With LABONIE, you, my cherished customers, wear shawls and
scarves hand-embroidered by richly talented artisans.
The Art and Artisans
The intricate art of embroidery is a rich centuries old legacy.
It has been passed down generations through the families.The artisans are literally keeping history alive with their deft and nimble fingers.
It is a joy and privilege to watch them work, with a quiet dignity. Choosing to be an artisan is an inner calling, requiring dedication and passion.
Today, this art is fading away as cheaper and quicker machine production is too stiff a competition. Marketing the shawls at the prices they should demand is challenging in the face of cheaper rip offs.
These skilled craftsmen are not given the recognition for their skills, nor is the payment structured to make embroidering a lucrative career for younger generations.
Feel uplifted everytime you wear a Labonie and know your artisans.
Wearing a Labonie is n’t just about fashion.
You wear values, commitment, a feeling of pride and joy in the embroidery of your shawl.
A small scale, personal business, since its creation, I have worked with one Master Craftsman in Kashmir and a 4 generations old business house in Lucknow. We work with a mutual trust in curating and creating shawls and scarves. Limited and exclusive, Labonies are hand embroidered by a community of artisans, depending on the time of the year I place the orders. If you are reading this, then you value, appreciate and enjoy shopping for products that have human qualities and something unique to them.
MASTER CRAFTSMAN Mohamad Iqbal
A master craftsman, I’ve worked with IQBAL for over a decade. His unwavering commitment to quality and an integrity as a human being, has ensured that I don’t need to look for more collaborations.
He chose to be a Master Craftsman and carry forward this beautiful legacy over a successful corporate career. He is passionate about his work and the uphill struggle of his industry doesn’t faze him in the least.
His equation with the “karigars” – Artisans is just as strong. He made it his job to know the artisans well and went out of his way to help them as the artisans work on contracts with various agents and wages are not too high. They are farmers by summers and craftspeople in winter months. Could working conditions have been better, definitely. To assure myself of their working conditions, during my trip, I visited their homes. Saw simple people, who take pride in their work. They aren’t earning a lot, but are happy in their homes. Not working out of sweatshops!.
Uncomfortable with social media, he has requested me not to share his pictures. Enjoy creating a picture in your mind with these words about one of the most amazing craftsmen I have the privilege of working with!
GHULAM MOHAMMAD DAR
Ghulam Mohammad Dar is a master craftsman. Having a college education laid open a wide selection of careers to pursue, But Ghulam Dar chose to live the life of a craftsman and nurture the traditional career of his forefathers.
He has passed on the skills to all of his five children. They have taken it up and he not only heads the joint family set up but is also the backbone of this art in his village. His house is often the gathering place. The receiving room has a coterie of craftsmen working under his able guidance.
An expert in the paper machie style of embroidery, today he has a rich experience of over 50 years. With a sense of purpose, he looks forward with hope and works on guiding the young craftsman under him. He wants to do his bit to secure a vibrant and optimistic future for the art of embroidery.