"The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most."-- John Ruskin

"Banna" means "colour" in Kannada, a South Indian language, and Banna is all about bringing the colours and textiles of India to you.

About Us

India has a rich tradition of colour and textile art, rooted in the villages and forests of Indian countryside. For centuries, textiles were made by hand from the cotton, wool, linen or silk available to villagers and finished with colours and dyes found naturally in the surroundings. It often took an entire village to process the raw material that nature provides and transform it into a work of art.

Banna's mission is to help preserve these age-old traditions and make them available to people all over the world. We're committed to bringing naturally dyed fabrics to people who appreciate elegant and earthy designs.

Story

"Khadi stands for simplicity […] It sits well on the shoulders of the poor, and it can be made, as it was made in the days of the yore, to adorn the bodies of the richest and the most artistic men and women. It is reviving ancient art and crafts." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Khadi

In the early 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi came to realize that England's reliance on India both as a source of raw cotton and as a market for its industrially produced cloth could be exploited in India's independence movement. Gandhi encouraged the production of hand-spun, hand-woven fabric in an age-old process that is still practiced in parts of India today.

In Gandhi's hands the common spinning wheel became not just a form of protest, but an expression of the self, a spiritual practice. Gandhi's call for Indians to spin and weave their own cloth was founded on his principle of swaraj, his demand that India and Indians win back their independence and with it their self-respect, self-responsibility, and capacity for self-realization.

Kalamkari

Centuries ago, groups of singers, musicians and painters would move from village to village to tell the great stories of Hindu mythology. They illustrated their tales on large pieces of canvas painted with dyes extracted from plants, and their depictions of Hindu gods and heroes adorned temples in India.

This tradition of painting fabrics – kalamkari – has been practiced in South India for generations. Kalamkari textiles are hand-painted with natural colours. The cloth is prepared, painted, and treated in an elaborate manual process.

Block Printing

Woodblock printing is a technique for printing texts, images and patterns on cloth, which has been used widely in India since antiquity. Textiles are printed with a carved wood block covered in dye. The wood block is carefully carved by hand: White areas are cut away with a knife or chisel leaving the image to show in black or any other colour at the original surface level. Block print textiles are easily recognized by their typical patterns.

Contact

Sharadhi Schnellmann