All our supplier partners are family run businesses who share our passion for traditionally made quality decorations in beautiful colours, designs & fabrics. We have been dealing with some of them since we started the business thirteen years ago. We aim to visit them every other year, and the last trip was in October 2017.
Our paper-mache suppliers are based in Indian Kashmir and have been making decorations for generations.
Our glass suppliers are based in Uttar Pradesh where different teams produce the hand blown glass decorations and others skilfully finish them.
How are the decorations made?
We work closely with experienced Kashmiri artists to create the initial designs for our decorations. Once the new collections have been agreed some of the new designs are created by us, some by the artists, and many are a collaboration. We see no need to change a beautiful design for the sake of it, and enjoy having the artists’ input, especially if we can do this face to face.
Every stage of the bauble production is by hand, it is a long and skilled process. Firstly a paper mache ball is made from recycled newspaper and paste using a wooden mould. It is then left to dry outside for several days.
Once dry the ball is cut into two halves to remove the mould, rejoined with a paste and left to dry again. Then it is sanded and ready for the first layer of paint.
There will be at least two base coats and then the intricate designs are added layer by layer.
Once the last layer of paint is dry the ball is varnished several times and the hanger added.
Our supplier has a small team of artisans based around Srinagar and they work from their own homes or in a community based workshop. There are now a few women involved in the process- a new concept in what is traditionally a male dominated craft.
Our glass products are made in Firozabad, an industrial town near Agra. The glass is hand blown by a small team of artisans in one of the many furnaces in town. Each has his own speciality, and will use different moulds to shape the glass into a certain design and size. The products are then hand finished (e.g. to give an antique finish) in an outside workshop across town.