Meet our Makers – Summer House NZ

Meet our Makers

Manu, Karan and Manisha October 29, 2016 22:44

Manu and Karan are a young and dynamic married team who operate the clothing, accessories,  block printing, manufacture and export division of their family's export company.  Manu's Father operates the carpet export and manufacture division. (Manu and Karan are expecting their first baby next year!)
Manisha is a fashion design graduate who has 5 years experience and has been working with Manu and Karan since early this year.  This is a pic of us in their showroom.  If you are lucky we will take you to this Aladdins cave one day!
You only need to visit their lovely premises in Jaipur to see that working conditions could not be better.  Marble floors and ceiling fans ensure cool conditions,  the Ladies at the finishing table chatter and the men on the machines interact with each other and everyone passing.
Staff are all locals and are fairly paid with regular working hours, breaks and annual leave allowances.  Requests for temporary overtime work to make extra money for things like weddings are gladly accommodated.  Wages are generous and many staff have been with the company for over 10 years.
Manu has already begun his UK certification as a Fair Trader.
The company is 2 generations old and is responsible for the employment of 65 local artisans and skilled workers.  They have retail customers in France, USA, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Australia and now New Zealand!

XIWIKJ - Narinder and Bali October 29, 2016 22:29

Narinder and his brother Bali Patwalia began this business only 2 years ago.  It is a small home based factory operation in Jaipur which is run by Narinder with his small local staff of 8 people,  these artisans make all of the items from scratch,  including all of the block printing and embroidery. 

The working conditions are impeccable, comfortable, safe and spacious and staff are fairly paid and happy.  They are all local and return to their homes and families every night.

The designs are the work of Bali and his new wife who are based in Italy.  They operate a lovely retail store there and work very hard attending trade fairs to expand into the European market.   Narinder holds the fort and runs the manufacture and distribution from their Jaipur based home factory. 
Xiwikj are currently working on their Fair Trade Licensing which is also imperative for them to grow their business in Europe.
We are very proud to be the New Zealand and Australian agents and hope to grow alongside this remarkable hardworking young company for many years.


Block Printing October 29, 2016 21:29

Meet Mukesh - he is a block print maker - but not just any block print maker,  he is our block print maker!  If you are lucky enough you may own one of our new cotton hand block printed tunics.  Mukesh carves the blocks which print the repeat patterns onto the cotton.  It is an artisan craft which has been passed through generations.

Watch more about the printing process here - filmed with our very own iphones!  Watch out Spielberg!

Block Printing 1 - see the artisan in action

Block Printing 2 - an intro to the blocks and dyes

Block Printing 3 - the application and colour process

Block Printing 4 - block printing continued

Block Printing 5 - the magic of oxidisation


The Mandala Magicians - Ramesh and Sunita October 29, 2016 21:05

Ramesh's Father and Grandfather ran the business before him and it is now in the capable hands of himself and his lovely wife Sunita.  Mr Ramesh Senior still works in the factory every day getting his hands dirty and stuck in with the workers.

We have had the pleasure to visit the factory and view the process from scratch which was completely amazing.  Read the full Mandala Magic Factory post here with more pictures and video of the printing process.

A short drive from the factory on crazy Indian roads takes us to the home of Ram and Sunita and their daughter in a lovely suburban neighborhood,  the house directly across the road also belongs to them an operates as their packing, warehousing, shipping and administration facility.  It's a wonderland of piles of mandalas in rainbows of colour.


Mandala Magic October 18, 2016 02:25

Today was a treat of epic proportions.

We travelled from Delhi to Jaipur and we visited a Mandala factory.  I was going to tell you all about the our trip on flight 6E which was entertaining in itself, but not anymore, not after the afternoon we have had……

I was truly not expecting it to be that remarkable and what happened?  It blew my socks off!



Finally we managed to figure out a way to communicate with our new driver who is lovely but no English and eventually found our way to Sanganer – It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but step through the entrance and it's another world.


Imagine, rows of loooong tables – mandalas of 20m long billowing above in the ceiling light streaming in through windows and ceiling fans humming – this place produces  3000 mandalas a day in a traditional process using pure cotton and natural dyes.   They may initially look as dull as dishwater but just wait until the magic happens.

What you see here are not jaundice yellow mandalas, they are actually rich reds and purples…. Read on ….

Waxed tables hold the pre-dipped and sun dryed fabric in place and the most nimble artisans you have ever seen screen print colour upon colour in record time.   They then air dry above the tables and under the ceiling fans and are take across the road for dipping and washing.

This is a family business of 3 generations, currently run by Ramesh,   Mr Khatri his Father (white vest) can been seen here working on the magic dipping!

The yellowy mandala goes into the “magic dragon water” and comes a different colour entirely. Its Alchemy! What amazes me the most is that only non toxic natural vegetarian products are used in this process.

Watch the magic happen before your very own eyes on on the video clip on our Facebook page.


After the factory visit we moved to the home of Ramesh and his lovely wife Sunita which is also their warehouse – Adi and I once again got completely carried away in the mountains of Mandalas and hope we have selected the best range for you! Friends, neighbours and colleagues of our hosts all took a shine to Adi and their cameras  flashed like the paparazzi all afternoon as we tried really hard to narrow down our choices from the vast selection


We had such a lovely time there, the hours flew and we have selected a great new range and kept some old favourites. Introducing also the roundies with fringes and pom poms!


Next visit we are staying over with the Khatri’s because we love them so much!

Our new range will be uploaded after we take some really good photos on location here in Jaipur tomorrow and we will offer a 10% discount on any mandala orders using the discount voucher below at check out.  We will be shipping new stock from 1 November 2016.