One of South Bangalore’s favourite addresses for handloom and handcrafted apparel, accessories and roomy quilts, Desi represents all things eco-friendly and indigenous.
Everything you see at Desi is the handiwork of around 300 workers (mostly women) in Bheemanakone, near Shimoga, who are part of the Charaka Society (a Shimoga-based cooperative that aims to promote handloom weaving and the weavers’ community in the area). Started by Prasanna (founder of Charaka and a popular theatreperson who is considered one of the pioneers of modern Kannada theatre) over 15 years ago, the shop is dedicated to everything handmade and indigenous. An iconic shopping destination among many, Desi’s regular clientele includes theatre folk and culture vultures in the city.
Step into Desi and you feel like you’ve entered a traditional Indian home. The main hall stocks menswear: from shirts and kurtas to waistcoats, all in basic, natural-dyed colours (think shades of indigo, green and brown). #LBBtip: Don’t forget to check out the store’s stock of charming patchwork quilts. There is also their range of quilted cloth bags in styles such as the sling bag, pouches and travel bags.
One for the ladies
An inner room houses apparel for women. You get to choose from a range of cotton kurtas – Chinese-collared long kurtas, block-printed ones, kasuti-embroidered kurtas, shorter tops to be worn with jeans (for that perfect semi-ethnic look). We suggest you check out the salwar bottoms, three-fourth bottoms, dupattas and yards of Kalamkari fabric as well. Their collection of handloom sarees, made with vegetable-based dyes, might just tempt you to stock up on quite a few of them. They also have a range of kidswear, which includes pretty dresses, shirts and coats.
Desi also stocks notebooks, photo frames and photo albums made of cardboard, and pen stands and file folders made of banana fibre. We also spied handmade jewellery boxes, carpets with Kalamkari print, wall decor and terracotta pots. Turmeric powder, pickles and breakfast mixes as well as soaps and bottles of coconut oil find place on their shelves too.
Where: Find a Desi store near you here.
Contact: 080 26576669 (South End circle outlet)
Price: INR 350 upwards for apparel, INR 20 upwards for other products