A love of tradition and colour served in a contemporary, graphic format has always been my identity in most of my work. This led me to revisit traditions of textile craft skills with Satayam Gartex Private Limited. I was to develop scarves and sarees. The sponsor wanted to increase the range of scarves they already had on offer; sarees were a new product that the company wanted to introduce to attract discerning domestic clientele.
Syahi begar is a traditional hand-block printing technique of Sanganer, Rajasthan, whereas varaq printing draws essentially from the flocking technique wherein the gold/silver varaq (leaf) sticks to the printed adhesive paste on the cloth. I was to first design a range of blocks for use in conjunction with existing blocks for printing a collection of scarves and sarees for the store. I began my work by understanding the existing design vocabulary and traditional layouts. While designing the layouts, I kept in mind the different types of clients the store caters to and I even combined varaq printing with syahi begar printing to add to the glamour of a few syahi begar scarves.
The store, Satayam, had in its inventory a collection of real silver, old sequins and gota ribbons. I made use of these in designing a collection of contemporary scarves for the international clientele of the store.
Working in the field alongside a variety of skilled craftspeople, in a multifaceted project of this sort, gave me ample opportunity for material and technique exploration along with a chance to develop my sensitivity and understanding of traditional crafts. This project has been a truly enriching experience in the beginning of my career as a designer.