Handmade soft-furnishings, which means to produce item by hand, not by automatic machine. In handmade soft-furnishings, there are many products included such as Cushion cover, Decorative Pillows, Bed spread, Curtain, Quilts…etc. – all products are mainly textile based. Textile is latin word, which means to “weave”. In ancient years, there was no machine to manufacture furniture and furnishing products. At that time, especially ladies artisans were using different hand stitches to make furnishing products. Still in today modern and hi-tech era, some ladies are also involved in producing handmade soft-furnishings.
In many countries of the world such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Thailand, Philippines, India, some African countries are still producing handmade soft-furnishing products by their skilled ladies artisans to enable to leverage their livelihood. Artisans are using not only different hand stitches, but also using different hand techniques of dyeing, printing, weaving, sewing in all above said countries to produce soft-furnishings. In all countries, above said hand techniques are different to each other to make their own Identity. In India, hand block printing is an effective technique on textiles to produce furnishing & garment products.
In this technique, men & women artisans are using wooden block with different designs & colors. Today, artisans are also using organic colors means vegetable dyes to color the fabric as well as in wooden block. These vegetable dyes are totally harmless & quite environment & skin friendly. In today, most of all developed countries are demanding vegetable dyes furnishing & garment products. In weaving segment, there is used loom which can be operating by only hand so their products are called ‘handloom’. In weaving technique, there are also various production techniques are available in India & also in other countries so each region of the particular country has its own image of handloom products. In India, `Ikat’ handloom technique is very well-known in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh & Gujarat. In `Ikat’ handloom technique, there is single Ikat & double Ikat is available. In Gujarat, double Ikat is using to produce sarees, called as “Patola” & other garment materials. This Ikat technique is also using in some African countries, Latin American countries such as Guatemala, Peru, Brazil & others. In Japan, “Ikat” is called as a “Kasuri”. In hand embroidery segment, In India, different hand stitches are using such as Applique work, Patch work, Mirror work, Aari work & others are fascinated to all people. Nakshi Kantha is from Bangladesh & West Bengal – India, Mountmellick embroidery from Ireland & Sashiko from Japan.
Today, handmade is coming on edge of as Handmade soft-furnishings are expensive compared to machine-made furnishings and thus many countries Govts. are trying to protect the art for artisans & our next generation.