TOAIArt stands for 'Treasures of Ancient India'. We at TOAIArt aim to showcase the best home-décor creations that fulfill two conditions; one, rural home artisans should have created them and second, they should reflect some creative aspects of India’s indigenous art. Let us explain our concept a little more.
Looking back at our history, we will find several art forms and skilled artisans dedicated to them. These art forms and artists flourished under the support and patronage of ruling families and aristocrats of their times. For instance, if we ever get a chance to visit different parts of India, we feel amazed to see carvings of Khajuraho, Puri Sun temple or Ellora cave temples. Even the different art forms of Ajanta, Rajasthani forts and palaces mesmerize us.
However, as time passed, India faced several cultural onslaughts, such as the demolition of temples, art and artists or the drying-up of financial resources to create grandeur projects. Even after India gained freedom, there was never any consorted effort to revive the art and craft industry. Small rural artisans continued to handmake and sell cheaper versions of their craft in local markets at small prices. As a result, with time, we lost our ability to create intricate art forms and enhance the traditional designs with the help of new tools and technologies. If you ever visit homes and manufacturing units, where local artisans live and create their art, you will be surprised to see their simple and old-age tools.
TOAIArt is currently working, directly with rural artisans and it aims to eventually enhance the quality and intricacy of art being created. When we go across the globe, we notice that several developed economies in Europe, China and Japan, have made industrial progress and improvised their art with the help of new technologies and tools. As a result, their products are always in high demand and are able to fetch a fair price.
Contrary to this, a large ratio, of Indian crafts, is still sold in local markets at negotiated prices. Moreover, there is a general perception that Indian crafts are limited in quality and creativity. Take a simple example of Batik art. It has been practiced in India and several other countries such as Indonesia and Sri Lanka for centuries. However, most Batik prints in India are still limited to two to three colors and limited patterns. However, several creative experiments have been done in other countries with successful results, which have created new opportunities for their artisans. To know more about Batik, please clickhere.
We at TOAIArt believe that there are several connoisseurs of beautiful artworks worldwide but we need to enhance our skills and push our boundaries. We can experiment with materials, processes, designs, and tools and even take inspiration from other art forms. Our initiative aims to create a more respectful and appreciative marketspace for Indian art and artisans like their global counterparts.
We know that markets today are flooded with myriad cheaper home-decor options, which are sometimes even more economical than what you would have guessed. More surprising is that some of them even claim to be handmade on premium material. In such a situation, it becomes difficult to understand the true story behind such products. However, the reality is that they are most often mass produced in cheaper international locations and then transported to different world markets.
Due to economies of scale, synthetic materials used and machine printing techniques, home décor products such as bedsheets, bedcovers and quilts can be sold at half or even one-third the price of a genuine handcrafted product.
Contrary to this, TOAIArt works directly and genuinely with rural Indian artisans. We deliver to you exactly what we promise on our website. This section will outline how we work with artisans and create a mutually beneficial relationship with them.
When we say that we work closely, hand-in-hand with the artisans, we mean it. We don't just source products from them, but we also ensure that we provide them with all the raw materials, trainings and a conducive environment to work in. Hence, they don't have to worry about minor details and day-to-day management of the workplace.
Every time you purchase something from TOAIArt, you pay an honest price to the artisans for their hard work. Moreover, most of our payment is at the beginning of work and not towards the end. Most importantly, workers never have to wait for the actual sale of the products, nor do they have to sit in marketplaces to sell their creations.
TOAIArt aims to create innovative and enhanced designs. We may work with simple hand-block printed home décor items, still, we make sure to enhance the quality of material, the fineness of designs, or just bring in some creativity with colours. For example, block -prints are usually implemented on 200 Thread Count (TC) cotton; however, we launched them on 300 TC, making them premium and a favorite among patrons who like classic designs.
Another collection, Creative Bagecha, brings newness and a makeover to your bedrooms via vibrant colours and patterns on 210 TC cotton. We did not stop there. We even brought about innovation in Sofa-Throw, Dohar and quilt. We invite you to try one of our Kantha stitched, patched throws as each of them is unique. There are no two similar pieces, as each is created from a distinct set of refurbished fabric pieces. We would also request you to try our fine-stitched quilt and experience the difference in fineness, durability and workmanship compared to ordinary quilts. You can view our collection by clicking this link.
All our innovations finally help our artisans. They are appreciated more for their talent and get a fair price for their labor.
We feel proud to be part of 'Make India' and 'Vocal for Local' initiatives. Rural artisans do all manufacturing work in villages using simple tools and locally sourced raw-materials hence many-a-times, their talent goes unnoticed. Initiatives such as ‘Vocal for Local’ and ‘Make in India’ have brought about awareness among Indian citizens and today most people feel encouraged to buy handmade, rural crafts. This change is hence encouraging and empowering for artisans.
