Textile Treasures features a wide range of items with their artistic design inspired by the cultures of India and Nepal. Starting with bed quilts, cushions, ladies’ tops, and children’s dresses, they eventually expanded to selling pashminas, wraps, scarves, and polymer clay jewellery made by ladies in Nepal.
Textile Treasures Owner Sarah Bartram believes in the movement of “slow fashion.” “Everything’s mass-produced these days, and they’re very disposable,” says Sarah. “I’m looking at the opposite. My whole idea around Textile Treasures is to have something that’s useful and worth keeping.”
Their style is more akin to hand production and hand-finishes. Using a carved wooden block made from teak, makers chisel a pattern and stamp it into vast yardage of material. The clothes are made with the aid of a machine and will then have hand-embroidery and handmade buttons as they’re finished, while scarves are hand-loomed.
“I was very hesitant until I saw it and immediately fell in love with it”
The materials used for production include wool, linen, silk, and organic cotton. Sarah makes sure to source items personally. Early on, she took an ethical point of view and wanted to protect Indian and Nepalese artistic heritage. She’s focused on incorporating traditional techniques with contemporary designs and natural fabricsThis involves multiple travels to India and Nepal over the span of a year. Being attuned to Australian tastes, Sarah keeps an eye for contemporary items with wonderful colour ways.
Regarding the decision to sell polymer clay jewellery, Sarah says that although it was an unusual addition, it soon became a natural part of their product line. They are handcrafted by a dynamic group of women who are rebuilding their lives from experiencing domestic violence. Helping the women is something that’s deeply aligned with the Textile Treasures’ values.
“The designs in the jewellery are so intricate and so amazing,” says Sarah. “They match the block print designs that occur in the fabrics.”
Sarah started the business by first supplying to friends and relatives since she often flew in to India and Nepal. “I would come home with new things from India, and people would say, ‘Next time you go, can you get me one of those,'” says Sarah. “The year I came home with 12 jackets and nobody wanted them, I said, ‘I’m going to the Old Bus Depot Markets. I went on the first Saturday of a December weekend and I sold out in about two hours.”
“I love the vibrant community and the creative people I meet there”
In a seven year span, Textile Treasures only missed one Multicultural Markets which occurs on the first Sunday of every month. The business has certainly expanded as they now take up a double stall to accommodate their wider product range. They’ve managed to establish a loyal customer base with new items coming in every few months.
“I love the vibrant community and the creative people I meet there,” says Sarah about the Old Bus Depot Markets. “The multicultural event is great because I see items inspired by cultures from all over the world. ”
Sarah has grown to be a fan of the other market stalls as well. One is Vetro e Metallo who specialises in beautiful jewellery of upcycled brass and copper. Another is Andrew Gittoes Woodturning for their fantastic woodwork.
Expect many new beautiful items from Nepal when you see Textile Treasures on 10 February for International Crafts and Food. For any enquiries or orders you can reach Sarah on email@example.com.
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