India’s non-profit artist collective Stitch by Stitch is a vibrant community of highly skilled, energetically creative people, eager to preserve ancient artistic techniques while also sharing them to a worldwide audience. After falling love with India, Designer Graham Hollick founded Stitch by Stitch. “We work with traditional techniques and designs, which we gently and respectfully adapt,” explains Hollick.
Stitch by Stitch began around 10 years ago when Hollick was invited to work with the embroiderers of the Self Employed Womens Association (SEWA) in Gujarat. He was so inspired by the skills that he encountered that he decided to set up an organization whereby these skills could be shared with the global market, while also providing artists with ethical pay. Stitch by Stitch has evolved over the years to work with groups of hand weavers and a master quilt-maker, as well as with embroiderers, all based in Kutch, Gujarat, as well as the weavers and felters in Nepal.
All cotton used is grown organically by default, as the farmers do not have the financial means to purchase expensive fertilizers and pesticides—and it thrives without these interventions. This exceptionally fine cotton is forged into woven fabrics, which are the main component of Stitch by Stitch’s immensely popular quilts and cushions. In other instances, the group repurposes Old World kala cotton fabrics from Kutch by sending them to a master quilt maker in Ahmedabad who pieces them together in modern patchwork designs and kantha-stitches the layers together in a traditional way.