THE CRITICAL EYE: Handa Textiles
Just in time for your summer decorating, and the beloved blue and white palette often favored during the season, I bring you the beautiful indigo dyed Handa Textiles. I discovered Handa Textiles, and its owner and designer Hannah Haworth, at this year's Architectural Digest Home Show.
Deeply hued, with fresh geometric patterns, everything at Handa Textiles is handmade by indigenous craftswomen from the Mangyan people in the Philippines.
Now based in New York, Hannah Haworth grew up in the Philippines where she became acquainted with the Mangyan people and their culture. The Mangyan women have been weaving for centuries using beautiful bamboo looms that are built into the walls of their homes.
Originally the Mangyans lived along the coast of the Mindoro Island and their seaside location inspired many of their traditional patterns and designs. Today, modern development has forced the Mangyans inland to an isolated mountainous region, where they struggle with declining natural resources like fresh water.
Hannah has reimagined the traditional Mangyan textiles with a contemporary aesthetic and she employs Mangyan women to weave her vision. All of Handa's fabrics are 100% cotton and are hand dyed by the Mangyans, giving each piece subtle variations in color. Similarly, like most handcrafted products, the eye and hand of the artisans leave their mark, with slight differences in pattern. I think these small discrepancies add a special richness to Handa's fabrics.
Not only is Hannah Haworth designing products with great beauty, Hannah is giving a much needed economic boost to the Mangyans. Ten percent of all Handa Textiles' proceeds go back to the Mangyan people. It is Hannah Haworth's goal to empower the women she was raised with and foster increasing pride in this ancient and rare craft.
Truly, what's not to love.
All photographs from Handa Textiles.