Our idea was to create a label that would appreciate and honour the precious art of embroidery and those who create them. At the same time, we wanted to place this craftsmanship in a completely new design context.
Stefanie and Valerie, the two founders of Manakaa Project, came into contact with the art of Indian bead embroidery through a social project. Back in Berlin, the idea came up to translate this traditional embroidery method into modern, coded patterns.
Manakaa means “bead or pearl” in Hindi. The appropriate title for a project whose concern is not only the product itself, but also the appreciation of the embroiderers and the fair use of resources.
We have therefore spent the last few years sourcing fairly produced materials, searching for reliable partners and creating our designs.
What we use
Glass beads from MIYUKI, Japan
The history of MIYUKI goes back almost 80 years, starting with Seiichi Katsuoka, who dedicated his life to learning the art of glass seed bead making. His son, Hiroshi Katsouka, founded the company in the mid 1930’s in Hiroshima, and quickly became a renowned glass seed bead manufacturer.
MIYUKI glass beads are considered a “world standard” for their high quality, brilliance, and uniform shape.
Non-violent organic silk from cocccon, India
Cocccon – crafts & loom supports the work on the biological and non-cruel process of breeding and cultivating silk worms without the use of any kind of pesticide, fungicide or genetic sprays. The Project also supports the local community by employing local women groups.
Unlike traditional methods, non-violent Ahimsa silk is produced without killing silkworms as usual. Ahimsa is a Sanskrit term for the principal of non-violence, which reflects the attitude of mankind towards animals and nature in many eastern religions.
Cashmere from Bodio’s, Mongolia
Bodio’s was founded by J.Ulziibodijav a mongolian normand from the Gobi dessert. He started his business as a cashmere tradesman. After two decades in business he founded his own knitwear company. By paying above market-rateswages and contributing to his prosperity in non-financial ways Ulziibodijav aims to lead the way in setting new standards for responsible business practices in Mongolia.
The result is a 100 % premium cashmere, hailed by experts as one of the best in the world.
How it is made
Our pattern templates are identically transferred to the fabric by the embroiders. Here you can see their enormous craftsmanship.
All handmade fabric is stretched into knitting frames, patterns are applied to the fabric and beads are embroidered one by one.
The pattern is applied to the fabric point by point using chalk slurry.