Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Who loves Block Prints?

It's feels so good to see companies hand block printing and having success at it.  

Galbraith & Paul are doing an exceptional job at employing artists to carve linoleum blocks and print textiles with fresh and light colors. You can't help but get attracted to the sophisticated patterns and colors.  

 All images credit to the Galbraith and Paul website.
Check them out at http://galbraithandpaul.com/ and at http://www.roomandboard.com/rnb/

Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday Everyone! What better way to start out your week than to see what's new at the Ichcha shop.

The Ichcha shop is up and running with amazing block printed home furnishings and accessories. The designs are unique and fun, ready to jazz up your homes.

As you know, we work with natural dyes that are good for the maker as well as you guys! So you can feel good carrying a bag that was dyed in a dye bath of red flowers and/or onion skins. The materials vary according to color. If you're curious as to how your newly purchased curtain/bag got its color, just send us a comment and we'll be more than happy to tell your what natural plant/spice is spicing up your life.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Our first blog

This is our first blog as Ichcha.  Now you'd ask who is 'our'?  Well, to explain that, I have to start with what 'Ichcha' is?  Ichcha, pronounced [itch-chuh], is hindi for wish.  It is a social enterprise that I and my two sisters started back in 2010.  We've been maintaining our personal blogs separately, but here we come together and write about our Ichcha, our wishes.  So you'll see three authors here ;) !

Check out Ichcha's temporary website. You can purchase hand block printed window curtains, scarves, and bags! The block prints are made dyed in natural plant material. They're consciously and beautifully made. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A stroll through Brooklyn

 Finally it's Market season! Lots of markets going on around the city, but I went back to see what the Brooklyners were up to. Artist and Fleas is up and running with some old sellers as well as newbies. Great vintage items as well as new and unique collections.

Planning to check out more markets. Share your market choices!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

In Honor of Earth Day

While trying to educate my sister about block printing with chemical dyes vs. natural dyes, she suggested I write a post about it on the blog for Earth Day.

Well, the main question is which is better, natural dyes or chemical dyes? The argument that I heard in college while I was fighting to use only natural dyes was that natural dyes use a lot of water, chemical dyes don't. So, how can I say that natural dyes is better?

Yes, chemical dyes use little water when you are dyeing a piece of fabric but how do we know how much water goes into processing those chemical powders? I can only imagine how much water and energy that goes into making the chemical dyes. And then consider the amount of pollution all those textile factories create using these textile dyes. Did I just say all negative things against chemical dyes?

Now the Pros and cons of natural dyes.
Con - uses lots of water while being dyed. Needs assistance of hard metals which leak into water.
Pro - The water can be reused in multiple dye baths. They can be filtered and redistributed back into growing plants and vegetation. Natural dyes come from natural plant and food materials. There is no by-product. Hard metals that leak into the water are naturally found in nature. Not harmful to artisans who work with them. No harm to customers who purchase the product.

Chemical dyes do give us a wide range of colors and responsible use of it can give us feel good products. A great example of responsible use of chemical dyes is by Bodhi of India. Mala Sinha, the owner of Bodhi, has a great block printing facility. They've set up a system of proper dosage of chemical dyes, proper disposal of the by-product,and minimal use of natural resources as possible. They even harvest rain water on  location. I love her products and they make you feel good when you buy it too!

 Anyways enjoy this Earth Day. Lots of activities happening around the world. Any other opinions? 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Natural Dyes!

When I was studying for my masters it was so difficult to come across up to date articles on natural dyes. But since I've been back in the states working, in almost 2 years so many organizations and talk about natural dyes has sprung up around me. Check out this article in the New York Times about natural dyers around the USA.


Also, the Textile Art Center in Brooklyn has classes on growing natural dyes in a space in brooklyn as well as classes on dyeing your clothing with them.
As for my natural dyeing ambition? It's..coming along. Ha, not really. I've been collecting onion skins and am looking for places to buy organic cotton fabric. Hopefully I can take out time and go visit the fabric stores in NYC so I can get the ball rolling.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Green Knit by Vedika Aggarwal

Green Knit, created by Vedika Aggarwal of Gaziabad India, features hand made products utilizing waste material. Vedika works with waste production material to embellish home furnishing and accessory products. She has come a long way from her days in London as a Master student knitting for days to make products for her MA exhibition. Vedika now works with a creative team of women whom she has trained to knit and create products for sale in the current market. Visit her Facebook page to see her products. She sells at craft fairs all throughout India and online at ItsHandmade. Have fun shopping!
Always necessary - Tea

Vedika Aggarwal

Monday, March 12, 2012

Kerala, India. God's Own country. Someone said it's because of all the churches, mosques, and temples within blocks of each other. As you'll see in the pictures, that's quite true. I can't wait to go back. :)