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The Telegraph decodes Aankona’s hand spun and handloom tales

Rooted in traditions the home grown brand opts for sustainable means of production with deft craftsmanship

Priyanka A. Roy | Published 15.02.22, 08:19 AM
1) On Diti Saha, the quintessential Bengali festive red-and-white nine yards woven in a Begampuri cotton weave designed with kantha stitch motifs all over. 2) Riya Bhattacherjee draped a light khadi cotton handwoven sari in maroon and white, made using azo-free dye. Perfect for the summer season knocking on the door! The simple sari is designed with the traditional jamdani motifs along the selvage and all-over buta work. 3) Sneha Ghosh channelled a simple and attractive look in  the wild berry pink long A-line dress designed with colourful jamdani motifs and drawstring pattern around the waist. An added feature to make the mood happier along with the merry colours on the dress? Pockets! 4) 5The traditional quilts by Aankona, one of their signature products, are woven by weavers from various places within and in the outskirts of the city. These quilts come in interesting motifs including board games and animals. 5)Bibriti Chatterjee cut a bright frame in the reddish-orange handwoven jamdani sari designed with triangular motifs along the border and alternate diagonal stripes in pink and golden on the pallu. The happy shades on the sari are perfect for a morning look during this spring wedding season! 6) Tanisha De posed elegant in a sandal-coloured handloom tussore woven with zari checks and red-and-white buta on the body. Geometric motifs and horizontal lines adorn the pallu.

1) On Diti Saha, the quintessential Bengali festive red-and-white nine yards woven in a Begampuri cotton weave designed with kantha stitch motifs all over. 2) Riya Bhattacherjee draped a light khadi cotton handwoven sari in maroon and white, made using azo-free dye. Perfect for the summer season knocking on the door! The simple sari is designed with the traditional jamdani motifs along the selvage and all-over buta work. 3) Sneha Ghosh channelled a simple and attractive look in the wild berry pink long A-line dress designed with colourful jamdani motifs and drawstring pattern around the waist. An added feature to make the mood happier along with the merry colours on the dress? Pockets! 4) 5The traditional quilts by Aankona, one of their signature products, are woven by weavers from various places within and in the outskirts of the city. These quilts come in interesting motifs including board games and animals. 5)Bibriti Chatterjee cut a bright frame in the reddish-orange handwoven jamdani sari designed with triangular motifs along the border and alternate diagonal stripes in pink and golden on the pallu. The happy shades on the sari are perfect for a morning look during this spring wedding season! 6) Tanisha De posed elegant in a sandal-coloured handloom tussore woven with zari checks and red-and-white buta on the body. Geometric motifs and horizontal lines adorn the pallu.

Rooted in traditions in terms of its design aesthetics and opting for sustainable means of production with deft craftsmanship are at the core of homegrown womenswear brand Aankona. Starting out its journey with the production of traditional quilts (kanthas), sustaining the rich culture, heritage and dexterous craftsmanship of the past era, the brand gradually expanded its territory by venturing into women’s wear with a workforce comprising mostly women artisans and weavers from various parts of Bengal and different parts of the country as well. Its range of womenswear includes traditional and contemporary silhouettes like saris, kurtis, dresses, scarves and dupattas that are all woven in handloom fabrics like cotton, linen, khadi and tussore, featuring designs like kantha stitch, Gujarati stitch and jamdani motifs.

The passion project of entrepreneur Sangita Maji, owner of Aankona, is being woven since 2012. “I started Aankona after coming to Kolkata from Mumbai, post my marriage. I wanted to do something on my own, from my home. I took formal training in designing and started my looms in 2016. Now, I have around 8,200 looms in Phulia and Murshidabad supplying handloom fabrics to many places around the country,” said Sangita, who retails her creations through online platforms and at exhibitions. “We started with quilting on handloom fabrics and gradually started making womenswear too. I learnt various Indian textile designs and weaving techniques by visiting the weavers in various parts of India and staying with them. ‘Aankona’ that comes from the word ‘art’ in Bengali, represents understanding, imagination, cooperation, artistic talent, tact and patience. These are the core values that our brand abides by,” added Sangita.

Pictures: Aankona

Find them at: www.aankona.com and aankona.design.studio(Instagram)

Last updated on 15.02.22, 12:48 PM
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