Handwork Studio


Their work is described as 'mobilizing high level of skill and tradition to sustain communities while re-contextualizing traditional artisan techniques within a contemporary design aesthetic.'

Sama'a Slow Fashion was one of the very first collections that we were magnetically drawn to in our ethical fashion discovery.  This handmade collection thinks about fashion differently, not working with constant change, but instead slowly evolving, paying attention to quiet details.  Textiles are coloured with natural dyes found in the area: indigo, madder and iron.  The remarkable duo behind Handwork Studio, Rachel and Munira, have over 4 decades of combined experience and wisdom in design, product development and nurturing relationships.  Indigo dyers and hand block printers are offered income-generating opportunities for their skills, experience and knowledge.  They work with a community of artisans who carry out all aspects of the Ajrak process, from hand carving the wooden printing blocks to resist printing and natural indigo dyeing. Unlike synthetic dyes, the natural indigo dyeing process creates no harmful waste; in fact, the neutralized vats are used to enrich the fields and contribute to supporting the next season's crops. 

Sama’a means ‘a moment’ in Urdu and often refers to a significant change, a moment of great beauty or spiritual awareness.  The textiles used are produced in collaboration with artisans working in Angarkha dyeing in Sindh, Pakistan.  In this complex and ancient process, artisans work in complete harmony with their environment: the sun, river, animals, plant dyes, trees and mud are all part of the art of making Angarkha.  Dyeing slowly with numerous layers creates fabrics that are nuanced and rich in surface and colour.  In this region of Sindh, there is also a close association between Angarhka-making and Sufi shrines and both practices are embedded within local tradition.