Ethical, hand block printed, pure cotton quilts...
‘When you purchase a beautiful, handcrafted Indian bed quilt or table cloth for your home, it makes an impact on your living space. But, when you choose Soul Threads soft furnishings, from unique, hand block printed bedspreads to tableware or cushion covers, the impact goes much further.’
Hello, I’m Rona, founder of Soul Threads. I’ve been drawn to authentic, hand block printed Indian fabrics for as long as I can remember. When I was a student, I’m pretty sure I was the only one rocking up to class in an embroidered Banjara jacket…
I discovered an Anokhi store in England when I was a teenager and still have several pieces of homewares and clothing that I purchased 35 years ago! This is where I discovered and fell in love with Hand Block Printed textiles.
Several decades later, Soul Threads was born after a conversation with a friend about our mutual love of hand block printed fabrics (we both had a love of Anokhi products). I realised there was a story behind these exquisite, unique designs that I wanted to share...
Me in Jaipur surrounded by a mountain of Kantha Quilts! Bliss!
Sustainable soft furnishings that make life a little brighter
Making these stunning fabric furnishings accessible to households around Australia also means supporting households in India.
But it goes much deeper than that – for me – and for you.
When you choose eco-friendly, hand block printed bedding or table linen, it will certainly brighten up your home. But your Soul Threads purchase will also brighten up the lives of the Indian Artisans who created it.
I’m a member of the West Australian Fair Trade Collective (WAFTC) & the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand, because I believe a fair wage is a fundamental right. I knew it was essential for Soul Threads to have an ethical supply chain so, in 2018, I headed to Jaipur, India.
I got to meet some wonderful, unforgettable people. And, happily, I was able to verify working conditions and ensure our Artisans were being properly paid for their hours of skilled labour.
I met this beautiful lady in a village near Amer Palace, Jaipur sitting quietly and happily stitching, chatting to other women in a little cluster.
Unique, handcrafted, quality quilts
When I visited the towns and villages where I source many of my products, I discovered the Artisans often work as a family. They share the tasks – from hand-carving the blocks to making natural dyes from the land and plants around them. Then, slowly and lovingly, they print the design onto the purest, softest cotton.
No two products are identical because the printing is done in small batches, by hand. It’s what makes each quilt authentically unique.
So, when you buy a quality, handcrafted product from Soul Threads, you’re purchasing from an ethical business. You’re also helping preserve a traditional Indian craft passed down from generation to generation.
And, as you snuggle underneath your unique, pure cotton Indian quilt, you can sleep well knowing you’re supporting the sustainable, slow fashion industry. That means you’re helping to protect our planet too.
My colourful journey
So, how did a paediatric nurse from Somerset, England end up in Western Australia, commissioning and selling small batch, fabric furnishings from India?
I grew up in a military family, which meant I spent most of my childhood relocating to new places. After college, I was happy to settle in the UK and pursue my career in paediatric nursing.
I’ve always been creative and while I was on maternity leave with baby no. 5, I took a course in making stained glass.
I got hooked. I fell in love with the design and creative processes and, of course, the colours. I set up a small workshop, did commission work and taught classes at a local college.
Me in Bagru on a two day hand block printing course. It was amazingly fun and educational!
Hand block printed fabrics – a lifelong love affair
In 2004, my husband and I decided it was time for a change. My nursing career opened the door to a new life in Western Australia – so we packed up the family and moved. I returned to nursing for a while. I also set up another stained-glass workshop – I still enjoy doing commissions when time allows.
Across the years, my interest in the history and practice of hand block printing in Jaipur has deepened. I’ve become committed to the sustainable, slow fashion movement. And now, thanks to Soul Threads, my love affair with these stunning printed fabrics looks set to continue.
If you’re looking to beautify your home with ethically sourced soft furnishings – why not take a look at my current range of unique, small batch, quality quilts.