The team in India works under the banner of an Indian-registered company. Though it is registered like any other company, we are committed to utilising all its profits for the empowerment of needy women. 

photography: Chris Ross

Zenana: from Persian, means (in India and Iran), the part of a house for the seclusion of women

As you can see from the definition of ‘Zenana’, it refers to the confinement of women in traditional Indian homes, whether Muslim or Hindu, a centuries-old practice that still has an influence in conservative communities in India today. In the zenana, women were protected from interaction with all men, apart from immediate family – confined, protected, restricted, but also, within those limitations, in control of their lives and much of the household management. 

In September 2006, I was sitting in the back seat of the old 4WD that was Harry's car as Team Leader of an Aid project in Lucknow, the backwater capital of the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), India.

Embroidery is an ancient craft, with surviving pieces of ancient origin found from Egypt to China. Traditional embroidery techniques and designs are found in every part of the world, and in India they reflect the region’s history of invasion and migration, from Persia and Central Asia in particular.

photography: Chris Ross

The range of fabrics available in the market can be overwhelming. What is available for small-scale production is more limited, and must be a consideration when thinking through a small first collection.

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