Meet the Artisan: Habiba Jan

Meet the Artisan: Habiba Jan

Habiba Jan
Creator of Embroidered and Handwoven Products in Afghanistan

As a single mother, Habiba Jan has raised, supported and educated her children by herself using the age-old art of fabric weaving and embroidery.  She has used her  craft and talent to support her family for many years.  

Habiba is a talented embroiderer and craft maker, but also a leader in every sense. After 20 years of creating embroidered and handwoven goods, she takes care of all her grandchildren at home while she continues her artisanal work. 

In addition, she helps commission work for a group of 25 talented women who also create handcrafted products. These women, mostly her family and neighbors, depend on Habiba to earn their income from embroidery work and craft. It is difficult for them to go out of the house and search for work in the markets and meet people due to cultural restrictions. 

Habiba Jan is full of smiles, jokes, stories, and news. Her personality comes across very well through her work.  She uses vivid patterns, motifs and colors in her products. She is well known in the community as a trusted, hardworking leader in the  local market. She earned her reputation amongst her community through hard work, honesty, and care for all her fellow workers and clients.   

The colorful Beloved clutch wallets and crossbody bags and the elegant Harmony clutches available at ShopatMAP are handmade in Kabul using handwoven fabrics from Bamiyan Valley by Habiba and this group of women. These fabrics have been woven by local women for centuries using very basic and traditional looms shown below.  

Traditionally these fabrics were used as Dastarkhān or Sofra. Dastarkhān or Sofra are terms used across South Asia and Central Asia to refer to the traditional space where food is eaten. Generally it refers to a tablecloth which is spread on the floor at meal time for families to eat together. 

Now, the fabrics are also used to make fashionable handwoven accessories featured on ShopatMAP. 

By: ShopatMAP

Products handcrafted by Habiba Jan

 From left to right: Habiba “Beloved” Crossbody BagsBamiyan “Harmony” ClutchHabiba “Beloved” Clutch Wallet