Silk Road Bazaar

Love craft products and supporting small businesses? This is just the thing for you.

Alongside the exhibition, the Aga Khan Foundation organised a Silk Road Bazaar in King’s Cross between 11 – 13 June 2021 as part of the weekly Canopy Market in King’s Cross, London.

The Bazaar brought together a select group of artisanal vendors (see full list below) from several countries found along the historic Silk Road trading route. Visitors were able to buy Ottoman-inspired silks from Turkey, Pakistani homeware, Afghan jewellery, leather accessories from Cairo, one-of-a-kind calligraphy art, Grade A organic saffron from Iran, handmade Uzbek hats, small batch artisan teas and baklava to name just a few items for sale. Through engaging with the market, visitors were able to learn about traditional craftsmanship and directly support artisans from Central and South Asia and the Middle East.

As part of its economic development work, the Aga Khan Foundation supports numerous artisans in counties along the Silk Road to develop their businesses to sustain livelihoods, create new jobs and preserve cultural heritage. The Silk Road Bazaar in London has been created to support local artisans and also to bring attention to the plurality of artisanal heritage found in counties along the Silk Road.

Download the press release

The Bazaar & the Vendors

AKF’s Silk Road Bazaar

Between 11 – 13 June, a select group of artisanal vendors from several countries found along the historic Silk Road trading route came together to form the Aga Khan Foundation Silk Road Bazaar.

Visitors were able to learn about traditional craftsmanship and directly support artisans from Central and South Asia and the Middle East.

Watch the report from UAE’s The National News.

ISHKAR

ISHKAR is helping craft thrive in challenging contexts. The objects we sell have been handcrafted in places that are, or have been, affected by conflict or political turbulence. Cut off from international markets and unable to sustain their businesses, many artisans have downed their tools. We’re aiming to bring vitality to our shared global heritage.

Ottoman Silks

Ottoman Silks reproduces fabrics from the illustrious Ottoman Empire. The collection comprises of six elegant designs that were originally commissioned and worn by the Ottoman Sultans and their royal court. Our exclusive range of kaftans, waistcoats and accessories is unique in its combination of heritage and contemporary designs and has been made to the highest standards.

Pink Tea Café

Pink Tea Café brings joy, inspiration and a moment of magic through the finest speciality teas, artisan chai blends and exquisite handcrafted baklava. We offer some of the rarest teas in the world meticulously selected by our tea master from estates farming sustainably, each one complemented with a poem so that every sip is a conscious and mindful one.

ART OF THE PEN

ART OF THE PEN is Soraya Syed’s London-based calligraphy studio. Soraya was an apprentice to a master calligrapher in Istanbul and received her license in 2005. Her practice shows disciplined freedom; she enjoys the tension between her classical training and pushing the boundaries of traditional calligraphy. Soraya will be demonstrating her craft and selling some of her work, alongside specially-selected tools from Istanbul.

Nimuri

Nimuri sells homeware and clothing made in Pakistan, supporting heritage craft skills and creating beautiful and unique products that tell a story about the country’s rich artisanal history. It sources from small family-run or female-led businesses, charities and not-for-profit organisations.

BENI

The Doppi Project by BENI is a story and journey by diaspora to discover and reclaim their heritage thread by thread. The project tells the story of both Uyghur and Uzbek culture via traditional and historical hats called ‘Doppi’, and what they symbolise for a new generation today.

Sabbara

Sabbara was founded by and working with Syrian refugee women. We make stunning embroidered cushions and clutches which provide those who are most in need with a living wage, a creative outlet for trauma, and a supportive community.

S jo

S jo creates original, one of a kind accessories drawing inspiration from traditional textile techniques and handcrafted by artisans mainly women from villages in Pakistan. It was born out of a design PhD project looking to improve power and privilege specifically within the act of craft practice between traditional women’s craft communities and NGOs/designers in development. It consistently searches for new vocabulary for traditional craft skills. The signature jewellery collections value each individual craft woman’s creativity, provide opportunities for fair income and a creative space for artisans to develop their craft practice. Each piece is a testament of fine craft and collaboration.

Attar Apothecary

Attar Apothecary sells single farmer, fair trade and organically grown saffron & rose petals from Iran. We also source hand crafted items such as glassware, ceramics and stoneware.

MISHKĀ

MISHKĀ is synonymous with beautiful objects handcrafted by women living among Cairo’s historic Mamluk monuments in the ‘City of the Dead’ using traditional techniques and the finest natural materials. Training and design support by designers, including Bill Amberg, provides the women with the skills to produce these products, which are sold for the benefit of their families and themselves.

Eastern Rug Centre

Based in London UK for over 25 years now, Eastern Rug Centre supplies hand-made Afghan rugs made by our own weavers in the Northern and North-Western regions of Afghanistan to many Oriental rug shops and individual customers across the UK

Loaf Lifestyle

Ethically driven home décor and handicraft company with a focus on preserving the folk arts of nomadic people.

Woven by hands that tell stories.

Canopy Market

Individually sourcing, selecting and supporting independent producers, Canopy Market brings together fresh produce, artisan food, designer-makers and artists alongside street food, craft drinks and music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Silk Road Bazaar is being hosted in partnership with Canopy Market.