In a tiny town on Italy’s Northeastern coast, the Marchi family printworks may be the world’s last shop to produce handmade, rust-printed textiles from raw hemp, using a massive stone press dating to the 1600s.
Only a handful of artisans still practice the centuries-old craft of rust printing on fabric. Of those who do, even fewer use the traditional stone mangle, or press, on handwoven, raw hemp fabric, yielding textiles that can last for centuries. The Marchi family printworks, in Italy’s Romagna region, may well be the only place left in the world that still produces authentic, rust-printed textiles that are fully handmade.
Story and Film by LUISA GROSSO
In this exploration of the hidden stories behind materials such as wool and rayon, silk and polyester, and vegan leather, writer and sustainable fashion expert Alden Wicker found some inconvenient truths about the animal rights movement.
When you put on a stylish jacket made of rayon, vegan leather, or even recycled plastic, are you sure you’re helping the planet more than if you had bought one made of animal leather? In this journey down a very twisted rabbit hole, sustainable fashion expert Alden Wicker, founder and editor-in-chief of EcoCult, finds answers that may not be particularly comfortable for the animal rights movement.
By ALDEN WICKER
On a small island near Venice, the fine art of handmade lace somehow remains alive. Our correspondent visits with the master craftswomen of Burano to learn their history, their secrets, and the prospects for their future.
Nand Kishore Chaudhary built Jaipur Rugs Co. into a runaway success by working closely with India’s poorest citizens, and by developing an apprenticeship system around India’s chronic battles with child labor. How do such difficult pieces fit into India’s socio-economic puzzle?
Nand Kishore Chaudhary has built one of India’s most successful handmade carpet ventures by forging close ties to a community that most businesses on the continent shun: the poor, largely uneducated caste of citizens long referred to as “Untouchables.” To help his business grow, he’s also had to develop an apprenticeship system around India’s chronic battles with child labor. To Chaudhary, navigating these issues is the only way to honor the true meaning of sustainability. During a visit to the Jaipur Rugs company, our correspondent tries to figure out how all these pieces come together.
By CATHRYN JAKOBSON RAMIN
Who would think that a collection of sewing enthusiasts, dedicated to the anachronistic art of making old-fashioned clothes, would stumble onto a path that revives quality, comfort, ecological consciousness, and respect for the female form in all its varieties? Just ask the historical dress community’s thousands of followers.
By BETH WINEGARNER
On a funky old pier along San Francisco’s waterfront, Autodesk, a world leader in digital tools for makers, runs a futuristic prototype shop that may be redefining the meaning of craftsmanship.