Dreaming of Artisan Applique


I often dream of traveling to India to have my pick of the exotic upholstery textiles that remain so elusive in the States. Is anyone producing high quality cotton block print fabrics other than John Robshaw?

But I managed to do some task chair traveling and stumbled upon Lotus by League of Artisans, or Lotus by Loa. I was blown away by the hand-embroidered and hand-appliqued bedding being produced by women in the craft sector of India who are represented by Lotus, which bills its collection as "responsible luxury".

The Paint and Patches bedding set (starting at $495 for a quilt, shams and decorative cushion) is featured in shades of either salmon/pink or green/blue and is artwork for the bed. All of the bedding is handmade and customized to fit the customer’s needs. The organic cotton fabric used is vegetable dyed and and/or hand-painted with burnt tamarind, mango or bamboo twigs.

Traditional, tribal cut-out patterns emerge in some of the designs. I was charmed by the Elephanta Bronze pillowcase made out of khadi silk produced at the Gandhi Ashram ($12).

The Ashram, developed by volunteers in 1990, serves 4,500 children and women through its projects. The mission of Lotus is to partner with artist co-ops throughout India to build a sustainable artisan business. Many of the ancient craft techniques used and livelihoods supported would otherwise have died without this vision.

In addition to the home decor, Lotus sells bags, apparel and wall art. And I must say, their ethnic-inspired journals are among the loveliest I’ve seen. I’m the worldlier for having traveled to Lotus by Loa and registered for its to-the-trade option offered to designers. Visit soon and take advantage of the current sale.

Image: Lotus by Loa

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.