maltings makers: fair trade designer supporting women in india

maltings makers: fair trade designer supporting women in india

Sophie Pattinson is a talented designer who will be with us for thread and Festival of Crafts. Not only is her unique range of bedcovers, cushions, throws and other textile products beautifully hand embroidered, but their production helps to provide a source of income for women who live in remote parts of Bangladesh. 

This partnership arose when Sophie was asked by the European Union to run a project that would provide women from poor and rural backgrounds in Bangladesh with skills necessary to help them make their own living. In 1999 she began training 160 women with an aim to produce embroidered items that would be popular with the European market. Though the European Union withdrew their funding after 10 months, Sophie raised her own funds to continue working with some of the women.

Sophie has a first class honours degree in textile design and finds inspiration from a wide range of sources. These could be anything from the gentle humorous sketches of Edward Lear to the complex styles of turbans worn in India. She makes frequent visits to India, which can often last up to four or five months, to work on new designs and to train more women. After each trip she brings back a selection of completed work for sale. Sophie also has a studio in Ropley, which can be visited by appointment or on one of her own open days, which you can find out about on her website: www.sophiepattinson.com

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