Published: 13th November 2019
Colour me pretty: How Manya Cherabuddi will help you find your calm within
Give in to natural colours the way Manya Cherabuddi does and attend one of her workshops to fall in love with natural dyeing. We find out more about her work and her workshops in a conversation
Nature is a selfless treasure trove that offers many gifts. Most of them we are aware of — oxygen, food, shelter and so on. Another gift we don't think enough about are colours. Manya Cherabuddi is trying to remind us of this gift not only through her double-tap worthy posts on Instagram, but also through her products and workshops. She conducted her first workshop at the Maker Faire Hyderabad on November 10 attended by 20 curious souls including a seven-year-old and another enthusiast who came from Tamil Nadu! Needless to say that the 27-year-old was delighted with the response.
Manya with participants during the workshop | (Pic: Manya Cherabuddi)
In May 2019, Manya's love for art received a boost after she undertook a three-day natural dyeing session at Color Ashram, Goa, where she learnt about colour extraction from scratch and more. "Now, I can't help but look at every plant and wonder what colour could be extracted from them. There is an element of surprise in this process because a leaf might not always give the colour green, so one never knows," says Manya excitedly. And there is no doubt that there is a need for the fashion industry to be more conscious of the environment. "Definitely," she asserts and adds, "To manufacture one shirt could take up to 8,000 litres." And unlike synthetic dyeing or bleaching, which makes water toxic, water used for natural dyeing can be used for other purposes too like cleaning or watering the plants, she informs.
Manya has also written a 4,000-word essay on Kalamkari after visiting the artisans and understanding their process
After attending the workshop in Goa, Manya went through a Marie Kondo-phase. So if clothes were made in a sustainable way, it sparked joy in her, but this also narrowed down her choices. So she started dyeing fabric on her own. "I want to use it as a form of activism," says the youngster. She has used flowers like rose petals and marigold and avocado too! Manya, who hails from a family of entrepreneurs and has a dual degree in Business and Arts from the University of Virginia, plans on starting an online store soon. Products like bags, organisers, scarves and so much more will be a part of her catalogue. And we are glad to report that she is just getting started. She was showcasing at the Conscious Collect at the Chalet on November 16 and at the Sunday Soul Sante on November 17.
Manya Cherabuddi | (Pic: Manya Cherabuddi)
We quiz Manya about which flower or fruit/vegetable gives what colours, to our surprise, she says beetroot gives an amazing purple, but because it doesn't bond with fabric strongly, it fades away quickly. Her description of the kind of golden hue marigold gives out has us floored and assures us that, indeed, investing in more sustainable clothes could be good for our skin and for the Earth as well.
Adventures with colours
Avocado: Manya informs that surprisingly, avocado gives out a shade similar to peach which everyone might not like. "I even started a poll on Instagram to ask people if they like it," she says
Rose petals: While it gave out a beautiful shade of pink, upon washing, it turned grey. "I panicked, but then read up that rose has an acidic quality while the water we use is alkaline. Hence, that was a chemical reaction," she informs
Pictures of her beautiful work:
For more on her, click on instagram.com/manya_cherabuddi