Surfaced is my later-in-life dream. I have spent much of my life teaching textile design in various institutions in Australia. My profession has taken me all over the world but I have a particular passion for India, where I have also had the great opportunity to teach. I am incredibly grateful and humbled to have been able to spend time in India where I have met some extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. Through a chance encounter on a recent journey there, I became inspired to make some changes in my life and follow a dream to work with artisans, particularly women.

That is the incredible thing about textiles. Beyond the surface of what you see are the stories of the people who created them, their histories and culture. Every textile tells a story. They can take you to many different places. Through surfaced I want to share the experience and the world of textiles, beyond what you see.

A basket case

The first opportunity is through a simple basket. (Stay tuned for more opportunities).

On a trip to Bangalore, I purchased a shopping basket in the marketplace. The vendor had a huge pile of the baskets and it was really difficult to choose the colour combination that I wanted to bring home, I could have had them all. I chose one and have used my basket over and over and I love it.

So I decided to find out who makes the baskets. It turns out that these baskets are a common commodity in Southern India. Mothers teach children how to weave the baskets and they are also given as gifts. I have heard numerous stories from Indian friends about how they had seen their mothers or grandmothers making them. The baskets are strong, sturdy and hard-wearing, great for shopping, carrying heavy objects like books, or simply for taking to the beach.  

This collection of baskets is made by a group of women from a small village called Kalari the in the Tirupur District in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. 

Life is full of surprises and I now found myself in a place I never expected to be.  I love my basket and I hope you enjoy using your basket too. It will arrive filled with joy. Your purchase will support the artisans I work with and the women of Kalari to earn an income of their own.

Thank you.




Rajathi Seniyappan hand weaving a basket in her home. 

Rajathi Seniyappan handweaving a basket in her home