Sunday, December 2, 2012

Ichcha Holiday 2012

 The Holidays are here! Which means: family, presents, food, and shopping! 
I don't know but as soon as we cross over Thanksgiving, the need to buy warm and fuzzy things for friends and family kicks in. I have been browsing handmade and ethically produced shops to see what good I can be a part of. I'm sure the presents that I buy will be valued because of the love and thought that went into creating those products. 

December also means MARKET TIME. This time you'll be able to buy products from ICHCHA at various markets throughout the city. We'll be updating if any last minute additions are made but for now the list is this: 

December 16 and December 17 - ARTISTS & FLEAS
December 22 and 23 - HESTER HOLIDAY MARKET

Christmas in NYC wouldn't be complete without the handmade markets throughout the city. Make sure you get out to see all they have to offer. Till next time, keep warm and drink lots of hot tea! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pics from ARTISTS AND FLEAS. We had a great time meeting Brooklyn artists. The place has a good combination of design and creativity. The market takes place every weekend by the waterfront.

Monday, October 15, 2012

DIY Block Printing!

Today, I came across this BLOG POST.  I was very happy to see that more and more people are appreciating and encouraging the block printing process.  The post shows that there are simple ways to the more involved ways of block printing. 

The block printers we work with in India, do the more involved process as that is what has been done for the past 3 generations.  And it is a family honor that they have to, and want to, keep.  Their simplest process includes (1) first create the resist (which is a few hours manual job!), (2) print with the resist, (3) then they create a dye using flowers, spices, barks, basically anything from nature (4) then they put the fabric in that dye, (5) next they wash the fabric 2-3 times to remove the resist (6) and the last step is to dry it under the hot sun! It gets more involved when several colors or even different colors need to be made and dyed in! 

But this post in "apartment therapy" shows how anyone can block print at home via the simple methods.  Of course, the difference to note is that the DIY simple projects use paints for block printing, not natural dyes.  Read the Blog Post for yourself !

To compare, here are pictures of some of the steps that is involved in dyeing with natural dyes
Dyeing in natural dye

Believe it or not, he is making the RESIST!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New beginnings

New Blog - New Name - New Beginnings. 

Thank you for everyone who has followed this blog in the past years. I hope to continue to bring you beautiful images, artisans, and crafts from India and beyond. 

Ichcha is going to be officially launched in a few days. You can keep in touch with the behind the scenes by following the Ichcha blog.

I hope to see you all there!

The imprint of the woman

Our inspiration wall is filled with the many embroideries of Kutch, a region in Gujarat, India. Many sub communities who are known for their embroidery hereditary are spread around the kutch region. We had the pleasure of visiting a few of them and buying straight from the women in the villages. Each piece is a living imprint of the woman and her craft history.

Many organizations work one on one in cooperatives with these women to help them zone in on their skill as well as elaborate their business skills. You can soon find unique Ichcha products that work to encourage this traditional craft.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I wish for peace in the world

Remember wishing for world peace as a child? Or wait, was that just me? :)

Anyways, came across this beautiful company by two friends, who come together against the odds to represent the beauty of the world in their work. Obviously, their company's name is A Peace Treaty. Check out their products and read more about their story here.
Enjoy the images from their website below. 

Images courtesy of

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 and at

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. :)

Saturday, March 10, 2012