Saris, shoes and other items displayed at the new Jharcraft store in Ranchi on Sunday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Four times fabulous. Chief minister Arjun Munda inaugurated the fourth Jharcraft store in the capital on Sunday.
The four-storey store at Kadru More spread over 14,000sqft is more than a treasure trove of handicraft and handloom items designed by nearly 2.5 lakh artisans residing in the state — it marks a new chapter in Jharcraft’s shopping experience.
A smiling chief minister said Jharcraft was the link between rural artisans and national and international buyers. “In the times to come, Jharcraft will be a vehicle to strengthen rural economy,” Munda said.
He also browsed through the store that offered everything from eco-friendly silk and cotton shirts, salwar suits, accessories for men and women, silk and jute carpets, dokra knick-knacks, leather bags, organic home furnishing items in silk.
For gentlemen finicky about cuts and fits, the good news is that men’s wear is conceptualised by NIFT and designed at the state-of-the-art apparel unit at Tatisilwai.
Jharcraft managing director Dhirendra Kumar said that through this mega store — it has been open for customers informally since a couple of months — they were bringing handicraft and handloom items with new designs and innovations for customers. “All these products are the hard work of artisans trained by the designers of NIFT, Calcutta,” Kumar said.
The neat compartments make it easier to make up one’s mind and pick up what one is looking for. The store is divided into sections — men’s at the ground floor, furniture at second, home furnishing at third and women’s section at the fourth. The second floor has a coffee shop with light bites for those who find shopping a great appetiser.
The home proud can pick up export quality cane and bamboo furniture designed by Urban Haat artisans in Hazaribagh. Tribal artist Kalim Rahi from Silli also exhibits his paintings in the showroom, while around 300 Dumka artisans are displaying stone carving items.
Kumar throws in an interesting aside about stone carvings. “Earlier, they were confined to the sil and batta (mortar and pestle). Jharcraft intervened to make paperweights, pen stands, napkin holders look beautiful,” he said.
New items include pots in black clay designed by 100 Jasidih artisans. Officials are planning to start black crockery.
“Yes, you can say there is a creative churning at Jharcraft. We included handicraft items that needed revival such as black pottery, stone carvings,” Kumar said.
Those looking for an organic way to wellness can try out Neev products — shampoo, face wash, hair oil, turmeric — manufactured by Kuchai farmers. Other attractions are silk saris, leather shoes, lac, tribal, terracotta and pearl jewellery. “We also customise furniture, salwar suits and paintings,” Kumar said.