Ichcha (pronounced "Ich-chah") was born on the initiative of three Indian sisters and means "a wish" in Sanskrit.
Rachna, Ruchika and Monika, with their complementarity in fields as diverse as computer engineering, design and environment, embark on the Ichcha adventure with a common desire to preserve and promote Indian textiles handmade by local craftsmen.
It is the beauty and authenticity of Indian craftsmanship that will lead them one day to join forces to make known on a larger scale, unique craftsmanship and carefully crafted according to ancestral craft techniques. Our 3 associates share with Gaïora this desire to empower its artisans, unearthed during their different journeys in India, and thus to resonate the voice of a fair, sustainable and environmentally friendly trade.
They make it a point of honor that their textiles are of high quality and hand-dyed from natural and ecological materials. The raw materials used by their craftsmen are organic cotton and silk. They supply themselves to local farmers who do not use pesticides for their production.
Aware that the transgenic seeds have caused the last decades of social disasters in the Indian countryside, the 3 sisters have decided to only buy 100% organic cotton (to learn more about "The unfulfilled promises of transgenic cotton In India ", click here – article in French).
The organic cotton fiber is reaped by farmers in a dry, solely rain fed region, without the use of chemicals. This slow process continues from the farmer, weaver, to the printer and dyer, who immerses the fabric in a bath full of flowers, fruit skins, and natural minerals.Indigo dyes, to which we have devoted an article, are those that we find mostly in the Ichcha collection.
But what most characterizes Indian handicrafts at Ichcha´s, is the famous and ancestral block printing technique. This Indian handcrafted technique consists of printing patterns on textiles from previously carved blocks of wood.
Ruchika, head of design for the Ichcha brand, also made block printing as her specialty during her Master in London. She has had the privilege of observing and learning this printing technique from experts in block printing in India, and keeps an unforgettable memory!
This primitive craft continues to breathe in the homes and wandering galis (lanes) of India. Ichcha aims to bring this gali closer to you.
Block Printing Technique
Ichcha Collection - Fall 2017
Weaving is also a favorite technique of Ichcha craftsmen: traditional weaving on looms is widespread in India, and our 3 sisters could not imagine a collection without products representative of this manufacturing technique. Among the hand-woven products, you will find fabulous cushion covers.
Ruchika learns Hand-weaving in India with a craftsman
As each manufacturing technique is specific to a craftsman, Rachna, Ruchika and Monika have chosen to work with different groups of artisans, coming from different regions, but all sharing a common passion: their job.
They also work with NGOs (Dastkar) that support the work of women and tribal people. These organizations allow small local craftsmen to receive training (literacy, notions in product development, design, etc.) in order to enable them to continue their crafts and to receive a fair and sustainable income.