On National Handloom Day Warp ‘n’ Weft Takes Benarasi Weaves Online
Warp ‘n’ Weft by Sagrika Rai, one of Mumbai’s oldest textile institutions, in its twentieth year has been reinventing how the weaves of Benaras are worn, celebrated and treasured. Coming soon after their ‘Real Women in Weaves’ campaign which had eminent women adorned in statement-making Benarasi drapes, is their foray into the online retail space with a sub-brand titled ‘Guldavari’ on the Handloom & Handicraft Store of Amazon.in.
‘Guldavari’ or ‘Flower’ traditionally seen as chrysanthemum in weave is the signature of Warp ‘n’ Weft with authenticity of a jewelled Benarasi in pure handloom and intricate craftsmanship.
Guldavari is a collection that pronounces ‘Affordable Luxury’, allowing women to buy that much lusted after handwoven Benarasi and revel in its drape, tradition and classic form.
Timeless weaving patterns give this collection a certain flexibility allowing one to wear the ‘Guldavari’ sari for any special occasion. The essence of Benaras is evident in this sub-brand by Warp ‘n’ Weft and beautifully reflects the legacy of the traditional weaves from the founder Sagrika Rai’s own origins in Benaras. Butas & Borders, Motifs & Minakaris, Rosettes & Clusters, Junglas & Obliques in Pure Katan Silks in royal colours of Benaras. The nuances of the subtle imperfect nature of the hand weave enhance the style quotient and grace of the ‘Guldavari’ range of Benarasi saris. Perfect to make a style statement anywhere in the world.
“While there is an influx of special online brands and capsule collections, India’s rich heritage of weaves and motifs and the art of pure handloom does not reflect on these platforms adequately. I am excited to present this special edit of pret saris, since it makes the Benarasi textile more accessible to all. This further broadens the mission of Warp ‘n’ Weft and continues to keep the artisans of Benaras and their craft relevant to the present times retaining the legacy and preserving the skill of hand-weaving,” says Sagrika Rai, Founder, Warp ‘n’ Weft.
A collection of capes, jackets, skirts, crop tops and dupattas will also be launched shortly under the ‘Guldavari’ collection, for Amazon.in.
Link to the collection on Amazon.in:
Warp ‘n’ Weft: Sustainable and Ethical Hand-weaves by Sagrika Rai
Warp ‘n’ Weft by Sagrika Rai is an institution that stands tall in the landscape of pure handloom. Since 1997, the brand has worked tirelessly in safeguarding handloom as an art. When the trend of power-loom kicked off, it affected the weaver community adversely and de-skilled them to a great extent. This caused a chain reaction in the handloom sector affecting the livelihoods of tens of thousands of weavers and skilled craftsmen. Back then, this was the only institution to make a concerted effort to earnestly overcome those challenges, encourage the weavers and their families, and empower them by revisiting and redefining their treasured hand-weaving skills. Warp ‘n’ Weft endorses a ‘Handloom Only’ policy which avoids the use of machinery from the dyeing to weaving process all through safeguarding the interests and welfare of artisans and their empowerment. Earnings from the business were reinvested to promote the craft. This is what Warp ‘n’ Weft has been doing quietly for past 20 years.
What is popularly termed as ‘sustainable’ today was the brand ethos and the objective with which the brand has maintained itself for two decades. When the world was busy churning machine produced textile and digitisation of processes was creating fads for cheaper replicas using polyester yarns on machines; the hand-woven and dyed natural fabric of Warp ‘n’ Weft, was taking form rooted in tradition.
Even now, Warp ‘n’ Weft runs an integrated set up that comprises of each weaver in direct conversation with Sagrika Rai and the customer. This chain was as organic 20 years back and remains so at every stage of this fashionable and chic institution of heritage textiles.
It is fair to say that the brand works tirelessly to retain the signage of the mother of all hand weaves intact and untouched in the day and age of much noise and digitalisation.
About Warp ‘n’ Weft
‘Warp ‘n’ Weft’, founded by Sagrika Rai in Mumbai in 1997 is an endeavor whose raison d’être is to present the magnificent work of the master weavers and silk fabric craftsmen of Benaras to the world stage. She has been working for nearly two decades hand-in-hand with the weavers keeping the traditional nature of the Benarasi art undiluted. Their name is synonymous with Benarasi textiles and the intricate weaves of Warp ‘n’ Weft leave a resounding impact the world over.
About Sagrika Rai, Founder, Warp ‘n’ Weft
Sagrika Rai whose passion with ‘Benarasi’ weaves saw its roots in early childhood days growing up in the city of Varanasi with the clacking sound of the handloom, finds great pride in celebrating her journey weaving dreams with many a weaver that has stitched the chiming of the bells and the serenity and beauty of the Indian culture into the finest cloths. Her brand, Warp ‘n’ Weft which was established in Mumbai in 1997 boasts of this classical art and has stood timelessly above the changing mood of fashionistas.
The grace of a Benarasi hand-woven sari is the signature elegance in weave of Sagrika’s brand Warp ‘n’ Weft in Mumbai. There are designers and designer stores, and there is Sagrika Rai and Warp ‘n’ Weft, Mumbai’s niche design studio for Benarasi saris and fabrics. The font of her inspiration is the source of all tradition, Benaras. After nineteen years of creativity and hard work Sagrika’s name is instantly associated with the most distinctive textile. Just a glance at the show window of Warp ‘n’ Weft compels one to step inside and explore the treasures within.