Jaipur’s Nila House is merging traditional craft and contemporary design

With a rich history of beautiful craftsmanship and textiles, there is surely no dearth of artisanal skills in our country. Despite that, it is still a struggle for Indian artisans to be recognised for their prowess. Most of them are unable to earn a decent livelihood and support their family. The newly launched Nila House Jaipur, hopes to change this by embodying artisans in its business model, and focusing on the preservation of hand-woven textiles and promotion of sustainable design processes.

The backdrop of Nila House is a refurbished traditional Indian home with and old-world charm. With an exemplary textile archive, library and workshop, this isn’t any ordinary space; it is a cultural hub that facilitates the conversation around celebrating India’s heritage of traditional craft.

Central courtyard at Nila House

Nila is the Sanskrit translation of blue, capturing the hub’s spirit for the natural dye and handloom traditions of India. So, the focus on indigo as the theme for Nila House’s inaugural collection is surely befitting. With chemical dyes and machine processes wreaking havoc on the environment, Nila House seeks to provide alternate solutions using all things natural and eco-friendly.

Cotton spinner from Kutch Gujarat working with organic cotton at Nila House

Another reason to love the space is Nila House’s artist-in-residence programme that provides a platform for creatives around the world to collaborate with the centre’s vast network of local artisans and weavers. The collections created through this process will be displayed at Nila House, proceeds from which support the development of this incredible programme. These sort of educational exchanges and innovative initiatives set this space apart from the monotonous environment of retail stores or shopping malls.

Image Courtesy: Nila House

Photographs: Lukasz Augusciak

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