Arjho’s Creation is a repository of Bengal's handcrafted saris
As a child, school teacher turned-fashion entrepreneur, Chaitali Sengupta was fascinated with saris that ultimately nudged her to launch Arjho’s Creation. Named after her five-year-old son, this small boutique stationed at the ground floor of her residence in Madhyamgram, is a storehouse of saris, showcasing the skills of Bengal’s handloom workers. Chaitali, looking resplendent in a creation of hers — a pomegranate-dyed jamdani — gave us a peek into her newest collection. Excerpts:
What made you give up teaching and start Arjho?
I have been wearing saris since a very young age, and have always been in awe of my mom’s well-stocked wardrobe. I opted for teaching but that did not seem fulfilling. However, it was only during my maternity leave that my creative instincts became more active and I decided to listen to my heart and follow my passion. Several visits to handloom clusters in Bengal and interactions with the craftsmen further bolstered my decision to go ahead with the plan. It got me further fascinated with the entire process of making a sari, especially dyeing. We, in fact, make it a point to share these interesting anecdotes with our clients.
Tell us about your latest collection.
There are kantha saris with rich threadwork with a few depicting Rabindranath Tagore’s Sahaj Path, stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata and even contemporary topics like Swacchbharat. We also have some gorgeous muslin jamdani, matka jamdani, cotton on tussar, cotton and silk in naturally dyed shades like rustic red, indigo, pink and yellow among others. Besides, there are big dupattas, masks and dokra and handpainted clay accessories.
Tell us about your future plans.
I am already working with looms in MP and Gujarat, and I am planning to tap other regions. Also, there are plans to open stores in Kolkata around Hindustan Park and Howrah.