Sandeep Waghri’s story of how Patil Handicrafts came to life isn’t one of those aha moments, but one where the love of textiles and the flair to create fashion and personal accessories meshed together. Raised in an average middle-class family in India, Sandeep’s parents had a deep appreciation of vintage embroidered textiles.
They began to collect Kantha quilts and suzani embroidered pieces and sell them to shops in Rajasthan, Goa, and Delhi. Soon, Sandeep and his siblings traveled with his parents across India to sell the various pieces. Seeing how the stores were catering to tourists and earning a good income, the family was inspired to stay in one place and opened their own retail store, Patil Handicrafts, in Puskar, Rajasthan, India.
In the beginning, Patil Handicrafts worked with 12 experienced artisans, but as the company grew, more were hired on a permanent basis; currently 30 artisans are employed in creating the various styles of handbags the company sells. Training the artisans is minimal due their acquired expertise in sewing and embroidery, but Sandeep and his team provide guidance in the designs based on consumer trends but also what retail buyers are looking for in new merchandise. Regardless of what’s popular in the marketplace, the artisans' creativity is what drives sales.
In creating the handbags and accessories, textiles from the Banjara tribe are used, maximize many of the designs and motifs that embellish the fabric, but in upcycling these fragments there’s added-value in each of the handbags due to the scarce availability of these tribal textiles.
The handbags are pieced together using 100 percent cotton fabric that has been dyed with natural, organic dyes as well as chemical dyes. Other components include leather, hemp, and other vintage textiles that are combined to make the bag more durable. One of the more popular collections include carryalls, shoulder bags and hobo bags made from vintage choli dresses, dowry pouches, wedding sashes, wall hangings and antique tribal costumes dating as far back as the 19th century and collected from India, Pakistan, and Afganistan. The bags are lavishly embroidered with light-catching coins, tassels and beading they add a touch of the exotic to any outfit. With the success of the vintage collection, Patil Handicrafts has also created of a one-of-a-kind selection of luxurious leather handbags that incorporated vintage and unique components to each item.
Sandeep is excited to expand his consumer base, and from January 31st through February 3, 2016, Patil Handicrafts will be exhibiting their new handbag and clutch collection along with quilts, and cushions at NY NOW’s Artisan Resource at the Jacob K. Javits Conference Center in Manhattan.
For more information and to purchase online, visit patilhandicrafts.com.