Made with love from The East coast of India
This collection is an ode to the finest cotton Mal and Jamdani weaving techniques. Weaving a single ply yarn into a 100’s count cotton is extremely challenging due to its brittle nature. It has been through the composure of the dresser, patience of the winder and diligence of the weaver that this fabric could be produced.
This collection has been made by amalgamating the various textures of this textile into relaxed silhouettes. It is of extreme importance for the buyer and wearer of this product, to understand that each yarn of their outfit has been woven with utmost precision to produce the most delicate and finest cotton mal.
The Willow Tree
Sometimes an idea is incepted when the brain and heart are stimulated by a common source. Walking around the moist streets of an Indian village, learning the various techniques of weaving, experiencing and reconciling it to further develop a collection of linen textiles with varying stripes and motifs, done in muted tones with a hint of excitement.
Endowed with an amazing texture that gets softer with every wash, it makes it a comfortable fabric. This collection is made from handwoven 60’s count linen further constructed into easy, classic and minimal silhouettes so that they remain a part of your wardrobe for the longest period of time.
Surrounded by hills , history and culture, is the town of chanderi in Madhya Pradesh where a delicate juxtapose of silk and cotton takes place to produce a fabric called chanderi, eponymous to where it comes from. Usually woven to produce the most finest and delicate sarees, we make use of this handloom textile to produce yardage which is further developed into garments of the present day.
Nothing but rubble and dust, and amidst this, the eye discovers something . Sometimes sublime, sometimes kitschy, sometimes livid, as if the sun has beaten the colour out of everything. The blue becomes white, the green becomes dull grey and then you see the silhouettes of these women in black that completely standout while the men gets merge with the sheeps and rocks in white. The nomads of India, also known as the “keepers of the way” or the “path finders” is what inspires this collection called RAAH.
We are narrating the dialogues and stories of this tribe through our work. We set our hearts on block printed cotton khadis, all hand created with love and passion to bring life to our lives, weaving present into future. Gathers, pleats, dots, checks and stripes gets incorporated into comfortable and effortless styles with versatile silhouettes that are pliable to any background.
My Way or the Highway
Elephants, peacocks, paisleys , lotus , leaves etc. are chiselled and carved on sheesham wood and brought to life when stamped with colours on fabric.
Block printing is a very scrupulous and meticulous technique of printing where each colour in the design is intricately carved on wooden block. It is further stamped over the fabric repeatedly colour by colour.
We try and experiment with this craft by putting this traditional technique into a more contemporary form.
Shades of Grey
A narrow curve and the landscape is completely changed, drifting from the urban concrete roads to the muddy, almost rebelling against the establishment, appears a village where the sidewalks are highlighted with blue sand, the remains from the beautiful process of resist dyeing indigenously known as dabu.
Gravitating towards the technical language of this craft, intricately etched wooden blocks are used to print patterns, objects and for us our ideas and vision on to the fabric for the application of thick mud paste to transform this pale lifeless piece into a work of art. After which it is dyed and processed with various natural elements like indigo, alum, lime, pomegranate rinds, turmeric, dried flowers etc to suffice an artists vision.
Here is our attempt to create powerful stories through this art by channeling both the eccentric and utilitarian purpose of fashion.
Astha and Sidharth is not just an eponymous label.
It defines us.
Before the inception of our label in 2010 we had worked together on various projects and our affinity towards identical design aesthetics brought the label into existence. Our work is a conversation about the present transitional nature of our country. We create products that dwell from the soil of our nation but mutate them to a more contemporary form. We often try to add a twist to the banality of a craft, intentionally breaking the stereotypes and creating distinctiveness.
Ans Astha and Sidharth
It is a matter of lasting happiness, dispelling the feeling of boredom and creating exhilarating experiences is the nature of our work. We don’t work, we play, and throw our selves into it with great energy and dedication. Rambling around India we came across some of the most enchanted frontiers and our love for textiles deepened to an undreamt depth. When the whole world is racing for something or the other, there comes a place where life has its own relaxed pace and simplicity, where they are not striving for perfection but yearn for a fresh aesthetic experience functioning to their fullest potential .That is where the most beautiful handlooms take birth. Their tales have become our inspiration. Working with handloom like Khadi, Chanderi, Jamdani and crafts like block printing and tye and dye , we try and retell these stories through our products .We constantly strive for doing meaningful work and for better quality of working, for people who are associated with us .
The story is about farmers and herders who tamed the wild , bred edible seeds and food, about merchants and craftspeople who braved mountains and deep waters to exchange knowledge , about rustic engineers and metallurgists who first hammered copper. Their combined contribution to our normal routine lives is much greater than what warriors have accomplished or emperors have bequeathed. We work with the same ethos, contributing and trying our best to bring about the change in the little ways that we can .
We realize that best crafted work is not ordained from above but crafted from below where skills and talent meet in camaraderie and not in a cage fight. Continuously evolving ourselves towards betterment.