Applications opens for this summer Apply Here



Lyaavi-Kowdhi Collective

Handmade Kowdhi Quilts by Rural Artisans

Kowdhi is a traditional art of quilting in Karnataka. BuDa Folklore is working with Kowdhi artisans from rural villages in the Uttara Kannada region. This traditional method of quilting makes use of waste old cloth pieces and cotton scrap cloths collected from tailors, friends and relatives.

The artisans also tell a story about the historical and cultural context of their creation through different motifs and rituals. We at Buda Folklore documented the quilting tradition of Uttar Kannada as a part of our research and documentation. To gift a quilt, sewn with old clothes of the family, for the daughter who gets married, often carries fond memories of the maternal home.

The rural women of Uttara Kannada region are the collective contributors and partners with Buda Folklore in reviving this age-old traditional art of quilting.

BuDa folklore is not only reviving and providing livelihood to the rural women of this region, it is also building a learning community among the urban people and bringing awareness of this traditional hand-stitching techniques for the urban participants through workshops.

Through this reviving process, BuDa gave life to a platform for many Kowdhi artisans of the village. These quilts are sold at our center as well as our online BuDa Shop, at exhibitions and during workshops.

Our Aim

Buda folklore’s initiatives Lyaavi – Kowdi Collective is an artisan-centred initiative that generates income for rural women as a means for comprehensive development. We aim to build an economically sustainable and socially empowered community for local hand-quilters while honouring and strengthening the tradition.


We hope to create a reso centre within a context of a variety of vernacular architectural styleOur infrastructure will act as a community centre for the artisans as well as a place for students, researchers and designers to understand the culture of this age old tradition of quilting. . Visiting art and design experts from India and around the world will get to work with a local permanent faculty to teach artisans design development and modern trends & markets.

Project Scope & Demography

The rural women may not have much formal education, but the one skill they possess is hand-stitched quilting. With the help of our organisation, many of these women now have the opportunity to put this skill to good use and generate additional household income. This is empowering them, and changing the very fabric of their lives.

The Quilts we make

This traditional hand stitched Koudhis are made of recycled fabrics. It has 7 layers of old used recycled pieces of cloths and sarees stitched together with thousands of small running stitches hand crafted by rural artisans in Uttara kannda region .Each fabric has been hand washed before making the quits and hand washed after the quits are ready.

The entire quilt is painstakingly hand stitched by rural women for months together with end number of straight running stitches to create a unique product, one of a kind (no two are alike),thus its a perfect gift too.

The way in which recyled pieces of cloths stitched together with thousands of fine running stitches makes the quits extraordinary

Master Artisans and BuDa's Relationship with Local Quilters

We have been working closely with the village women for over 15 years. Most of the quilters from the villages are 50 years or more and every house in these small settlements will have at least one quilter who is keeping this tradition alive. They are from the different communities including scheduled casts and nomadic tribes.


Nirmalakka is a master artisan who has been associated with Buda Folklore for over a decade. In January 2019, she was honored at the International Quilt Festival in Chennai where she was able to showcase her skill and talent as a special guest. She is not only an extraordinary facilitator & artisan, but she is also an entrepreneur & a community leader.


Kalavva has been working with us at BuDa since the last 8 years. She is a widow, the only means of income for her is through quilting. Through our observation, we noticed that over a period of time, she learnt to use finer and neater stitches for a better finish. She is also one of the quilting teachers who travels with us to teach this art to urban participants at workshops, exhibitions and various events.