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The Ssaha story!
Young designer couple Amrita Sudan Saha from the Indian Institute of Craft and Design, Jaipur and wife Santosh Saha, an alumnus of the Birla Academy of Art in Kolkata are among the few young designers today who have successfully blended traditional skills with contemporary design language. And this is how their story began.
A few towns in and around West Bengal such as Burdwan, Dhatrigram and Murshidabad, where the weaving industry once flourished, suffered neglect and shut down over the years due to lack of material, marketing skills, mentors and patronage. This led the weavers there to turn away from their traditional vocation.
After a year of research in 2010, which entailed visiting these areas and interviewing the weaving community to examine their problems, the Sahas began weaving primarily with gamchas and thans of material. Santosh had studied forms of weaving in Weavers Service Centre, and it gave her valuable insight into weaving techniques. She also worked in KVIC (Khadi Village Industry Commission) amongst weaving clusters. Armed with knowledge and research, the Sahas started off with creating 10 to 15 designs for stoles and saris, using solely khadi with jamdani designs.
What’s special about Ssaha?
Ssaha Works was designed to promote the crafts community. The products are developed by the craftspersons, and the Sahas find them a market helping them participate in various sales.
Delhi Crafts Council, impressed by their work and objectives, encouraged them by pointing them to various markets which proved very fruitful. The year 2012 saw this couple work on saris with 450 counts khadi, which was possible to weave only by a few weavers. This select range soon became show stoppers.
Starting out with just five or seven weavers, the Sahas today have captive looms weaving their products manned by over 45 weavers who have mastered the technique.
Project Mull Saris
Project Mull aims to promote handloom weaving of extremely fine handspun Muslin - one of the finest weaves to have been produced in India. This project aims to revive and promote Bengal Muslin
Khadi Nex Saris
Khadi Nex is an initiative by Ssaha works which attempts to try and break away from the regular Khadi weaves. Under this project Khadi is merged with various fibers such as linen, silks and wool