Meet our Makers
Treasures of Thailand
With Tikkiwallah, one woman’s passion unites the talents of many
Like so many ventures started during
the pandemic, Tikkiwallah was born out of necessity.
“I started the brand as a way to help artisan friends, who needed access to markets,” says founder Rachna Sachasinh. “I now work closely with communities in both Laos and Thailand to develop textiles rooted in tradition, but that fit modern lifestyles and aesthetics.”
Tikkiwallah is a logical next step in a career that, for Sachasinh, has involved many. She has a background in both environmental protection and economic development; she is a working journalist; she has collaborated with makers from Mexico to India to Laos; and while she grew up in Thailand (her grandfather came from India as a cloth merchant) she has spent most of her adult life in the US.
Tikkiwallah is united by the commonalities that Sachasinh shares with her cohort of makers—a commitment to fair-trade principles, eco-friendly materials and sustainable processes, and upcycled fabrics and plant-based dyes, all of which add up to comfortable, stylish goods, the kind that fit in everywhere and only get better with age.
Vintage camel blankets and bags from Rajasthan in western India find new life as upcycled pillows.
Piet is a jungle vine that grows prodigiously in northern Laos, where Khumu communities use the vine to make belts, straps and bags. Artisans wash the fibers in rice water to achieve extra softness.
"We often view handicrafts as 'folk art' that is quaint and nostalgic," says Sachasinh. "However, the design and techniques for these products have been worked out over generations— with no complex machinery. They serve specific functions, and they are often aesthetically beautiful. And, most importantly they sustainable—made from natural materials, with minimal carbon footprint, and little, if any, waste."
Rachna works with a weaver friend in a remote corner of Luang Prabang province to create hand-spun cotton scarves. A mix of thin and thick yarns gives them texture and creates an accessory that is great for fall and cool summer evenings.
Hmong women use candle wax as "ink" and a metal, pen-like tool to create resist-dyed batik patterns on all-naturel hemp pillows.