home accessories

Celebrating The Start Of Summer

 

 

 

 

Today officially marks the start of Summer: a great time to refresh and add some colour to your home. So if you’re searching for seasonal accessories to brighten your outdoor or indoor space then hunt no more: our collection of hand block printed homewares will have you dreaming of long lazy, hazy Summer days and they’re perfect for adding a touch of hand crafted beauty to any interior. Mixing and matching block print with textiles of different colours and textures creates an individual, relaxed style. Our block printed products are created for us in Jaipur using traditional block printing techniques (as tried and tested by ibbi co-founders Eliza and Anna on their travels through Rajasthan earlier this year!)  If you love our table linen, quilts and home accessories then we thought you might like to see a little about how they are made:

ibbi co-founder Eliza: block printing in Jaipur

And ibbi co-founder Anna block printing too!

 

The process of block printing has been practiced in Rajasthan for over 500 years, introduced by the Chhipa community from the village of Bagru, an area now famous for its vegetable dye block printing. The physical Sheesham wooden blocks are meticulously carved by hand, with each colour in the design carved in a separate block. The outline block or the ‘rekh’ is usually the most intricate. Once the colours have been chosen and have been poured in to wooden trays, the process of stamping the pattern on to the stretched cotton fabric begins. Each colour pattern is stamped on to the fabric individually by the Printing Master and the tiny irregularities, the subtle gaps or overlaps are a beautiful reminder of the intricate process of creating this iconic product. The block printing villages are renowned for the rhythmic ‘tock-tock’ sound of the wood blocks stamping patterns on to fabric. A wonderful reminder to all visitors of the significance of this stunning artisan work.

Sheesham wood blocks

 

Our block printed napkins have arrived!

 

ibbi Block printed accessories: all made in Jaipur and available at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk

Our thanks to Mehera Shaw for additional information.

 

Why You Should Covet A Kantha

We talk about our love of kantha a lot at ibbi: and what’s not to love! Kantha quilts, kantha throws, kantha blankets, kantha cushions..they’re all truly unique vintage goodies, made in the brightest happy colours: timeless textiles to treasure forever. So what makes them so special?

Kantha is a type of Bengali embroidered quilt- the word kantha refers to a running stitch which has been widely used in Bangladesh and West Bengal for centuries. Our Kantha throws honour ancient traditions, using layer upon layer of softest,  time worn saris which are carefully stitched together with close rows of delicate running stitch. Each kantha is fully reversible and a labour of love, with quilts taking between 45 and 50 hours to create. And how to use? Well here are just a few suggestions and a few reasons why you should covet a kantha:

Kanthas are made to lay, drape and fold: and as they’re made from pure cotton they make the most spectacular bed blankets, adding fabulous colour to any neutral sleep space. Kanthas are made for sofas too: drape over the arm of your sofa or tuck in around the seat cushions for an instant new upholstered look

Whether you’re dining indoors or al fresco, kanthas make the very best tablecloths ( they’re pure cotton so easy to maintain). Blues are beautiful for Spring and Summer and reds are perfect for festive tables. Thicker kanthas make the best picnic rugs around. For small dark corners of your home, simply drape a small kantha over a side table, add leafy plants or bright vases of fresh cut flowers and dull corners will be transformed

If you’re a whizz with the sewing machine (or know a friendly seamstress) kanthas made the prettiest cushions and because they’re fully reversible you’ll have two stunning designs to choose from. Kanthas are perfect for small cushions for your bed or sofa and they make great floor cushions for teenage/student rooms. We also love to use kantha to upholster footstools: they make perfect statement pieces to suit any home, whether your preferred style be traditional or modern.

Just take one look at the stunning stitching that goes in to every vintage kantha throw and you’ll realise why they should be reassuringly expensive. They should have a good weight to them too: ours are made from 6-8 layers of sari cloth which means they’re super warm but not overly bulky.

To see more, take a peek at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk.

