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Deborah Emmett and Riyaz Hakim

beautiful  sustainable  ethical

Tradition Textiles was founded in 2003 by husband and wife team Riyaz Hakim and Deborah Emmett. Why? Because they share a passion for textiles, specifically handcrafted textiles created with natural fibres. There are many things to love about textiles, their tactility and usefulness as well as their beauty.

Dividing time between homes in Sydney, Australia and Delhi, India, Deborah and Riyaz follow a slow fashion ethos. In India they work directly with skilled textile artisans to produce collections of scarves, clothing and home furnishings. From the beginning they have continued to collaborate with many of the same artisans so close relationships have been developed. Often the textile techniques like woodblock printing, weaving and embroidery are passed from one generation to the next.

woodblock printer Woodblock printer or chhipa block prints Tradition table linen

Pashmina embroidererArtisan applies sozni embroidery on a hand woven pashmina shawl 

pashmina weaverPashmina shawl weaver prepares fibre for weaving

applique embroiderer
Artisan applique embroiders fabric for Tradition curtains

Riyaz’s family in Kashmir have been involved in the traditional textile industry for generations while Deborah creates surface designs for Tradition’s collections of merino wool scarves and clothing influenced by her background in graphic design. Print designs are inspired by the Australian natural environment, and Deborah’s interests in visual art, craft and architecture.

With a focus on using only quality natural fibres Deborah creates new designs each season in collaboration with artisans who specialise in a specific technique like weaving, printing or embroidery. Australian merino wool is woven into scarves in Kashmir then brought to their Delhi studio for printing. Tradition’s Delhi team quality checks each product to maintain the highest standard for their customers. Labels are hand stitched onto scarves while the use of reduced packing material is encouraged.

Fair trade practice and sustainability are primary considerations. By encouraging the creation of products using traditional techniques and quality materials like pashmina, merino wool, cotton, linen and silk Deborah and Riyaz hope skills, that could soon be lost will continue to thrive for future generations.

Tradition Textiles wholesales to shops throughout Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Many of their wholesale customers have stocked Tradition scarves, throws and clothing for many years, their continued support much appreciated by Deborah and Riyaz. In 2017 Tradition Textiles opened their flagship retail store in Paddington, Sydney where, as well as new collections created each season, there are hand woven pashmina scarves and shawls, each one unique, individual hand knotted tribal rugs, block printed table linen and hand embroidered curtains.

Deborah says, ‘It is great to meet people who appreciate textiles that are created using natural fibres. We are certainly not a beige shop, our textiles are all about colour. We find that our customers are interested in knowing where our textile designs come from and who is involved in their making. We can share the story behind our products with our customers and that is a special experience.’

 Thread Together logoAt Tradition Textiles we aim to be sustainable in production so develop limited numbers for each collection. However sometimes some clothing sizes are left over at the end of the season. We are proud to be able to donate these new garments to Thread Together, a not for profit organisation founded in 2012, which provides unsold new clothing to people in need, while also protecting the environment saving new clothing from landfill.


 INTERVIEW: Tradition Textiles in LOCAL PADDO magazine

Local Paddo article