- New Arrivals
- Our Story
- Designing Change
We believe design inspiration can spark at any moment. Many of our designs are heavily influenced by architecture, vernacular imagery and the intimate world of Anchal artisans. Moments captured by photographs during design workshops or experiences traveling often become the genesis for larger collections. Photographs become sketches and then stitches as each artisan infuses her unique story into the piece. Our artisans are a direct source for design inspiration. Learning new stitching techniques pushes artisans to grow their skills so they can become the best at their craft.
Once we discover our principle design concept, energy and style we want to evoke, a story begins to emerge. We let our curiosity drive our search to find an overall concept that translates throughout each piece. We dream big, sketching hundreds of possible designs and iterations, flipping them around and trying out different patterns and colors. Once we have several overarching concepts, we begin narrowing them down to the final pieces, all the while thinking about the capabilities of the artisans.
Quilts were born out of necessity from the ingenuity of women taking scraps of fabrics and repurposing them to create something beautiful and new. They are a source for creative self expression—as each piece reflects the life and personal stories of the quiltmaker—historically practiced by women gathering together creating comradery and building community. Today, new markets have enabled quiltmakers to assert their economic rights and create new narratives of independence.
Anchal’s first product was the quilt. At the beginning, when our artisan’s skills were in their infancy, making quilts was a simple way for them to begin earning money without years of expertise.
Quilts, like our namesake, represent warmth and comfort. They are usable, functional and flexible. To this day the inspiration for every collection starts with the quilt and it remains the bedrock of our business.
Kantha is the traditional embroidery stitch used for centuries by rural Indian women to make quilts and other home goods. Originating in West Bengal, the Kantha stitch is a culturally significant art form in India that dates back to primitive times. Later kantha embroidery became an integral part of Hinduism religious events, such as weddings and births. A simple craft to pass time or add a personal touch to one’s home, kantha is a symbol of traditional Indian culture.
At its core, the kantha stitch is a simple running stitch that can be utilitarian in its most basic form--holding multiple layers of fabric together--or more decorative: overlapping, meandering and filling shapes. At Anchal, all our products are made using kantha stitching. We push the boundaries of contemporary kantha techniques by using bold graphic motifs paired with a refined color palette, invoking a sense of casual sophistication.
In 2018, we partnered with the Guggenheim Museum to design an exclusive capsule collection of textiles inspired by the modernist work of painter, Hilma af Klint. The named Spiral and Radial collection featured two quilts, scarves, tote bags and a kimono jacket—all incorporating abstract geometric forms and shades of brilliant color that exudes Hilma’s powerful work.
For the launch of their Fair Trade Certified collection of denim, in February 2019, Madewell selected three of our organic-cotton quilt designs to decorate the store windows of 120+ stores across the United States and London. In conjunction with the window displays, our contemporary home goods and travel bags became available to Madewell customers via the company’s website.
In the summer of 2019, we collaborated with IBU Movement to create a one-of-a-kind look. The ensemble includes our first ever hand-stitched dress and slide shoe with a coordinating shawl-collar jacket. All three pieces were designed in partnership with IBU’s team and intricately hand-stitched from certified organic cotton by Anchal artisans.
We partnered with CAUSEBOX, a nationally recognized subscription box of socially conscious goods, to design the exclusive Winter 2017 box. Our Naari quilt was the inspiration behind the design and we worked with the CAUSEBOX team to transform the quilt into the perfect cozy pattern. LEARN MORE >
Urban Outfitters’ Anchal x Urban Renewal 2013 Fall Collection was an exclusive eleven-piece line of one-of-a-kind apparel including jackets, dresses, tops, shorts and skirts. Each piece contained pieces of our hand-stitched Kantha Quilts made from vintage saris. This collaboration was an incredibly unique way to blend design, fashion, craft and women’s rights into one garment.
Developed in collaboration with actress, America Ferrera, the Didi Connection brought women across the globe together through textiles. In India, women affectionately call each other didi, meaning sister in Hindi. When customers purchased a one-of-a-kind Didi scarf, they supported their Indian sister in leaving the commercial sex trade. The initial 600 piece collection funded 15 artisans for an entire year and sold out in just a few months.