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    Hands of India finds a permanent address in Bengaluru

    An ancient home in a quiet lane of Jayanagar now wears a new look. Occupying its cosy first floor is handcrafted clothing collective, Hands Of India — the brainchild of sisters Malyada and Ramya Goverdhan. Based in Vrindavan, where the two hail from, the organisation has long been holding pop-ups, participating in exhibitions in cities across India, and even retails out of its e-commerce site. For the first time since their launch in 2003, they felt a need to set up a brick and mortar store.
    “About 60 per cent of our clientele is from here, hence we picked the South Indian city,” says Malyada, adding that customers’ need to touch and feel the fabrics before buying is one of the reasons that they decided to take their business offline. “We also felt that the craftsmen and weavers spend so much time and energy on creating these designs and customers only get to see them when we hold exhibitions. We thought it would make more sense to have a permanent set up,” she shares.
    Sourced from little weaving hamlets in states such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, Malyada reveals that hand-embroidery is where their specialty lies. Techniques span intricate embroidery traditions such as phulkari, pattiwork, chikankari, kantha, sujani, sozni, Kashmiri aari, kasuti and English embroidery. The shelves also feature other crafts like ikat, Ilkal and Chanderi weaves, and handblock prints. Clothes range from light summer dresses to tops, kurtas, salwars, churidars, saris, skirts and trousers.
    The sisters’ dedication to promoting small scale artisans sees them crisscrossing the country, travelling to villages and towns and conducting training sessions. All set to hit the shelves in the next few months is a collection of Assamese mekhala fabric, fashioned into skirts and dresses.
    Rs 800 upwards. At 1st block, Jayanagar. Details: 9845227919

    — Rashmi Rajagopal Lobo

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