Next Up

 10 Old Trades Making a Comeback

These DIYers are on a mission to preserve nearly-forgotten skills and handmade crafts.

1 / 11
Photo: Courtesy of Songa

Basket Weaving

Songa Designs International isn’t charity. It’s a business that empowers artisans by creating jobs in under-resourced countries so workers may earn their way to economic independence. In Rwanda, Songa is preserving a skill almost 1,000 years old by employing women to hand-weave the Agaseke, the country’s oldest traditional basket. The baskets are made from natural fibers such as sisal plant, banana leaf and palm leaf and have 30,000 each.

More photos after this Ad

2 / 11
Photo: Deanne Revel


When you think about perfume, you probably think about big companies in Paris or those Elizabeth Taylor commercials, but one New Orleans perfumery is still producing small-batch perfume just the way it did more than 170 years ago. Bourbon French Parfums creates personal fragrances for each customer. The scent is based on your body chemistry, personality and likes and dislikes. The perfumery keeps your custom cocktail on file should you want to reorder or order your scent in other products like soap or bath gel.

More photos after this Ad

3 / 11
Photo: Struvictory/iStock


With so many ways to get a hold of someone via social media or the numerous ways to print media, taking the time to sit down and put pen to paper sounds insane. Some schools don’t even offer cursive anymore. But hand-lettering is still alive and well and shows up most often at weddings and other special occasions. Boutique calligraphy studios like Linen and Leaf are making a business slowing down for clients who don’t have the time. Linen and Leaf’s founder Katie Roden created the studio with a mission to "create designs that warm the heart and slow down the eye in the age of constant visual stimulation." Her hand-lettering is organic, inspired by nature and has been featured on wedding sites like The Knot and Style Me Pretty.

More photos after this Ad

4 / 11
Photo: Courtesy of Ichcha

Block Printing

Any DIYer will appreciate the attention to detail in Ichcha's handmade quilts and tapestries. They'll also appreciate the preservation of skills almost lost forever. Ichcha was created to save the art of block printing, hand weaving and hand embroidering textiles in countries like India, where families are abandoning those unique weaving styles for more lucrative trades. Today, Ichcha empowers artisans and the result is beautiful.

More photos after this Ad