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Artisan Story - Tensira Indigo

Our gorgeous collection of handmade indigo pillows and throws are the masterful work of Tensira - the business of wife and husband team, Tuulia and Hamidou. Their mission is to create long-lasting work for West African artisans in a sustainable and responsible manner.

Hamidou’s mother was an indigo dyer in Guinea for 40 years, and Tensira infuses this centuries-old technique with modern design interpretations. All of their cotton is hand-spun, hand-woven, and hand-dyed in workshops in Guinea providing jobs to 40 full-time artisans plus dozens of independent craftsmen. Weaving is done using traditional wide wooden looms.

Indigo originated many centuries ago in India and made its way to Africa through ancient trade routes. Indigo comes from the green leaves of Indigofera tinctoria - a plant that grow in the mountains of Guinea. Tensira uses 100% vegetable indigo dye in their textiles.

Dying is a labor of a love that takes much time and patience to produce a high-quality product. Tie-dyed patterns require nearly 3,600 ties that are separately attached and then detached after dying in order to create 1 meter of fabric.

As Tensira’s business continues to grow, so does its impact in West Africa. This year, they will open a second workshop and grow their team to meet production demands. All of this is good news for the local communities, as well as for the sustainability of indigo as a traditional craft.

 Images courtesy of TensiraTensira artisans spinning & weaving cotton

Indigo tie-dye knots

Indigo dying & finished indigo throw




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