Saturday, 15 July 2017

Portfolio of Bags

 Paalaguttapalli (Dalitwada) , Pakala Mandalam, Chittoor Dt, AP 517152.  

The village is a habitation of largely landless labourers, with about sixty households   We moved to the village in 1995, in our twenties, after resigning our jobs, with some readings of Gandhi and a belief in Gram Swaraj. Local concerns here ranged from dalit issues   to organic farming and swadeshi efforts. We have engaged in personal capacity as one of the community. We did not want to become an NGO. Various interventions from ayurveda to afforestation to livlihoods have been collectively done with the people

The village has faced recurrent droughts over the last years, and agriculture has slowed down and there is large scale underemployment.  People survive by grazing a cow or two, and last year distress sale of cattle also began. We have been working together on addressing the water situation through various rain water harvesting processes, and discussing cropping patterns that need less water - but other livelihood options need to be worked out. 

A group of ten women are now stitching and have honed their stitching and screen printing skills to perfection. They work conscientiously, and try to maintain perfection. More women wish to join, as orders increase.


Orders can be placed at Aparna Krishnan,


17" by 14", with short handles (capacity 4kg) - 55/-

17" by 14", with long handles (capacity 4kg) - 65/-

12" by 10" (small bag) , with handles  - Tamboolam Bag - 45/-

Small drawstring bags (7" by 5") - 35/-

Large drawstring bags (14" by 10") - 45/- 

Larger capacity gusset bags , short handles (17" by 14" by 4") - 90/-

Gusset bags with a base, zip and an inside pocket for cell phone - 130/-.
(17" *12", base 5")

Sling bags with zips, inner pocket - 130/-


- additional charge for kalamkari strip - 20/-
- additional charge for embroidery - 20/-
- additional charge for zip - 20/-

- additional charge for screenprinting - 20/- 
- additional charge for standup style - 10/-
- additional charge for long shoulder length handles - 10/-

Customization of orders undertaken  (including customized screen prints).

1. Plain bags  (17"*14") Rs. 55/-

2. Kalamkari panel  (17"*14") Rs. 75/-

3. Kalamkari panel , Long handle  (17"*14") Rs. 85/-

4. Hand embroidary (17"*14")   Rs. 75/-


5. Hand embroidary Long handle (17"*14")  Rs. 85/-

6.  Screen Print (17"*14")  Rs. 75/- 

7.  Screen Print , Long  handle (17"*14") Rs. 85/- 

8. Screen Print , Kalamkari panel  (17"*14") Rs. 95/- 

9. Screen Print, Kalamkari panel, Long Handle  (17"*14") Rs. 105/- 

10. Kalamkari panel, Hand Embroidary (17"*14"), Rs. 95/-  

11. Kalamkari panel, Embroidary, Long Handle   (17"*14") Rs. 105/- 

12. Standup bags  (17"*14") Rs. 65/-, long handle 75/-

13. Standup bags (17"*14") (with Print, long handle 95/-)

14. Tamboolam Bag  (12" by 10")  Rs. 45/-

15. Tamboolam Bag , Screen Print (12" by 10")  Rs. 65/- 

16. Tamboolam Bag, Screen Print, Kalamkari Panel  (12" by 10" ) - 85/-

17. Drawstring bags, Kalamkari Panel  ( 7" by 5")  Rs. 55/-

18. Drawstring bags, Embroidary (7" by 5") Rs.55/-

19. Drawstring bags, Screen Print  ( 7" by 5") with Rs.55/-  

20. Drawstring bags, Screen Print , Kalamkari Panel ( 7" by 5")  

21. Large Drawstring bags (10" by 14") Rs. 45/-

22.  Large Drawstring bags, Screen Print (10" by 14")  Rs. 65/-

 23. Large Drawstring bags, Embroidary (10" by 14")  Rs. 65/-

24. Large Drawstring bags, Kalamkari panel  (10" by 14")  Rs. 65/-

25. Large Drawstring bags, Kalamkari panel, Screen print  (10" by 14")  

25(a) Double drawstring, gold rope bags, Screen print 

 26. Gusset bags, for larger volumes (17"*14"* 5") Rs. 100/-


27. Gusset bags, for larger volumes  ,Screen Print, Long handles  (17"*14"* base 5")
Rs. 130/-

28. Gusset bags, for larger volumes,  Sling type (17"*14"* base 5")
Rs. 125/-

29. Laptop Bag, Kalamkari panel ,Outer zipped pocket for a power cord, Inside pocket, Zip  
(In canvas)
 Rs. 150/- with screen print 


30. Gusset bags for larger volumes, Kalamkari Panel, Zip , Inside pocket for cell phone.  (17" *12", base 5") 
Rs 130/-

31. Gusset bags for larger volumes, Kalamkari Panel, Zip , Inside pocket for cell phone, Screen Print
(17" *12", base 5")
Rs 150/-

32. Sling bag, Screen print , Zip, Inner pocket, (14" by 14") Rs 150/-

34. Compartment Veg bags. (L) Rs, 350/-

6 pockets, each holding 1kg, and a central space holding 3-4 kg

35. Compartment Veg bags. (XL) Rs. 450/-

6 pockets, each holding 2kg, and a central space holding 3-4 kg



















The women have been working hard, with complete commitment to quality and neatness. When I tell Rani that the quality is uniformly appreciated, she tells me, "That is what we need. Money is secondary." And every customer has uniformly appreciated the work.

Understanding the expenses involves, and the need for a revolving fund, they have decided to keep part of the profits they get aside towards this. When an order comes, they make sure that everyone gets a fair and equal share. They have taken complete charge of the work, from collecting the cloth from the neighbouring transport office 10km away, to handing the costing and the stitching, to the pcking and parcelling from the post office, including all the dealing with a recalcitrant staff there.

They bought motors for their machines, and worked on getting them fixed with the help of others in the village. They have put aside time to go to Chennai and learn screen printing on their own, and have practised that in the village till they acheived quality.

The whole story, and the reviews from customers is here.


  1. Hi Aparna,
    I saw the blog post on fb uploaded by Shruti Patki.
    Would is be possible for you to sell them on ebay ( internationally) or etsy?
    In the western world people who are concious about environment are always looking for produce bags for groceries which are made with natural and biodegradable materials. The drawstring one's would sell really well as cotton produce bags.
    I see that you are using coimbatore cotton which is one of the best.
    I hope this helps. Wishing you all the best.

    1. Thabk you Seema, just saw this message. Yes we should. Not very familiar with the details it would involve. Will find out, thanks a lot.