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United States
Main Contact
Smita Paul
Tel: (415) 4005257

Key products/services

Handwoven fabrics and scarves.


California-based Indigo Handloom was started in 2003 – in part – by the start of the Iraq war by U.S. led forces. At the time, the founder, Smita Paul, was a freelance journalist and part-time professor. Observing the build up of the war, Paul grew disenchanted with the current state of journalism and decided to pour her creative energy into a new area.

Always a lover of textiles and a home-sewer since the age of 8, she decided to focus on one area: the plight of the handloom industry. She had discovered handloom while writing about the silk industry and knew from her research, it was an industry in trouble. Indigo Handloom creates a bridge between this ancient art-form and the modern design world. Indigo Handloom produces premium fabrics completely off the grid – and in the process employs 9 times as many people as milled fabrics.

Future plans include deeper penetration into the fashion industry, making handloom the preferred fabric of choice for the vast majority of thoughtful aware human beings around the world.

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Ethical Focus & Policy

All the fabrics and scarves are made on old fashioned pit-looms – without the use of energy. Even some of our yarns in the fabrics are hand-twisted – reducing the carbon footprint of any garment made with them by at least 30%-40%.

Working with weavers who operate like small business owners – setting their own working conditions and hours – Indigo Handloom pays on average 20% above the local market rate. Business practices include a zero-tolerance for child or exploitative labor of any kind. This is monitored with field visits at least twice a year.

In addition, Indigo Handloom is partnering with the US-based brand Eileen Fisher in a 3-year social project that involves micro-financing, enhanced education and health initiatives. This project just launched in October 2014.

Pricing information

Wholesale scarves: $14-$66
Wholesale fabrics: $11.50 – $50

Sampling Policy
For instock fabrics: 5 meters
For non-stock or special order fabrics: 45 meters
50% deposit; 50% before delivery

Products and services

Handwoven fabrics made almost completely without electricity. Offer more than 2000 unique handwoven fabrics from upholstery weight to whisper-thin cottons. Works with mostly natural fibres including several varieties of silks, khadi (hand-twisted) cottons and locally-sourced wools.

Minimum order criteria

45 meters or 24 scarves

Typical Product lead times

10 – 12 weeks

Closest shipping ports

Ships from the Oakland, CA office