Nila is a non-profit based in Jaipur dedicated to preserving and celebrating India’s rich heritage of traditional crafts, with a special focus on ecologically sensitive, endangered crafts, principally - natural dyes, hand-spinning and handloom weaving. Nila also works towards creating impactful collaborations and interventions that support rural artisan communities and work towards the revival of regenerative, localised craft value chains from farm to textile.
Nila’s story begins with natural indigo. Nila translates from Hindi to mean 'blue' and it is this extraordinary natural dye that served as early inspiration. Nila works with dyers across India to reintroduce and encourage the use of natural indigo and counter the proliferation of the synthetic and ecologically damaging version of this dye. Nila's research and grassroots work on indigo naturally extended to the crafts of hand weaving and natural dyes, further branching into other crafts of the hand such as hand spinning, hand weaving and embroidery. Nila aims to slowly reintroduce chemical-free, decentralised systems back into the supply chain and to this end, Nila works with communities of farmers and artisans by providing consistent support to grow livelihood capabilities. Nila also works closely with her sister organisation LBCT, to create craft-focused vocational training programmes that feed back into Nila's collections as hand-finishing or hand-crafted detailing by the women.
Whilst Nila works with networks of artisans across India, the physical space of the initiative manifests as Nila House, a restored traditional home from the 1930s in the heart of Jaipur. Nila House opened her doors in October 2019 and has since become a much loved space of gathering for conversations and creative interventions on the heritage and sustainable future for India’s traditional crafts and textiles.
To follow the story of Nila House, find them on social media here.