Indian textiles have never really been just fabrics for clothes. Existing since before the 5th millennium BC, they are a visual medium of storytelling and a celebration of our rich cultural diversity. They are a labour of love.
On the one hand, the silks from Benaras and the cotton from unpartitioned Bangladesh have been a reflection of the socio-political aura, the prevailing economic trade practices, and the ecological landscape of the region and the country. On the other hand, gold Zardosi thread work from the Mughal period and intricate Chikankari from Lucknow have empowered female communities for generations.
From the Victoria & Albert Museum to The Metropolitan Museum, several credible institutions all over the world have acknowledged and appreciated the unparalleled depth of Indian textiles over the past few decades. In the last few years, many curated collections in India have celebrated Indian textiles and reminded modern India of our cultural and artistic wealth. We shine the light on a few select Indian brands that have been proudly championing our textiles and craftsmanship.
WARP ‘N WEFT
This Sagarika Rai-founded brand is an ode to the cultural legacy of Benaras and its artisans. It is a defining platform that brings Indian textiles the recognition they deserve. From strong Katan silks and shimmery Kora silks, to handloom pure cotton and prestigious pure chiffons, Warp ‘n Weft is a celebration of Indian craft.
Built on the promise of honouring age-old weaving customs and local artistry from Benaras, Bengal, and Madhya Pradesh, this Brijesh Gupta-founded brand has more than 500 looms and brings together traditional craft and modern aesthetics. Housed at the iconic building— Mélange, Altamount Road in Mumbai, this Dharki boasts a stunning array of saris, odhnis, and dupattas in sheer Katan and Mashru silks.
Under the creative directorship of Ashwin Agrawal, this Kolkata-based brand weaves India’s rich textile history into cutting-edge European couture silhouettes. Using pure silk and tulle fabrics sourced from France and Italy, this label marries India's craft with Western glitz, making Indian textiles truly arrive on the global luxury scene.
The Sangeeta Kilachand label was born out of its founder’s insatiable curiosity about art, architecture, travelling, and traditional folklore. It hits the perfect sweet spot between old-world opulence and modern, decadent regality. With a keen focus on research, uniqueness, fabric, and silhouettes, Sangeeta Kilachand celebrates the rich tapestry of Marodi embroidery, zari, and natural dyes from Gujarat’s Kutch district through her creations.
OM CHANDRA OM
A result of the cross-cultural love story of its founders, Singapore-based fashion designer Maggie Chan and her charismatic Indian partner B Dumra, Om Chandra Om, is a celebration of Chan’s understanding of cultural roots and Dumra’s rich heritage. The brand redefines ethnic wear with a contemporary flair to curate a radiant, elegant, yet innately strong wearer’s persona.