demand grew, mass production increased and the Khadi technique fell into decline. Mahatma Ghandi instigated the resurgence of the Khadi weave, seeing its potential as a way for villages to become independent again through production.