Aranya was set up in 1990 as a craft development organisation to promote the traditions of Bangladesh to establish their commercial viability and to incorporate them into the mainstream. Aranya has trained over a thousand artisans and organisations as well as conducted international training workshops in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Thailand, and the U.K. Aranya works in partnership with craftspeople, guaranteeing them a fair wage and ensuring that they are not exploited or undervalued.
With marketing support and training inputs Aranya has revived natural dyes in Bangladesh, and standardised a selection of thirty colourfast dyes which are non-pollutant and eco friendly. Aranya has ensured that natural dyes have become an integral part of the hand-woven textiles of Bangladesh. Aranya has documented Jamdani and Kantha designs and techniques from museums and private collections for the craftspeople who have reproduced them with great success. This has also ensured that traditional patterns and techniques are not lost. Aranya’s textile products include hand-embroidery and block prints on handloom silk and cotton in natural dyes.