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Showcasing India’s Artisanal mastery to the world | Darshan Shah, Weavers studio, Kolkata.
What do you get when you have relentless passion, intention of gold and a belief, that’s too strong to die? You combine all of it to create an institution of excellence, an institution which runs to uplift the entire value chain connected with your passion.
One such institution that needs no introduction is Weavers studio, the brainchild of Ms. Darshan Shah in Kolkata. Ms. Shah’s passion for her craft is evident in an array of products, measures and initiatives undertaken by the Weavers studio; with a mission as apt as “use as many hands as possible” to grow, empower and nurture the various hand-looms and processes of our country to the next level, and taking the entire chain from the artisans to the craft itself, along with it.
Do you want to unravel fashion stories? Questerra’s Tradition & History tour takes you to cities where Indian Fashion was originated and set-up. Do you want to eat, breathe and live Fashion? The tour brings with it engaging sessions by designers, a platform to network and carefully selected places to Ideate. Imagine this could be your one chance to sit by artisans as they needle around the cloth creating exquisite designs with techniques like danka and zardozi, Chat up with them to understand the technique thought process that goes into the creation. Together, let’s script a fashion story for you to grow from.
Learn more about Questerra’s Fashion & Textile Intensive, Here…
Ms Darshan Shah in her journey until now has touched the lives of one and many. How did she go about creating such a ripple effect? Not so long ago on the 7th of December 1993. Opening the studio, presented employment opportunities to ladies from different strata of the society. Employment bought with it empowerment, young women were given guidance and training on the aesthetics of Indian textile heritage.
With such humble beginnings, the studio has now proudly evolved to a 2000 square foot space, presenting a range of high quality handcrafted Indian fabrics from Tussar Silks, Hand woven khadis, Jamdanis, natural dyed silks and cottons, etc and turned them around by embellishing them with innovative process like printing, embroidery, batik, felting, tie & dye, etc. The fabrics embody Indian history, because that was the source of their inspiration. Weavers studio’s products are now cherished and demanded in various corners around the world, Japan, Italy, USA & France to name a few.
The weaver’s studio was succeeded by the setup of Rangeen. It is a production and job working unit, for hand weaving, hand block and screen printing. The unit also brings to the forefront value added techniques like batik, shibori, felting, clamp and embroidery.
Today, there are constant deliberations on the relevance of Indian textiles and the need to take it global in its best form, which stops there on most occasions, however, Ms. Shah has been spearheading this thought for 18 years even before this became a ‘need of the hour’, making her a visionary of the Indian craft movement. Resulting in the setup of Veda Commercial Pvt. Ltd driven by the philosophy of ‘“Taking India’s rich textile heritage, culture, techniques and arts to the world”
Candidly admitting this was a mere business at first but with constant experiences, travels and interactions with stakeholders of the craft, textiles have now become a way of life, a passion and a need more than a want.
The success story however, has just begun. Creativity finds a room for expression, at Weaver’s Studio Center for the arts, founded in 2007 with the mission of ‘Garnering Talent, nurturing creativity.’ The space is an open arena for exhibits and display of creativity. The Weaver’s Studio resource center puts in continual efforts to better the life of people. Their daily acts of kindness will leave one astounded. Having adopted a cluster of 9 villages the resource center strives to enabling the less fortunate to get access to basic amenities like clean water, health and sanitation. Their gamut of objectives includes imparting education to children and vocational training for women.
Darshan Shah, with her designs and set up gives fashion a sustainable twist. Her work and designs stand for the ethical and sustainable way of fashion. It is visionaries like Darshan Shah who have paved the pathway for the future of fashion. This is a small way of expressing heartfelt thankfulness to Darshan Shah, for exposing the world to the positive side of Indian Fashion.
As your dreams continue to take shape, the fashion revolution that’s come with your efforts inspires budding designers to pull out a leaf from your book.
Questerra thanks Ms. Shah for lighting up the paths of a new generation of designers that are keen to follow their passion and tread the path created by her by interacting with them on the Kolkata leg of #thefashionintensive.
Video source Indianroots.com