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The Toda shawl is an exquisitely made classical apparel. A larger version or the puthkuzhy is the traditional garment of the indigenous Todas of the Nilgiris. This renewed version showcases the GI-tagged embroidery on exceptionally drapey, lightweight and luxurious Tencel. Designed with a contemporary aesthetic, the ancient motifs in this shawl represent elements of the Toda landscape including mountains, sacred objects and botanicals.

Made by an indigenous woman-artisan, this work of art takes three weeks to hand-embroider and comes with a note about the maker and her photo. Read our story below.

Packed with love in a local artisan-made reusable cotton handloom Ikat bag and recycled kraft box.

93cm W x 190cm L


only two

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The indigenous Toda women from the Nilgiris are renowned for their distinctive, GI-tagged, black and red embroidery. Inspired by nature the pukhoor (motif) embroidery follows the warp and weft thread count of the base cloth. The artisans count the thread with their fingers by merely stretching the material as they work.

Over the past year or so, a team of us including two senior Toda artisans embarked on an ongoing journey to re-imagine this art form with a contemporary aesthetic on fine, sustainable fabrics and newer formats. A pronounced departure from working on the regular coarse cotton, this marks a renewed approach to the art form. After much trial and error, in close coordination with wonderful local weavers, we chose two types of beautiful fabrics conducive to the thread counting technique. Our vision was (and is) to present the exquisite beauty of this rare art form to a contemporary, aesthetic driven, appreciative world.


Fabric is Tencel Lyocell which is an extremely versatile, long-lasting and highly breathable plant-derived fibre. It requires a lot less energy and water for production and is 100% biodegradable. Threads used for embroidery are pure cotton.

Due to the nature of thread counting which forms the basis of the work, each shawl takes an artisan between three and five weeks to hand-embroider. Minor variations and irregularities in the motifs are to be expected, and integral to handcrafted products, adding to their appeal.

Fabric care guide:

  • Handwash gently in cold water
  • Cool or low temperature iron only (smooth side)
  • Can be dry cleaned
  • Do not bleach
  • Do not tumble dry
  • Do not wring
  • Recommended flat dry after washing

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