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Preserving Handicraft Traditions of India


One of our aspirations at Ohrna has been to preserve the handicrafts of India, especially embroidery. We are a rich land abundant in diversity with each state having its own native form of embroidery and other handicraft traditions. From Kashida of Kashmir to Peepli of Odisha the scent of culture seeps through the land, and one of our aims is to preserve it.

We started with Kantha, a long stitch embroidery from Ohrna’s motherland Bengal. The combination of jute, kantha and earthy colors from the state soon became synonymous with Ohrna and a trademark of our brand.
We have also started combining regional fabrics with our style and continued our explorations with other regions and fabrics. Visiting the women of Hubli, a region in neighboring Karnataka was an inspiring experience. A place characterized by its coconut water vendors, rice flower decorations on home entrances and women with jasmine flowers in their hair, we found that the women here thoroughly enjoy embroidery and sewing but are mostly homebound. They wished for opportunities to work from home and coincidentally that’s when Ohrna entered the picture and began work there.
The women of Hubli are familiar with Kasuti, the traditional and intricate embroidery of Karnataka. It is a combination of backstitch, running stitch, cross stitch and zig-zag running stitch. Kantha embroidery in our products came relatively easily to them. In collaboration with them, we have also begun working with intricate, time-honored kantha, using traditional tribal motifs, that are typically embroidered on saris and stoles.
Ohrna is always in the making as we continuously look at how to preserve crafts, generate income for rural women and introduce our products to wider markets.
Reviving handicrafts is an art, it involves passing tradition, dedication and motivation.
One of our Hubli artisans, Rihana had started learning Kasuti at the age of 12! Another artisan, Noorjahan loves creative work and comes from a family of tailors. Ohrna has just been a vessel, a medium for them to continue and take forward their pursuits, and themselves.
Learn more about our Hubli artisans Rihana and Noorjahan, and to discover the people behind your art products and their stories visit our artisans’ page.