Chandni Chowk started business in 1978, founded by Paul Garrod and Rosalind Price, who still run the business today.
The company presently trades from seven retail outlets in the southwest of England, and also has a wholesale division. The company is known for its ethical sourcing and is a member of BAFTS (British Association for Fair Trade Shops) as well as a BAFTS-accredited importer.
Chandni's core business is based around in-house designed handmade textiles. Many of these are khadi textiles, which are hand-spun as well as hand woven - an ancient industry still thriving today, and made a famous symbol of independence and self-sufficiency by Mahatma Ghandi in his vision for India.
Chandni Chowk is listed in various publications as a specialist supplier, and has had many examples from its collections illustrated e.g. 'Kilims The Complete Guide' by Hull, the 'buyers guide' series 'Kilims',' Tribal Rugs and Chinese rugs' all by Allane , 'Living with Decorative Textiles' by Barnard, Arts and Craft of India' by Gillow to name a few.
Chandni Chowk describe themselves as 'merchants of the exotic and extraordinary. Not satisfied with the merely handmade they have sought to ensure that the vital creativity of the market is not suffocated by the imposition of needless economic constraints, as is so often the case. Quality of workmanship and overall originality are still considered essential.'
Some of the lovely wool wraps Ganesha sells in the shop and online, are sourced through Chandni Chowk -currently we are selling the frosty wool range. When I caught up with Rosalind and Paul at the Autumn Show, Birmingham, they told us about the shawl workshop in Almora, in the foothills of the Himalayas, where the mountain setting with its fantastic light is utilised to the producers' advantage in the workshop.
The photos in the visual essay show production at the Almora workshop.
Jo Lawbuary + Joanna Buchta, Ganesha