Hello! I take great pride in being one of Profugo’s breathtaking bags! This creation story is very unique and extremely special. Read on to learn about how I was created and all the amazing steps that went into making me.
My journey first began as fabric, purchased from a small-scale fabric maker. They have been dying fabrics, like me, in their families/villages for many generations! I’m a fabric from Andhra Pradesh (Kalamkari) known for creating block-printed fabric, which Profugo loves to use in creating all their bags. Profugo also purchases fabric from Rajasthan (Bagru) which is another famous block-print fabric-making area! Andhra Pradesh is located east of Kerala! As one of their designs, I was hand painted with all natural dyes. They painted me in natural colored dyes the colors of black, red, yellow and indigo. Black was used to outline the drawings they hand crafted. The design process was so patient and exact to make me the special fabric that is in itself unique.
I, alongside the other bags that the wonderful women in Wayanad create, are all created with incredible prints that are very popular in India. After being dyed into one of Profugo’s unique patterns I feel so beautiful! It took me about 3 months to be dyed into the beautiful pattern that I am now. It’s crazy amazing the amount of work and care that goes into creating every fabric.
Working with the fabric makers, Profugo decides on designs that they would love to sell in the United States! Sometimes the fabric makers already have the patterns created, other times Profugo works with them to create a whole new pattern. If they decide on a new pattern, the fabric makers will then have to start creating blocks from scratch to then be dyed into the new pattern. When designing new patterns, Profugo keeps in mind traditional Indian motifs to reflect on the bag. These include florals, geometric patterns and animal prints that all represent different things in Indian culture.
After I was dyed, I was transported, along with many other fabric pieces to Wayanad, India where Profugo is based! Once I and the other fabrics arrive in Wayanad, the woman work to cut us into different shapes to start creating pieces that would be perfect for stitching.
Many women working played a part in creating me! The bags are a true team effort, as many of the women have different strong suits. Working together, they can create the perfect bag. Ms. Mary, the tailoring manager in Wayanad, takes all the new patterns to work on herself. After she creates a prototype of all the new bag styles, the women can then copy off of her work to continue creating consistent high-quality bags like myself. It took me about 4-6 hours to be completed through stitching!
I then sit in Wayanad and enjoy my time in India for up to 1 to 1.5 months before the field staff ships the finished bags like myself to the United States in order to be sold! The reason they sent me to the United States about a month after completion is because of the high moisture levels in Wayanad. If they kept us bags there longer we run the risk of growing mold due to the conditions and our nice cotton material.
After we arrive in the United States, we’re then shipped to you! Our Profugo staff in the US takes us bags to different craft fairs to be sold and additionally, we are sold online through Storenvy! A lot of work goes into making us bags what we are, and we’re all extremely special and unique. After all the traveling and hard work to make me, I finally have a home!