Category Archives: Behind the Design

February 27, 2015

Honk! Honk! Lorry Truck

 

honk honk lorry truck

In India, trucks are called lorries and they can be found zooming along streets and highways. Driving in India is a bit hectic… the streets are a symphony of constant horn blowing and busy cars. The lorries are painted in all kinds of crazy colors. The idea is that if you’re loud and bright, everyone will see and hear you coming and get out of your way! We found it all to be beautifully chaotic. continue reading

January 30, 2015

Ralli Quilts to Ralli Bikes

Ralli

Literally translated ralli means to mix or connect… and that’s exactly what ralli quilts do in many different ways. Made from scraps of fabric (usually cotton), ralli’s are an expression of the makers behind them. You’ll find these quilts in three basic styles: 1) patchwork made from pieces of torn cloth squares and triangle stitched together 2) appliqué made from intricate cute out patterns 3) embroidered quilts where the stitches form patterns on solid colored fabrics. No matter the style, you’ll always notice the bold diagonal placements of blocks and embellishments. continue reading

Kabini Forest Reserve Safari Trip

kabini-2Animals play an important role in our designs at Tea Collection. When we traveled to India, we were fortunate to go on a river safari through the Kabini Forest Reserve in Nagarahole National Park in Karnataka, located in southwest India. Karantaka has long been a favored destination, dating back to the 1800’s when viceroys, rulers and members of the British East India company would come to hunt. Today, the animals are fiercely protected and the reserve operates as an eco-tourism resort and wildlife preserve. The guides hope to inspire the guests and help them understand their role in preserving the gifts of nature. It was an amazing way to see the landscape, interact with the safari guides and get an up close look at all the wonderful animals indigenous to India!

kabini 1The Kabini Forest Reserve has a lush green landscape that surrounds a large river. Many people flock from all over to have a chance to see an elephant or at times, a tiger! We rode in a jeep through the forest to try and spot monkeys, birds and deer. continue reading

January 26, 2015

ARTIST COLLABORATION: Mahamaya Sikdar

National Award winning Kantha Artist Mahamaya Sikdar

Mahamaya in front of the piece she submitted for the National Award.

 

We had the honor of meeting with the very talented kantha artist Mahamaya Sikdar while we were in Kolkata.  Mahaymaya is a President’s Award Winner & National Award Winner in her craft. She was in the middle of a move when we visited and graciously took the time to bring all of her kanthas to us so we could see her work. We got to see the incredible detail, hear about her process and discuss how she is helping pass her craft to younger generations. continue reading

January 25, 2015

Naamkaran: A Naming Ceremony

BABY

Every culture has different traditions surrounding the birth of a little one, each celebration being unique but with a central theme of love and happiness. In the Hindu religion, many Indians practice the ceremony of Naamkaran, in which a new baby is named. In Sanskrit, “naam” means name and “karan” means to create. Traditionally, Naamkaran is held anywhere from the eleventh to twelfth day after the baby is born and before the baby’s first birthday. Family members and friends gather to celebrate the baby and the women are central figures in the ceremony and they carry many of the main rituals. A baby’s name is very important and parents usually take many things into consideration before settling on a name. Some parents look at the day and time of the baby’s birth, or look to astrology, numerology, music and mythology.  The purpose of the ceremony is to celebrate the birth of the new baby and to welcome and bless it with a prosperous life. We named many of the pieces in our new collection after traditional Indian names. Learn more about the names of some of our baby and newborn pieces below!  continue reading

January 6, 2015

Prints & Patterns

india

We were thrilled to see bold print and pattern mixing everywhere we went in India. The brightly colored clothing (everything from saris to pavadas!) truly lit up the earth toned streets. Our newest prints give little citizens the freedom to mix and match as they please. continue reading

December 31, 2014

The Art of Kantha Embroidery

kantha quilt

Kantha is a type of Bengali embroidered quilt. The kantha quilts of Bengal are created from fragments of old family garments layered on top of each other. Each kantha tells a story through technique, design and patterns. Women’s voices are heard through the mends, patches and stitches in this living tradition.  continue reading

December 18, 2014

Shibori Dye Technique DIY

We love learning different ways of designing textiles. We feel deeply connected to the ancient Japanese dye technique called Shibori. Shibori comes from the Japanese verb root shiboru, “to wring, squeeze, press.” Dyeing cloth with a Shibori technique requires folding, crumpling, stitching and twisting the cloth to create the design pattern you hope to achieve. What we all love about the Shibori technique (besides the lovely Tea favorite indigo hue!) is the mystery around the process – you never know what type of design you have made until it is done.  Learn how to make your own shibori dyed fabrics below!Indigo 4

What You’ll Need:
– An indigo dyeing kit like this one or indigo dye, wood blocks, rubber bands and rubber gloves
– T-shirts, cloth napkins, towels or any other fabric you wish to dye. Cotton responds best to dye.
– Two large containers, one for the dye, one for water.
– Newspaper or plastic to protect the surfaces around you continue reading

December 5, 2014

Introducing Citizen Blue

tea collection citizen blue

We’re excited to announce our first collection of Citizen Blue – a semi-annual collection that celebrates the magical spots we stop along the way to somewhere else. Rooted in rich indigo hues, Citizen Blue revisits heritage Tea styles and favorite prints from places we’ve already been and offers new designs inspired by places we’ve seen only glimpses of.

Citizen Blue is a voyager, a nomad. Not quite here or there, the collection draws inspiration from the journey and all of the magical spots we stop along the way to our final destination. It is truly global inspired, as pieces within a single collection range from Japan to Mexico.

Here, we share with you a look behind a few of this season’s designs…  continue reading