The tradition of creating handcrafted home-décor products has existed for hundreds of years in India. Local artisans created all ethnic products, whether bedsheets, curtains or kitchen-ware items, by hand, from simple raw materials such as cotton, organic pigments or clay and by using simple pieces of machinery such as weaving looms and pottery wheels. Please click link. to visit our blog on hand block printed bedsheets and understand the details of block printing technique. As times changed, there was a need for cheaper products manufactured in large quantities. This was not possible with age-old technologies hence and mass manufacturers started using heavy machineries. With passage of time, it also became tough to use authentic raw materials such as pure cotton or organic pigments so they became dependent on synthetic fabrics. TOAIArt is committed to going back to organic roots and bringing only selected home furnishing items at your doorstep.
Mass-produced bed linens, such as quilts, chadar, dohars, sofa throws, are generally created from synthetic fibres and dyes. Instead of using pure cotton, which is environmentally friendly and bio-degradable, some manufacturers use cotton and polyester mixed fabrics. Similarly, they end -up using synthetic dyes. It is no secret how harmful their chemicals are and how they affect the lives of humans and animals on the planet. We strongly recommend to use pure-cotton bed-linens, whenever possible, due their germ -fighting and hypoallergenic properties. To know more about the benefits of cotton, please visit this link.
All products on TOAI Art are made from natural fibres such as cotton, linen and silk. Even the pigments that we use are environmentally friendly and meet international standards. We are happy to provide detailed information about our products on our product page. You will also find detailed information about the product category at the end of each category page.
You will be surprised to learn how recycling and upcycling are integral to our production process. Let me explain to you with some examples.
Our patched Kantha stitched sofa throw is an incredible creation where we have recycled and refurbished fabric pieces. Please click on this link. for more product details. Another creation where recycling is extensively used is 'Aachada'; it is the uppermost fabric on the printing table which absorbs excess pigment during block printing process.
Do we use heavy machinery or gas guzzlers to produce our art and craft? No, we don't. We still, primarily, use age-old techniques to produce our home-décor items. For instance, to create block prints, we still use wooden – hand carved – design blocks and these blocks can be used across hundreds of bedsheets before getting damaged or worn out.
In some cases, even where new techniques are implemented, we still ensure that the new technologies are a close replica of the old ones. For instance, a simple example would be, replacing hand needles with a sewing machine.
To create sustainable livelihood, we reduce our carbon footprint. All the examples you saw above are various ways we reduce our carbon footprint. Apart from reducing carbon footprint during production, we also try following eco-friendly processes during sales and marketing.
This is why we strongly believe in online sales and marketing channels, and we have intentionally avoided the path of creating physical brick-and-mortar stores. Unlike an online business outlet, actual stores consume much more space, electricity and other natural resources. I am sure that our clients will trust us and give us bigger opportunities to serve them via online channels.
This is the fourth and final pillar on which TOAIArt stands. Although our business might be online, we try connecting with all patrons via social media channels, blogs and posts. Let us walk you through some of the channels that help us stay connected with you in environmentally friendly ways.
If you like our initiative and want to stay connected, please follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Here are our links: and . Our Instagram username is ‘toaiart’ and Facebook username is ‘@TOAIVillage’. We update our social media platforms with regular information on product launches, new initiatives, fun facts, our thoughts, commitments, and so much more. You will enjoy and look forward to our visually appealing and informative posts.
Another interesting fact that we are happy to share here is that all photographs of our products, processes and artisans, we use on our social media platforms, are genuinely from our production units. We do not simply download images from the internet and showcase them as our photographs.
Our website has different categories of products made from different materials and of different colors and patterns. We provide complete and correct information about all of them. We follow some stringent but useful rules. For instance, all our product images are actual photographs and not computerized ones, hence they help you gauge actual colors and otherwise impossible fabric texture. We also provide a sufficient number of images from different angles to give you confident before you make your purchase purchase.
Apart from providing sufficient number of images, we provide detailed product information about factors such as Thread Count (TC), material, dimensions, care instructions and design patterns on the product page itself. If clients have more doubts, they can write to us at CustomerCare@toai.in.
We believe in continuing to educate our clients about our products and the stories behind them. For example, how do we strive toward eco-friendly, sustainable livelihoods? What makes a particular collection special? How to judge a product online? And so much more.
We would request you to regularly visit our Blog page and check-out out any new information available.
Thank you, dear customers, for taking the time and learning about our initiative. We wish you happy Online Shopping of genuine handcrafted creations.