Dr. Jaspal Singh Kalra is the initial mastermind behind Sangraha Atelier - a social enterprise based in Lucknow that promotes sustainable and responsible chikankari embroidery practices? That's a mouthful! But wait, it gets better. Dr. Kalra's artistic philosophy of oneness and interconnectedness is heavily influenced by Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. I don't know about you, but my embroidery skills definitely need some divine intervention.
But hey, let's not forget about the chikankari industry itself. Sangraha Atelier is working to preserve the traditional embroidery style and promote ethical practices within the industry. And to top it all off, Dr. Kalra's and Danish's commitment to sustainability is reflected in their artworks, which are all about unity and equality. These guys truly are Renaissance men!
Overall, Sangraha Atelier's work is an excellent example of how one man's vision - and a little bit of divine inspiration - can make a real difference in the world of embroidery. Who knew chikankari could be so cool?
Greetings my fellow craft enthusiasts! We, the curious souls behind Sangraha Atelier, have set out on a mission to create a brand that will knock your socks off with our artisanal skills and customer-centric values. We're basically the unicorn of the craft industry, because we actually care about making contemporary products that people need.
We'll be honest, we're a little nervous about whether we can live up to your expectations and become the go-to brand for responsibility, excellence, and innovation. But hey, we're not afraid to learn as we go! Plus, we promise to always stay humble and transparent (and maybe a little bit goofy, if that's okay with you).
So if you want to join us on this wild ride, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please, wish us luck...we're gonna need it!
Jaspal, Danish, Susan & Rajni
Enduring curation of pride from Lucknow
LUCKNOW DISTRICT IS A HUB OF WHITE-WORK OF CHIKANKARI AND ZARDOSI EMBROIDERY IN INDIA. IT GIVES EMPLOYMENT TO .25 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE DISTRICT.
Our Legacy of Truthfulness
OUR STORY BEGAN IN 2015 IN LUCKNOW, UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA
Once upon a time in a town by the Gomti river, artisans were the OG hypebeasts. Fast forward to now and Sangraha, the Avengers of heritage sustainability, was born thanks to Dr. Kalra's research. Sangraha means a group committed to sustaining heritage - like the Justice League, but for museums. Dr. Kalra discovered that designers aren't bosses but provocateurs, facilitators, and levelers in craft projects. The real empowerment of artisans is regaining confidence in their creativity and skills, so show some love by buying their goods - it's like giving a high five to a superhero!
Our Atelier With Cultural Responsibility
WE CARE FOR OUR PEOPLE AS MUCH AS WE CARE FOR OUR PRODUCTS
Hello there, fellow fancy people! Did you know that we're not your average run-of-the-mill business? Nope, we're like the Batman of entrepreneurship, fighting for artisanal justice! We take 2% of our total revenue and give it back to trained artisans to support their individual ventures. We're like Santa Claus, but with less cookies and more creative support.
But hold on to your hats, folks, because we're not stopping there. Our Sangraha Sab Tera and Sangraha Sacha Sauda products give ALL their profits to a validated foundation supporting artisan teaching and learning. We're like Bill Gates, but with a way cooler cause than computing.
So, when you're in the market for some artisanal goodness, remember - not all businesses are equal. Some of us are here to make a difference in the world and have a little fun doing it. And who doesn't love a bit of heroic mischief every now and then?
Fabrics with Vernacular Sincerity
CRAFTED FROM NATURALLY GROWN COTTONS OR RECYCLED FABRICS
Here at Sangraha Atelier, we like our fabrics like we like our coffee - all-natural and full of flavor. Our commitment to sustainability means we take the phrase "reduce, reuse, recycle" seriously. In fact, we're like the MacGyver of home decor - we can turn leftover fabrics into stunning pieces that'll have your guests saying "wow" and "where did you get that?" And don't worry, we're not just recycling to be trendy. We're doing it because we care about the planet. So go ahead, indulge in our beautiful and eco-friendly products. Mother Nature will thank you.
Excellence in Process
OUR VERNACULAR TECHNIQUES ARE SUSTAINABLE AND ENGENDER EXCELLENT PRODUCTS
Did you know that creating an artisanal product in chikankari is like running a marathon? Our skilled artisans are like the Usain Bolt of embroidery - they're in it for the long haul. With each product taking thousands of needle penetrations, it's no wonder they need endurance. We like to think of them as the ironmen (and women) of the textile world. And just like a marathon runner, they know the importance of pacing themselves to get the job done right. So the next time you see a beautifully embroidered piece, remember the sweat and tears (hopefully just from laughing) that went into creating it.
The designs are transferred onto textile using fugitive dyes mixed in waste edible gum. The grid is planned in each product with precision and then designs are printed. The force of impact of block on fabric, its maintenance and viscosity of dye bath determines the quality of impression.
The printer or Chipkar have been using this since generations when their forefathers migrated to Lucknow during the era of Nawabs. The technique has remained constant though the fugitive dye has changed from gerua (red oxide) to commercial indigo and zinc oxide.
Making the thread travel through the textile with the help of a needle is the longest and most enduring phase. The embroidery could be done by stretching textile between fist of finger, small hand frame or large karchobe. Chikankari embroidery is primarily done by women and zardosi by men but during the era of Nawabs there was do gender distribution of embroidery. At Sangraha each artisan appreciates and practices both forms of embroidery leading to creations that are in tandem with the narrative of design.
The removal of fugitive dyes involves an intensive process that give inherent characteristic to the textile. Treating with excreta of herbivorous animals, herbs of soapnut- Yucca elata, steaming for hours to remove impurities this slow curing gives the textile rich lustre and softness of flowing water.
Whilst the commercial market now works on speedy process involving chemicals, at Sangraha Sat́ (सत्) we value tradition and sustainability and constantly research and evolve the vernacular technique.
This technique has barely changed over years since Nawabs. The art of drawing with pen (kalam) on fabric is completely lost still at Sangraha we work on small collections that are hand drawn.
Blocks are meticulously carved out of sheeshan wood 'Dalbergia sissoo' by Block maker. The quality of engraving is determined by the size of motif and intricacy. The engraver uses icons for various stitches like phanda, murri, bijli... — a higher number of intricate stitch icon indicates a superior piece will be made.