For generations Pakistani women have embellished the world with their beautiful traditional arts. Techniques passed on from mother to daughter that can never be taught in a school. There’s something so intimate and loving about an artisan crafting the finest product because you know that a factory will never be able to provide you with such refinement and attention to detail.
In the rural areas of Sindh women still craft using old techniques that they have mastered. As beautiful as their work was, it was a shame that it was not being promoted globally. Then came Love Handmade (@lovehandmade.co) which promoted female artisans and gave them the ability to produce these products in bulk whilst still maintaining their traditionally stunning techniques.
It was started in September 2020 after a gruesome 4 months of meticulous planning to ensure that the launch went smoothly. Love Handmade was aided by the Japan International Cooperative Agency’s Light-F project in Sindh. Their aim is to strengthen rural communities, by allowing them to generate income through crafts they have already mastered. JICA came into use when they provided women with the technology they would need to contact, not only Love Handmade, but a global market.
Currently Love Handmade works with 100 artisans creating traditional crafts such as ajrak products, date leaf basketry, ralli quilts and different embroidery styles. They sell various items crafted from the above mentioned techniques and plan to expand their reach to not only national levels, but more international markets as well.
Love Handmade makes products with ajrak that allows the traditional style to become more interlinked with our daily lives.
1. These face masks are perfect to add just a little touch of ajrak into your outfits
These pleated face masks with different designs on each side come in a set of 5. They are 100% cotton which makes them light and breathable, perfect for hot summers. They are also washable and thus reusable, which makes them worth your investment.
The set of 5 masks is priced at Rs. 1000.
Get yours here!
2. For those who love to cook and serve food, these kitchen accessories are perfect
Love Handmade has aprons, pot holders and oven mitts available in the traditional fabric: ajrak. They offer different designs and the colours blue and black instead of just the basic red colour. Moreover, all the dyes used are natural or mineral based.
These items are priced between Rs. 550 to Rs. 1200.
Shop for yourself here!
3. These small pouches are versatile in their usage
These drawstring pouches are made using woodblock stamps. They come in a set of 5 and can be used to put your money, medicine, and jewellery in. The measurement of the pouch is 4.2 x 4.5 inches and the design varies with the availability of the ajrak fabric.
They are priced at Rs. 600.
Order yours here!
Love Handmade has around 16 products made with the date leaf basketry technique including the following:
1. Your cat will cozy right up in this
This woven, dried leaf basket cat house is the cutest thing for your little kitties. It can fit up to 2 cats that can sprawl out as comfortably as they want. It’s sized at 14.5 inches diameter x 9 inches height. It even has a fun door that opens outwards.
It retails for Rs. 6000.
Get one for your kitty here!
2. They have multiple variants of these basket sets
They sell oval handwoven basket sets that come in different sizes such as one with a base of 14 inches, 13 inches and even 12. They also have handles at the sides which makes them perfect to carry stuff with ease. Depending on the size you can use them as fruit baskets, clothes sorters or even decor.
The sets are priced at an average of Rs. 6000.
Order one for yourself here!
3. These planters are something different than the basic mud pots
This dried date leaf planter will add a touch of tradition in your gardens. It has a base of 5.5 inches and a top that expands up to a diameter of 11 inches.
It is priced at Rs. 2500.
Get yours here!
Their rallis are extremely popular as shown by the fact that they brought out 28 designs most of which have sold out.
1. This one is made by Zubaida of Arbab Mirbahar
Named the “Taelass Ralli”, Zubaida makes use of square and diamond patchwork to create a stunning maze of orange, blue and purple. A blue and light green border also adds a touch of differentiation into it making it eye-catching. It is made on a mixed material.
The price for one is Rs. 12000.
Shop yours here!
2. This ralli makes use of earthy tones
Entitled the “Kites Ralli” this product is embellished with pastel green and brown kites made in a grid on a plain white background. It also has a multi toned border which makes it easy on the eyes and perfect for a subtle touch of tradition in your decor.
It is priced at Rs. 10000.
Get yours here!
3. This ralli is both vibrant and simplistic
Called the “Star Works Ralli” made by Hooran of Arbab Mirbahar, it emphasises on red and blue patchwork made on a mix of white and black blocks. The border is multicoloured offsetting it from the design so your eyes do not get confused with the design.
It is selling for Rs. 8000.
Love Handmade had products ranging from tote bags to napkins made with stunning Sindhi needlework.
1. This appliqué bag makes use of colourful tuk work
Tuk Work embroidery is the star of the show in this bag. Made on a base of white, the embroidery design employs the use of colours such as purple, yellow and orange to create an intricate pattern of birds, elephants and flowers.
It sells for Rs. 3500.
Get yours here!
2. These minimalistic napkins are perfect for your dinner parties
Each napkin is the perfect shade of chocolate brown, embellished with blue and pink flowers in one corner and done in the traditional kundi style of embroidering. It comes in a set of 6 and is sized at 15.5 x 15.5 inches.
The set is priced at Rs. 2100.
Order some for yourself here!
3. These tea towels feature the hurmich style of embroidery
Made on a base colour of black, the colourful design of a geometric snowflake stands out immensely. It is made in the colours royal blue, pastel green, pink and a dark green. They come in a pair.
They are priced at Rs. 750.
Order your tea towels here!
Besides these stunning techniques, they also have crocheted items, more embroidery styles and patchwork styles. Love Handmade focuses on training these women to hone their skills and have held many workshops in areas of rural Sindh as well. After these training periods women are under no commitment to Love Handmade and can go on to start their own entrepreneurial ventures!
All products are selected by the editors.