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FAIR TRADE ARTISAN PROJECTS, INDIA

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PROJECTS
The Nagnata journey began working with artisan communities on fair trade projects, designing bespoke handcrafted collections throughout India in 2015. 
The Nagnata designers travelled to India regularly for the first two years of the brand collaborating directly with artisan collectives, initiating various projects including upcycling of traditional textiles, handloom weaving and natural dying. 
Travel informed the direction of each artisanal collection as the culture, craft and skill of the maker became an intrinsic part of the creative process. Nagnata’s collaboration with artisan initiatives in India signifies the brands efforts towards women’s empowerment and ethically minded entrepreneurialism. 
It was during this time that the foundations of the brand were formed, with a long term commitment to spread cultural awareness and provide opportunities for communities in need.
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UPCYCLED TEXTILES

Nagnata upcycled artisanal collections translate the concept of craft into a contemporary context. The artisanal line launched with a collection of yoga mat bags handcrafted using vintage embroidered textiles, upcycled from the dresses of traditional tribal women. The textiles were sourced from the rural communities of northern and western India and then restored by a family run artisan collective in The Pink City, Jaipur. The materials were then repurposed into Nagnata’s yoga mat bags and bespoke fashion styles. 

 The Nagnata designers later travelled to the Kutch region of Gujarat in Western India, to source the textiles directly from the remote communities and meet with the tribes people from which the traditional materials originated. 

The first artisanal pieces from the brand featured the intricate hand embroidery work from a variety of tribal communities. With an amalgamation of styles including the work of Rabari, Jat, Suf, Khaarek, Paako, Mutava and Ahir tribes. Many stories were woven into each style, with no two pieces the same. 

Through the recycling of age-old materials Nagnata aspired to give new life to traditional textiles, celebrating the beauty, art and culture surrounding indigenous handcraft and tradition. 

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textile design artisan india yoga bag nagnata

ON LOOM: WOMEN WEAVE
Nagnata collaborated with charitable trust Women Weave to create a bespoke range of hand woven organic cotton scarves. 
Based in Madhya Pradesh, India, Women Weave initiated a handloom revival project to support the role of women working in traditional handloom weaving. 
The organic cotton used in the scarves was grown and spun locally and dyed using natural dye-stuff and traditional fermentation methods. Nagnata’s project with Women Weave focused on cultivating women’s empowerment, poverty alleviation 
and sustainability. 
Indian handloom has the potential to be part of the growing worldwide appreciation of traditional artisan work and the revaluation of handcrafts cultural, economical and environmental importance in rural communities. 
Working closely with the weavers in the village, Nagnata experienced how providing communities with work has a direct impact on the women’s lives and their families. Through supporting handloom weaving, Nagnata worked to help make weaving a sustainable and dignified income-earning art for rural 
women in India. 

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handloom school india women weave nagnata

HANDLOOM SCHOOL

Nagnata visited students of The Handloom School, an initiative founded by Women Weave to educate and train youths in rural villages who possess traditional weaving skills but have no access to an academic education. India is the largest producer of hand woven cloth in the world, however younger generations are losing interest in the craft. 

The Nagnata designers spent time working with the students to help them realise that tomorrow’s handloom could have far greater value than today’s. It’s through Women Weave’s progressive training that these young artisans can become the innovators and entrepreneurs who will take Indian handloom forward. 

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NATURAL DYEING WITH AVANI SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY

AVANI is a sustainable community nestled in the Kumaon region of the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand. The name 'Avani' comes from the Hindi word for Earth. The Nagnata designers volunteered at AVANI, living with the community for 2 weeks learning about Avani’s environmental conservation work and training with the natural dyeing team. 

The journey to AVANI is a long one, travelling on the overnight train from Delhi then a six hour drive through winding mountainous terrain at the foothills of the Himalayas.

 Nagnata focused on the ancient technique of Indigo vat dyeing. The designers learnt how to extract natural indigo pigment from the green leaves of an Indigofera species of plant. Fermenting the leaves to create a thick indigo dye-paste, which is then dried and ground down into indigo dye powder. The process takes a few weeks and is one of the most complicated extractions of natural dye colours. 

Nagnata hand dyed a capsule collection of organic cotton tees that were made in Australia and hand dyed in India at AVANI.  

woman weave natural dye artisan project india nagnata

india artisan program natural dye nagnata

nagnata women natural dyes artisan program india

natural dyes india artisan program nagnata organic cotton

india artisan program laura may gibbs hannah gibbs nagnata

india artisan program laura may gibbs hannah gibbs nagnata
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