Book binding

Making remote handicrafts accessible through handmade journals

As someone who hails from India and was exposed to the huge variety of gorgeous handicrafts found in many different parts of India, and as someone who has developed an interested in bookbinding, I cannot help but wonder – is there a way to marry these beautiful crafts with the art of bookbinding?

India has 28 states and each state has its own brand of unique handicrafts, local to the region. Within each state, you can often mind vastly different types of crafts that have evolved over a period of time. In fact, if you ever visit New Delhi, the capital of India, you’ll find numerous “state emporiums”, one for each state in India, housing the best of what that state has to offer. A visit to these state emporiums can be quite delightful – you see gorgeous pashminas and hand-knotted silk carpets in the Kashmir emporium, intricate wood work and lac work in the Rajasthan emporium, mind blowing hand-woven silk sarees in the Tamil Nadu emporium, and so so much more.

On a recent visit to the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, India, I discovered these colorful woolen shawls, handmade and handwoven by the local artisans. You cannot help but admire the colors and mirror work! I bought a few of these. My mind immediately turned to whether I could use the material to bind books. And yes – that’s what I did! 🙂

I used majority of the shawls to make these wall hangings for my home. They look so pretty!

Hand woven shawls hung on the wall

And then, I used the remaining material to make journals! OMG they look and feel soooooo nice, if I may say so myself 🙂 And they look so different! Truly one of a kind. I even sold a few of these on Insta 😉 I have a few of these up in my shop on Etsy too.

Could there be a market for such one of a kind journals?

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