BEHIND THE DESIGN | Making Our Mandala

April 08, 2018

BEHIND THE DESIGN | Making Our Mandala

A touch of magic

Our Mandala Wall Hanging became a best seller the moment it was released. For almost two years the enthusiasm for this beautiful woven wall hanging has continued unabated. With its intricate twists and fine macrame technique, we like to think it has a touch of magic.

Shannon designed the Mandala after spotting macrame being practiced by one of the artisan groups we work with. An idea sprang to mind immediately, and she knew that her interpretation would be a hit. 

She worked closely with the NGO leaders and artisans to develop the first samples. A long period of refining ensued – back and forth by email and sea – until the design was complete. 

With so many elements to consider, such as the availability of materials and artisan skill and training, this lengthy development period is fairly typical for all Dharma Door products. The Mandala Wall Hanging is particularly painstaking to produce, because it requires such intricate handwork and material preparation.

Artisans first twist many metres of fine jute thread by hand, before knotting the strands into place to form the delicate patterns found in the Mandala's bamboo rings. The artisans bind, thread and tie the strands together – taking particular care to make sure that each row is perfectly even and flat, so the piece hangs flat on the wall.

Each row is made up of a different technique; bows, diamonds and crosses form an intricate type of natural lace. This fine detail sits perfectly in a simple, pared-back space – with many owners choosing to purchase the Mandala as a celebratory gift at the end of a long home renovation. The Mandala is also widely used in bohemian settings, where it sits right at home amongst plants and vintage furniture or as the key textural statement piece in a modern space. 


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