How It’s Made: RP New York’s Hand-Embroidered Designs

How It’s Made: RP New York’s Hand-Embroidered Designs

From colorful silk dresses to crochet separates and hand-embroidered throws, slow-fashion brand RP New York offers artisan-made pieces inspired by cultures around the world, which are designed in New York City before coming to life, stitch by stitch, at its private atelier in India. 

While the brand’s origins lie in India, founder Roopa Pemmaraju launched and grew her business while living in Australia. Her travels across the Australian continent and within its communities have enriched the brand’s aesthetic with a rich variety of colors, materials, motifs, and silhouettes.

RP New York uses time-honored techniques such as hand embroidery, loom weaving and hand-block printing to create luxurious garments that honor the exceptional craftsmanship of India. By employing skilled artisans and paying them fairly for their craft, the brand creates vibrant clothing in a way that respects the planet and its people.

The materials

Bales of cotton


India has long been known for its beautiful silk textiles, with silkworm cultivation and a reverence for silk weaving that dates back thousands of years. Silk is one of RP New York’s most used fabrics — it’s luxurious to wear and looks as regal as it feels. The brand also uses silk in for garment linings as an elevated finishing touch.

Cotton is also a popular material as it grows well in warmer climates. It is produced all across India and is vital to the country’s economy. Thanks to its breathable qualities, the fabric is perfect for the brand’s light and airy summer pieces. Since traditional cotton production requires large amounts of water, the brand also opts to work with recycled cotton whenever possible. 

The process



The brand uses traditional methods such as hand weaving and embroidery to make its colorful dresses and printed shirts. Hand embroidery, which gained popularity in India under Mughal rule between the 16th and 18th centuries, has long been a hallmark of the country’s textile industry.

RP New York’s skilled artisans operate looms by hand in an entirely manual and carbon-neutral process. They adorn printed motifs with intricate details, using thread and glass beads to create multidimensional patterns, giving each hand-embroidered garment a sense of individuality and character.

Among the many ways to dye clothing, the brand chooses digital printing as it is one of the most sustainable. This technique uses less water and ink than other methods, and helps keep water sources clean in order to minimize impact on the environment.

Also is the mix is hand-block printing, an ancient technique that has been practiced in India for centuries. Artisans first carve intricate patterns into wooden blocks by hand. Then, they paint the carved blocks with natural, eco-friendly dye pastes and use the painted blocks as stamps to apply the patterns to fabric. The result is a beautifully unique iteration of the print – no two pieces of fabric are ever exactly the same.

New to The Folklore Connect? Sign up to shop wholesale or apply to sell as a brand