Background about Dandarah and what we sell:
Dandarah is a woman-owned social enterprise based in Montreal, with a mission to support artisans and sustain traditional crafts. We work directly with economically and socially marginalized artisans in Egypt, mostly women and minorities, to improve their economic and social conditions.
As a Fair Trade Federation verified member, Dandarah is fully committed to the fair trade principles in all of its business practices including fair pay, safe working conditions, transparency, and environmentally sustainable practices.
Each one of Dandarah’s fashion accessories and home decor products is designed to be functional, while preserving the artisans’ traditional techniques. Each piece tells the unique and beautiful story of peoples, lands and traditions.
Meaningful stories about Dandarah's artisans and products:
Handwoven Scarves & Shawls:
Dandarah’s handwoven scarves and shawls are exquisitely created by master weavers in Nagada, a prehistoric town on the west bank of the river Nile of Egypt. Artisans in this town have been weaving on the same type of looms that have been used since Pharaonic times, with weaving estimated to have started in Egypt around 4000 B.C. if not earlier. This traditional craft of weaving has been handed down from one generation to the other for thousands of years. Dandarah’s scarves & shawls are made of viscose, linen & organic Egyptian cotton.
Dandarah’s hand blown ornaments, candle holders and oil diffusers are artfully created by skilled glass blowers in the heart of old Cairo, Egypt. The art of glass blowing began in Egypt at least in the 3rd Century A.D. based on a poem written on papyrus that describes the technique.
Handwoven & hand embroidered Home Textiles:
Akhmim, a small town on the eastern bank of the Nile, about 450 km south of Cairo, is home to a group of highly talented Egyptian women artisans. These women are trained on weaving and embroidery by a development project launched several decades ago by an Egyptian non-profit organization, as part of an initiative to empower women and raise their self-esteem.
Dandarah partners with these artisans from Akhmim in order to provide them with more sustainable income by opening new international markets, while sharing with the world precious handmade craftwork that tells unique stories. We currently sell some of the handwoven and hand embroidered products created by the Akhmim women artisans, including Egyptian cotton bedspreads, pillow covers, and placemats.