The small town of Assam located in the Northeast of India is well known for the craft of weaving. The art has been passed from mother to child for generations. While embroidery is uncommon there, the beautiful patterns they design are often referred to as embroidery on loom.
Manjuri Hazarika is one of the artists who hand weaves the cotton fabrics then creates lovely handbags. After graduating from a design school, she became an assistant to a well known designer. That gave her confidence in her craft. Yet when she would visit events where small artisans displayed their designs, she saw how difficult it was for them to get their products to a larger venue.
That was why Ms. Hazarika began her project called Kritenya. She brought together people whose goal was to share hand made items from her region. Her company encourages the weavers to continue in their craft, keeps them informed of the quality necessary, and, since most of the women aren’t aware of international pricing, they assist in getting fair value for the products. As a result, the shopper gets an excellent value as well.
Each bag, each product, has its own story.
Besides Assam, India, you will find designers from Guatemala, Java, Bali, and Thailand. Many nations around the world present designers with similar stories. Small craftswomen and men, designing and making lovely products, in small shops or homes. Most will say they started to carry on their family tradition of weaving, jewelry design, or whatever craft they create. Many say they started to bring in extra income during difficult times.
For many it is their only means of income. Some of them have seen success enough to support themselves and their families. This all on a relatively small scale, since products are handmade.
That is how many of these hand bags came to be available here. You can see by the designs below the care and color to be found in each. The bag above is handloomed cotton, including the inside lining. The vibrant colors and unique styles are eye catching as well as very well made. You can also find leather bags and bags made from recycled products.
Whether you could use a bag for your yoga gear, smaller travel bags, casual totes or smaller clutches, you can find a beautiful assortment from the artisan weavers. It touches me that one of the unique bags I might pick here will help an artisan support their family. It seems a lovely gift idea to share.