Singular, special & exclusive artisan creations
Welcome to Birch & Loom; your destination for beautiful textiles, handcrafted homewares and original accessories. All our products are sourced directly from the artisans who make them in India and South East Asia. In doing so we support their financial independence as well as helping to preserve traditional creative techniques which are at risk of disappearing.
There is only one place in the world where rogan art is practiced, and that is in the sleepy town of Narona in Gujarat, in India’s isolated northwest. Isolated it may be, but the fame of the rogan practitioners has spread far and wide, so much so, that a rogan work was selected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to present to Barack Obama on the occasion of his visit to the United States in 2014.
Suzani originates from the Persian word suzan, meaning needle, and originated in Central Asia, particularly Uzbekistan, Tajikstan and Kazakhstan. It was a skill practised by nomadic tribes who used the large embroidered panels as a protective wrapping for their belongings, as prayer mats, bedding and for seating inside their yurts.
They were traditionally made by the women of the family as part of the bride’s dowry, and carried symbols of health and fertility. Floral patterns, pomegranates, suns and moons, leaves and vines are all typical design themes.
A day’s break from a recent textile mission in the historic town of Bhuj in the Gujarat region of northwest India, took me closer to the Pakistani border into the Great Rann of Kutch desert. This vast, white salt desert, at a size of 10,000 square kilometres, is the largest in the world. Although it…
On a recent visit to Jaipur, I was given meticulous instructions as to how to make authentic Indian chai. None of this tea bag stuff, loaded with cinnamon! Cardamom is the key ingredient and needs to be boiled into the milk and sugar. Even though sweet coffee or tea is usually unpalatable to me, this…
Jamdani is an exquisite weaving technique originating from Dhaka, now in Bangladesh, and parts of West Bengal. So fine were the fabrics, and so delicate the woven embellishments, that it has been long been associated with royalty, both Indian and British. The jamdani technique is one of the most time consuming and labour intensive forms…