npg + west african indigo

– west african indigo –

we have fallen in love with the range of rich blues indigo produces here at npg.  here’s a tidbit about the traditional indigo dying process in west africa. 

in cultures throughout the world, indigo cloth signifies wealth, abundance, and fertility and is foundational to many sacred practices.  it is a natural insect repellant, and in some cultures it is believed that when a baby is wrapped in blankets dyed in indigo, they will rest peacefully.

indigo2      dyers are lauded as skillful and mysterious artisans who can transform everyday white cotton into a deep, rich blue.  knowledge of specific dye and resist techniques are passed down from generation to generation.  because of the difficulty to make a correct batch of dye, the task was surrounded by ritual.  indigo3

indigo is harvested just before flowering, when the plant contains the highest amount of indigotin. the leaves, stems, and flowers, are taken and blended to a pulp with a wooden mortar.  the paste is formed into balls and dried in the sun. artisans need up to 50 balls for a single dye bath to achieve a medium dark blue, and 150 balls for a rich black-blue shade.

alkali is added to the mixture, extracted from water that has leached through wood ash (found in cooking fires).  the ash is added to the crushed indigo and left to steep in the sun.

cloth is dipped repeatedly into the fermented dye, exposed to the air, and then re-emersed.

the number of dippings and the strength and freshness of the dye affects the outcome of the intensity and color.

stitching as well as cassava paste (starch resist) are used to create pattern from the un-dyed spaces. traditional patterns are geometric, and repetitive lines and dots.

after the cloth dries, it is beaten with wooden mallets to press the fabric and give it a shiny quality.  in some areas, additional indigo paste is added at this stage, and beaten into the cloth.  extra indigo rubs off on the wearer to give the skin a bluish tint, which is highly desired!

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here are our own indigo creations inspired by the works happening around the world in the form of cozy pillows and beautiful napkins.

find them on our website and enjoy!

xo,

npg

npg + drop dead shipping and other treats!

the holidays are almost here!  

– it’s a very exciting and busy time –

if you are thinking of ordering on our website for gift giving on the 25th, our last day for ordering is the 18th.

free shipping on orders over 75$ starting now and going through the 18th. use code freeship15

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* spend 75$ or more and get a little ornament made by hand in mexico! *(while supplies last)

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head on over to our website!

xo,

npg

 

npg + holiday event line-up

HOLIDAY EVENTS

– where to find us this holiday season –

  • sunday emporium at rejuvenation in collaboration with portland flea this sunday (11/29) from 11-5.  all kanthas will be 20% off!
  • cyber monday – enjoy 15% off you entire order on our website!  one day sale only (11/30)
  • makery winter market – at heart coffee on december 12th
  • pop up shop pdx –at the cleaner (12/6) from 10-6.
  • and finally, our holiday happy hour studio sale! tuesday (12/15) at the makery, 424 n. tillamook, from 5pm-9pm. festive drink and nibbles to be served.

if you aren’t a portland local you can find us at these various boutiques!

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looking forward to seeing you,

xo,

npg

 

 

npg + our basket story

npg baskets! 

– here’s a little bit more about our gathered goods baskets –

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who makes them? these beautiful hand woven baskets are native to the zapotec people in the oaxaca region of mexico, and are made by our partner, juan garcia, and his family. this multigenerational family is continuing traditional weaving techniques that have been passed from one generation to the next. juan is an eager young business man who takes great pride in his work and works along side his mother, wife, sisters, and children.

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ideas for use – each beautiful basket comes with a traditional head strap that can be used to carry the basket or to hang on the wall. the larger size makes one of the loveliest laundry baskets.  medium size works perfectly for shopping baskets. use the smaller sizes for pantry storage of cold cellar goods like onions, potatoes, apples, etc. or for a door knob catch all- particularly kids toys. we just love these simple, clean, rustic baskets!

find all sizes of these baskets on our website under ‘gathered goods‘!

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xo,

npg

npg + new gathered goods!

we have new gathered goods to share!

hand selected by shay on her trip to mexico this summer, we offer you these beautiful handmade goods.

– our goods include –

wooden kitchen tools, hand-carved by an artisan living on the southern coast of mexico. they make great cooking utensils and add beauty to your countertop.

beautiful hand woven baskets – native to the zapotec people in the oaxaca region of mexico, and are made by our partner, juan garcia mendoza, and his family. this multigenerational family is continuing traditional weaving techniques that have been passed from one generation to the next.

darling glazed pinch pots, decorated with authentic mexican floral designs in five earthy colours. perfect for salt, spices, snacks, or even jewelry!

wonderful, practical, pops of colour! these woven plastic plates are made in san agustin etla by a lovely family and are perfect as a countertop fruit plate or to line your compostable paper plate at your next gathering.

head on over to our website to look at more beautiful finds!

xo,
npg

– follow our  instagram, and pinterest –

npg + brazil

brazil and the nature of travel

IMG_5920  jeanie’s fiancé, alex, at the raddest little coffee shop in rio’s santa teresa: cafecito

FotorCreatedstartsidewalk art in lapa and santa teresa, rio de janeiro

 IMG_5928 a zoomed in image of the details of the escadaria selarón, an incredible piece of art linking the neighborhoods of lapa and santa teresa in rio. these speckled chickens images were everywhere in brazil!

IMG_5947brazilians are famously fit, and this is most evident along the beachfront in copacabana. here’s a view from the copacabana fort (a great place for a morning coffee and pastry – or a chocolate milkshake!) where we watch these paddleboarders paddle out to the bread and ride the waves in again and again.

IMG_5954 image of a painting from the brazilian international museum of naïf art, in a beautiful building near corcovado (home of cristo redentor, one of the most iconic symbols of rio)

IMG_5883 sunset view overlooking a fishing boat harbor from our tree-fort-like air bnb in buzios, a beach destination town north of rio.

 – travel notes from jeanie –

traveling to brazil reminded me so much about the challenge of expectations…and how travel can be one of the best remedies for getting too stuck in ideas of how something should happen.
like so many of us, my social media feeds are awash in images of perfect travels. my visit to brazil was not “perfect,” i did not take as many photos as i should have, and when we went to see the cristo he was entirely in a cloud. yet, as i reflect on my trip and look through the images i do have, i am convinced it was just right.
expectations can make us miss the here and now, having everything too scheduled can force you to evade the magic of spontaneity…a peek around the next corner can open up a whole new world. our travel days were best when we set out with less plans and our eyes wide open. recommendations in real time often trump the guide books, and my favorite part of travel is connecting with myself and good friends in a new setting that opens everyone up to new questions and conversations.
i didn’t expect such beautiful travel tokens, but they are treasures nonetheless.
l o u p * c h a r m a n t

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nonperishablegoods

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