Arches are one of the most celebrated elements of Islamic architecture – a fixture with symbolic significance, often representing unity and joy. When travelling across the Silk Road, you will find plenty of these – ornately decorated, majestic in size and style. Walk through our arch to enter our bazaar!
First stop…chai! But not just any chai, pink tea from the Himalayas – arguably the very best. Tabbasum’s tea is a labour of love that undergoes a unique two-hour brewing process to achieve its velvet consistency and beautiful pink colour.
Meet Eleanor (right), a vendor of our Silk Road Bazaar! Eleanor is the founder of Nimuri and is passionate about promoting the crafts traditions and techniques that Pakistan has to offer. By selling beautiful, ethically sourced fashion and homeware, Eleanor shares unique items that tell a story about Pakistan and its artisanal history.
No celebratory event is complete without henna! The art of henna has been practiced in Pakistan, India, Africa, and the Middle East for over 5000 years. It was originally used for its natural cooling properties however it’s staining qualities very quickly transformed its use for decorative purposes. Today, it’s widely used to celebrate joyous occasions.
Laila from Attar Apothecary used her talent to decorate visitors with henna.
Seher, founder of S jo Accessories, creates and sells original, one-of-a-kind accessories, drawing inspiration from traditional textile craftsmanship and handcrafted by artisans – mainly women from villages in Pakistan. The textile jewellery is hand bound, embroidered, and stitched into beautiful designs.
Nana, from ‘Nana’s Chutney’s. Chutneys come in an array of varieties and are an incredible accompaniment to meals – each household across the subcontinent has their own version. Nana’s Chutneys are tantalisingly tasty and were such a hit at our bazaar!
As well as chutneys, you could find authentic, hand rolled Turkish gozleme, complete with a selection of olives, mezzes and Turkish delights at the Aegean Deli. The ideal thickness of a gozleme is all in the rolling!
Usman, founder of Çaplait Shoes, presented his lavish, contemporary Peshawari chappals (sandals) at the bazaar. Çaplait Shoes are intricately designed to bridge the gap between heritage and modernity.
Ishq are passionate about all things handmade and keeping traditional craftsmanship alive. At our bazaar you could find an array of exquisite clothing, wall coverings and homeware from independent artisans across the subcontinent.
Transporting us back to ancient India, South Asian dance group Akademi performed a medley of traditional Rajasthani dances. Rajasthani folk dance originates from different tribes across the subcontinent and was used to entertain Mughal kings. Today, folk dances are used as an act of devotion, to narrate stories in captivating ways and to celebrate special, joyous occasions.
Art of the Pen’s Soraya Syed, a classically trained calligrapher, gave a live demonstration on the art, devotion, time, commitment, intricacies, and love of Islamic calligraphy.
At ISHKAR you could find stunning, handcrafted jewellery, homeware, and fashions from places that are, or have been, affected by conflict or political turbulence. ISHKAR exists to restore forgotten pathways around the world through craftsmanship and storytelling – with the hope to change narratives, connect people and create opportunities where they are needed most. Goods from Afghanistan, Mali, Syria and elsewhere were on display.
Makani supports refugee and asylum-seeking women who are grappling with trauma, living in poverty and isolation, and facing discrimination. Oshana, a project of Makani, supports Syrian and Palestinian refugee women who craft handstitched pillows and bags.
A returning customer from last year’s Silk Road Bazaar – meet Salahuddin!
Salahuddin is passionate about the different cultures that make up the Silk Road – he’s also a trendsetting, fashion enthusiast. Here you can see him wearing a beautiful ikat overcoat, called a chapan from Uzbekistan, and a kalpak hat from Kyrgyzstan.
At the centre of our Silk Road Bazaar was an immense, exquisite Persian rug kindly provided by Eastern Rug Centre. Traditionally woven to cover floors of nomadic tribes and protect from the elements, this unique craft has been passed down by generations – each adding their own artistic flair. Visitors were able to relax, sip chai and enjoy the atmosphere on this piece of art.
Thanks for joining us on our Silk Road Bazaar tour! We hope you enjoyed it. We’re looking forward to welcoming you back next year.
With thanks to all the vendors who took part, those of you who visited and Canopy Market.