Go Colourful

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Many of us may be sick and tired of boring old beige but apparently it’s still the safe shades of oyster, stone and cream that remain the nation’s favourites. Which is sad because although people are scared of making mistakes with colour, bland interiors can be very uninteresting. So let’s have less of the snoring boring and more of the creative colouring. And when it comes to adding colour to your home here’s our to top 5 favourite tips collected from some of our favourite British interior designers:

  1. Be free and full of gay abandon the it comes to colour. Why stick to one colour palette? Look at nature for inspirational colour combos:  take the happy and uplifting greens and lilacs in the Spring, or bright blue skies at sunset splashed with vivid oranges and reds. Colour will make your home more interesting and add intrigue to your interiors.
  2. Experiment. See what works for you. Deep reds create warmth and a convivial atmosphere. Blues are relaxing and perfect for bathrooms, bedrooms and wherever else in your home you head to unwind. Dark greys and blacks create glamour and sophistication and purples lend a luxurious feel too. And green is smart, harmonious, lush and hopeful and in the bedroom it’s fabulous combined with pink.
  3. Why are ceilings always white? Try painting them the same colour as your walls. Your walls will look less stumpy and it will help create that stunning, sumptuous atmosphere you’re looking for.
  4. If you’ve reservations about splashing colour across your walls (and ceilings) then why not simply add a spot of colour with accessories instead? Think bold lampshades, patterned throws, rugs, and colourful cushions and bowls. It’s fun and it’s the small touches that create instant personality and tell your story.
  5. Remember when it comes to accessories, make sure you combine the old with the new. All new looks generic and lacks character. Small vintage touches gives your home spirit. Be bold..and have fun with your home!

There’s currently 25% off our colourful recycled bowls and trays until Sunday 26th February 2017. Simply use the voucher code africa1 when you shop with us at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk.

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Celebrating Fair Trade Fortnight

IMG_7686It’s ‘Fair Trade Fortnight’! So what a perfect time to be celebrating the arrival of our fabulous new Kiondo sisal baskets from Kenya. Colourful, unique, practical and oh so pretty, these baskets are one-off beauties and we just wanted to say that it’s a pleasure for us to support the work of the weaving cooperatives involved in creating these one-of-a-kind treasures.

Take a peek: all available now at http://www.ibbidirect.co.ukIMG_7659

 

 

The New Frilly: Don’t Dilly Dally!

IMG_5874Our new hand crafted, hand painted ‘Frilly’ jugs have just arrived from our favourite pottery in South Africa and they’re selling fast. We thought they’d make good  pressies this Christmas and you seem to think so too!  They’re perfect for your milk or winter warming custard. Or why not use as a vase:  they look so pretty filled with festive flowers on your breakfast table too. Each jug is unique and there’s lots of colours to choose from.

Available now at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk £26.00 plus p&pIMG_5887

 

 

 

The rise and rise of more adventurous interior design..

IMG_8825It was great to read in the Daily Telegraph last week (16 Oct) that we’re abandoning our neutral colour palettes in favour of more adventurous interior design. As we’ve always said, the magnolias, beiges and simple creams are stylish and safe but can look even more beautiful with some statement prints and patterns added to them. Kantha, block print and rich velvet accessories can bring such a pop of personality and life to interior spaces and simple beautiful rugs thrown over neutral floors make great statements. The trend for outdoor living has apparently seen a surge too, which no doubt explains why our vintage fire bowls and traditional Indian ‘charpoy’ day beds were a huge hit this year!

Check out our collections at http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk and get in touch if we can help with product sourcing. We always love hearing from you.

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Happy First Birthday..to ibbi online!

Cupcake decorated with chocolate frosting and a green candle

Happy First Birthday to…ibbi online! Yes, we can’t believe http://www.ibbidirect.co.uk is one year old today and what a year it’s been. We’re now sourcing  collections of home accessories from India, South America and South Africa and it’s been a frantic and fabulous first twelve months! We think there’s only one way to celebrate such an occasion: and that’s with lots of cake, a glass of fizz and a present, from us, to our very first ibbi online customer: Scottish based artist Silvy Weatherall.  (If you’re not familiar with Silvy’s work could we suggest you sneak a peek at http://www.silvart.co.uk to discover more about her breathtaking painting, photography and sculpture. Her decorative feather mandalas have to be seen to be believed). Silvy: a present is on its way to you!

So a huge thank you to all our supporters and customers. It’s been an amazing a year and an amazing journey so far.. and it’s great to have you with us.

Claire, Anna and Eliza