Hands of Indigo



“Hands of Indigo is an accessories label designed by Brazilian artist Yanna Soares with an aesthetic that traces the line between contemporary embroidery and classic mosaics. Featuring patterns inspired by Brazilian Modernism, each one incorporates up to 11,000 beads, making use of traditional techniques and minimising the use of machinery in the production. It can take up to thirty hours to complete one piece.”

Where did the idea of beading on bags come from?

The idea initially came from researching and looking into beading as it’s a very big part of Brazilian indigenous craft. Our first bags were made using looms and then were progressed slowly into a more precise kind of embroidery. I wanted to move away from the tribal aesthetic often associated with beads into a more refined one, directly influenced by the Neo-concrete art movement and by Portuguese mosaics. 


Have you always known you wanted to apply that textiles to accessories?

No, to be sincere, the bag was just a way of showcasing the intricately crafted patterns. I knew I wanted to work with something quite elaborate and artistic which involved patterns, but the idea of making bags came much later.  I am also a printmaker and just now taking on painting. So, to me, it is about the purist geometry, the colours and the shapes. 


How does the design process work?

I work from small marker and watercolour sketches that are put into a weaving computer program which helps me calculate everything.  A sample is then made with our master embroiderer, who then is able to pass it onto the other guys. We mainly work with a team of men now.  


What’s the most difficult thing about beading?

The most difficult thing about beading is probably the fact that the beads are so tiny. It’s so time consuming to make a pattern! Also, there were a few challenges we luckily overcame when we were starting to place the beadwork onto the bags because they are made of glass and we had to test many different fabrics and types of embroidery that would be durable. 

How are the beads applied? 
The beads are applied with a needle called aari onto a fabric one by one using a chain stitch. 
What types of beads do you use?
Japanese beads made from glass.
What other types of textiles would you like to work with in the future?
I would love to work with woven wool and printed textiles for sure. I live in Portugal and luckily we have a lot of amazing traditional embroidery available too. 
Can you share your favourite types of Brazilian textiles or textiles designers in general?

I have enjoyed the work of artist Felipe Mujica recently, he’s Chilean, but worked very closely with a community of women to make curtains that are displayed in the latest São Paulo Bienal. He has an aesthetic that I am very in tune with.  

Shop Hands of Indigo here and follow them on Instagram here.


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