Rakhi meets craft & design

Raksha Bandhan is Indian festival about the bond between brother and sister. It is celebrated by tying a ‘rakhi’ around the wrist of your brother(s), symbolically protecting them, and receiving a gift in return. Every year, women go crazy looking for the perfect band for their brother. There are many stories related to this festival.

One of the stories goes

One of the stories related to Raksha Bandhan is based on more a historical notion, rather than religious ones:

The story is about the widowed Maharani (queen) Karnawati, who sought help of various kings when Sultan Bahadur Shah unexpectedly attacked Chittorgarh. She was ruling Mewar on behalf of her son Vikramaditya. Her army did not have a leader and this caused them to lose a battle against the Sultan. It was at this time that she sent a Rakhi to Mughal Emperor Humayun who immediately realized the meaning behind this Rakhi. He rushed over, but could not reach in time. Bahadur Shah had invaded the kingdom and Maharani Karnavati committed suicide. However Humanyun did honor the rakhi and reinstated Vikramaditya as the Maharana (king).

Artisinal designer rakhis

Rakhis can be found in many shapes and designs, from DIY to designer ones. Big brands, but also smaller independent designers are bringing rakhis to the next level with interesting concepts of the humble thread. More luxury ones, which are to be kept as a special memory to sustainably made that benefit artisans.

Anavila Misra‘s rakhis are made from beautiful linen, organza, and silk fabrics, using scrap textiles being repurposed. The delicate rakhis are packed in a linen envelope along with all the essentials (rice and vermilion powder) for the ritual.

Anavila Misra’s upcycled rakhis with linen envelope, with vermillion, rice, cloves & cardemom

SR Artefacts, a family business specialized in crafting silverware, has created silver rakhi’s with semi-precious stones. Whereas Amrapali, a well-known jewellery brand, has introduced a range of rakhis in jadau work with more traditional designs. Nicobar, a sustainable, contemporary lifestyle company has charm-like elements with symbols, such as cowri shells and cardamoms.

Nicobar’s cardemom and cowri shell rakhis
Amrapali’s jadau rakhi
SR Artefacts’ silver rakhis with semi-precious stones
Suhani Pittie’s minimalist design

Sartorial by Swati an independent designer, focuses on natural fabrics and handcrafted products. Her rakhis are made of upcycled fabric, damaged mirrors and buttons. Hitankshu Bhatt‘s rakhis are rather different created together with artisans using silk thread and hand carved brass.

Artisan design

Other interesting developments are the artisans themselves designing contemporary rakhis in order to create an income for their livelihoods during these challenging times with covid-19. There are beaded ones, with mirror work, zari and even terracotta ones. All the variety of Indian crafts can be appreciated in a thread chosen with care for your brothers and sisters.

kundan rakhis
mirror rakhis
wooden parrot rakhis
beaded rakhis
painted terracotta rakhis

If you are interested in a collaboration or have an idea to share, feel free to contact us.