Authentic craftsmanship and a commitment to ethical trade
We are an artisanal lifestyle and fashion brand founded upon a passion for exquisite design, a respect for authentic craftsmanship and a commitment to ethical trade.
Inspired by the rich cultural heritage of timeless crafts such as embroidery, ancient weaving and printing, we seek to celebrate these traditions through our designs and production processes.
Combining beauty, colour and individuality, our collection translates from blissful beach havens to bustling concrete jungles – the perfect wardrobe for the effortlessly stylish nomadic woman. By weaving stunning bohemian patterns with city-chic silhouettes, our pieces are an alluring blend of the exotic and the familiar – a contemporary ode to ancient artistic traditions.
Over the past decade Dandy & Brooks have assembled an incredible team of like-minded people from communities around the world who share our passion for beauty and our commitment to helping sustain artisanal crafts. We work with groups who seek to socially and economically empower the artisans, supporting them and their families.
Using handwoven and hand-spun fabrics made from sustainably sourced fibres such as silk, cotton, wool and cashmere, our pieces have a beautifully soft handfeel and are gentle and kind to the environment.
It is so important to us to contribute to these local communities and do our part in keeping these inimitable skills alive.
— Sally Holbrook, Founder
Dating back to the 3rd century BC, Chikan is a delicate and artfully done embroidery style from Lucknow, India. The complex process begins by hand carving wooden blocks with the desired pattern. The block is then dipped in ink and stamped onto the fabric, creating a stencil for the embroiderer to follow. The finished piece is then washed, removing all traces of the ink. Traditionally, white thread is embroidered onto pastel coloured textiles for a beautiful soft finish but we like to add a contemporary twist to this technique, often using colourful bright threads to embroider non-traditional motifs onto natural fabrics.
Traditionally, Chikan work is carried out by women in their own homes. For all of our pieces that feauture Chikan embroidery, we work with a women’s group who ensure that all artisans are protected, fairly paid and supported in the case of any health issues. Continuing the age-old tradition, all work is carried out in the women’s own homes resulting in beautiful individual variations among the pieces.
Khadi is a traditional handspun, handwoven natural fiber cloth created in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Khadi is the term used to describe cotton, silk or wool that has been traditionally spun on a spinning wheel known as a ‘charkha’ to create a natural, versatile cloth that keeps you warm in the winter and cool during the summer.
Mirror-work embroidery is a uniquely detailed hand-craftsmanship that was adopted in India Gujarat and Rajasthan in the 17th century and describes the encasing of little pieces of cut mirror in intricate threads of embroidery to add to the decoration of the fabric. With more cost effective machinery, this magnificent tradition is at risk of dying out. The Indian Ministry of Textiles strives to preserve this traditional craft and Dandy & Brooks is proud to play their part in supporting this mission by championing hand mirror-work in our collections.
COLOURS OF NATURE
Where possible, we always strive to use a natural dying process in our collections. The natural dyes are drawn from vegetable sources such as flowers, tree bark, fruits, berries, leaves and roots, or insects such as the cochineal and the lac. Natural dyes have their special characteristics and age differently from chemical dyes. For best results, hand wash separately in cool water with a mild detergent, avoid soaking, and hang to dry.
HANDWOVEN / HANDSPUN
Handwoven fabrics are created by artisans using traditional hand looms. These age-old techniques are carried out by artisans and can produce 7-12 metres of fabric per day. The handwoven technique is passed on through generations and provides many families in remote villages with the chance to earn a living.
Kantha embroidery is one of India’s oldest forms of embroidery that can be traced back to the ancient pre Vedic ages.Translating to ‘rags’ in Sanskrit, Kantha embroidery is traditionally carried out on discarded garments and cloth and is a hereditary craft, commonly passed on from one generation of women to another. It is distinguished from other forms of embroidery by its wide use of running stitch, which can create a wavy effect on the fabric.
AARI EMBROIDERY & BEADING
Aari emboridery and beading date back to the 12th century Mughal empire and involves a laborious and delicate needlework technique to create a looped chain stitch of motifs and design patterns on fabrics. With the fabric stretched over a wooden frame, the Aari technique is applied by hand using silk or cotton threads, glass beads, stones or other embellishments. In Europe, the technique is referred to as Tambour or Luneville embroidery and is commonly used in haute couture.