Hand Painted Shawls from Silpinwita Das - A New Set – Natural Dyes From Bengal

by - Tuesday, September 20, 2022

This is a follow up to our July promotion of the shawls of Silpinwita Das. Each shawl is unique and we are very proud to offer a new collection of works.


Hand painting cloth with natural dyes is an ancient art. In India it is known as kalamkari, which means "pen work". The freedom to place natural colour in a painterly way requires considerable skill and natural dye knowledge. 

These contemporary works are the genius of Bengali artist Silpinwita Das, daughter of the famous kalamkari painter Ajit Das. Silpinwita's works are inspired by folk art and her studies of the landscape of Santinikan, which she describes as "red soil, and meadows of lush green paddy fields, where rows of chhatim trees and palms charmed me from the very beginning."

Silpinwita Das has named her work "Haridra". In Sanskrit, “haridra” means yellow, the colour of sunlight, warmth and spirituality. Each work is unique, distinct and entirely hand made. Each brings life and movement wherever it is placed, styled as a shawl, hung on a wall, or draped across a table.

The colour pallet is achieved with natural dyes; the black colour is created through a fermentation process using scrap iron, molasses, mahua flower, chickpea flour and betel leaf. Other colours come to life with Indian madder root, catechu (cutch), indigo, marigold flowers, pomegranate rinds, turmeric and myrobalan. 

Each shawl is one-of-a-kind. There is only one of each design.


This kit includes 60ml Synthrapol soap for scouring, 100g Gallnut Extract, 250g of Alum, 100g Soda Ash for mordanting and 10g each of these natural dye extracts: Chestnut, Cochineal, Cutch, Fustic, Lac, Logwood, Madder Rich, Quebracho, and Weld. Maiwa's Guide to Natural Dyes is included with the Kit.

Extracts easily dissolve in water and are so concentrated that only a small amount is needed.  Great to use on all natural fibres.

To our U.S. customers – don't forget that the exchange rate works in your favour, it's like an extra discount.

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