chattra bolsters and cushions are thoughtfully designed in collaboration with master textile artisans of India. We're inspired by the culture, spiritual practices, art and architecture of yoga’s birthplace, and craft our small-batch collections in ethical workshops dedicated to preserving India’s textile heritage.
We don’t rush the process. It can take months to design a single wood block, carve the motif, color swatch. Making our fabric is a meditative practice: hand-held blocks rhythmically and precisely print small sections, row by row, along lengths of canvas, sometimes requiring two passes for a single design. Embroidery designs are drafted on tracing paper then pin pricked for sample stitching. We add detail like illuminating orange bar tacking & piping, reinforce-stitched strap points, top-rated YKK zippers. Our tassels are hand-made by a women’s collective; our Nepali prayer flags are designed and stitched by sex-traffic survivors. In the US, we finish our zafus, neck cushions and yoga bolsters with top-quality buckwheat hull and cotton fill.
While our focus is India, we are intrepid travelers and are inspired to partner with other artisans from around the world, like Peruvian textile co-operative Awamaki.
chattra founder Ann and her family lived and traveled in India for many years. Ann was taken by the beauty of India’s art and architecture, intrigued by the calm and chaos of its culture, moved by the devotion and spirit of its people and their traditions. She practiced a lot of amazing yoga and developed a passion for textiles. These passions combine in chattra to offer yoga and meditation practitioners purposeful beauty and inspiration for their sacred practice spaces.
Sanskrit for parasol, chattra symbolizes dignity and protection. In Buddhism, a chattra tops stupa monuments and often represents the Buddha. The playful and profound elephant-headed Hindu deity Ganesha, remover of obstacles and Lord of Beginnings, often carries a chattra.
chattra supports inspiring individuals and small nonprofits in their efforts to address their communities’ challenges. Harambee Arts works with Nepali women, survivors of human trafficking, to design and stitch our prayer flags. Our Awamaki zafus are crafted by women back-strap weavers of the Sacred Valley of Peru. We provide tote bags to the Women's Wisdom Initiative, a compassionate, healing-arts non-profit supporting and empowering survivors of gender-based violence and oppression. We also give to community-based programs offering yoga and meditation to under-represented and under-served populations. And we're thrilled to be working with Under The Same Sky, a Chicago-based non-profit providing financial support to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention .