Upcycling the Japanese and Indian Way


Tucked in the bylanes of Koramangala is a cozy store called Studio Orenda, which houses handmade products and art work by various artists. The studio was an apt choice for a workshop on upcycling conducted by textile designer, Rainy Khurana, due to its emphasis on everything hand-made.

She has been championing the cause of upcycling through her Game of Thrones initiative which is a befitting homonym to the cause. She encourages people to practise upcycling through sustainable innovation, which is beneficial for the environment and also lets us use our favourite garments or furnishings for a little longer. This helps in reducing the waste in the overloaded landfills and promotes sustainable innovation through the use of handmade craft techniques.

Through the upcycling workshop, Rainy brought together two similarly unique embroidery techniques that use running stitches – the Japanese decorative or functional embroidery and Sashiko and Kantha, an embroidery technique found in West Bengal, Tripura and Odisha. Rainy introduced different textures and fabrics alongwith the stitches used in the embroidery techniques to beautify the fabrics provided for the workshop. The participants got down to making their own signature pieces by using old yarn and fabrics.

The workshop helps people get more eco-conscious on how they can give their garments or furnishings a longer life, without having to throw them away. Upcycling is not a new concept, as is evident by these age old techniques of Sashiko and Kantha which were borne out of a necessity to conserve, repair and put together old worn out garments to create something new.


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