Meet the Designer – Antara from Mayaweaves

“When you do things from your soul , you feel a river moving in you , A JOY.” Rumi

Story of Maya weaves but first the music .


Antara’s career began as an Investment banker with a boutique bank in New Delhi but what followed soon was her true calling in life. “I had been in touch with lot of art and artwork and learned to appreciate them.I would not say that it came just suddenly, I would believe that I had it in my genes coming from a Bengali family of artists and poetry. I had learned Kantha embroidery along with a cross stitch, chain stitch, crochet , jute craft since the age of seven, from my grandmother. These were my favorite pastime and hobbies.Also, coming from a belt where cotton is consumed and used at large, the mul, jamdani, handweave… all followed naturally”


 “I had been associated with a non profitable organization which was founded by my mother and aunt, for the last 8 years.Though we had been working with this craft and craftsmen since my aunt Mrs. Mahamaya Sikdar (whom I call my ma) is a President Award winner for Kantha embroidery, the concept of marketing these products came through with Maya.We had been exhibiting in craft museums, Art museums and buyers all through ” – Antara
 handwoven jamdani sari( handwoven jamdani sari)
handwoven khadi jamdani dupatta( handwoven khadi jamdani dupatta)
Maya Weaves is a cluster of 300 women embroiders. They have set up their  own weaver group with the men of their house which gives them a complete solution in not only promoting handcraft but also handloom. They also provide very basic education to the small children of these household. You will actually have to see how these have affected the standards of lives of their group. They have also opened bank accounts for these women and help them start their independent business.
kantha dupatta in handwoven tussar silk( kantha dupatta in handwoven tussar silk)
Tussar silk hanpainted madhubani dupatta
( Tussar silk handmade madhubani dupatta)
“Maya has to and must work for a lot of women and also towards the craft and textile of West Bengal. Keeping that in mind,we are working towards training and working with more women, to the tune of a thousand plus women, adopt a village for weaving and embroidery,promote craft related tourism. Shows, exhibitions will definitely be our push.”
“It gives me immense pleasure to see how more and more people are talking about ,sustainability, comfort, simplicity,craft,Eco fashion ,make in India and lot of things. They are promoted and talked about by the ace designers, fashion houses, fashion icons and all of them are doing it brilliantly.I wish to have them all dressed up in Maya as a note of gratitude.However,If I have to pick one , I wish to see Sabyasachi wearing Maya weaves.Yes, that’s comes from a bong connection and also because of his immaculate work and taste .” – Antara
“Personally my style inspiration comes a lot from all Anita  Dongre works.I find it a beautiful amalgamation of contemporary fashion and traditional crafts. “
“I would love a handmade cotton or a linen in beautiful weaves or  prints. I love Kanjivaram. I love Andhra Ikat,a Bagru block print in Indigo or a cashmere. But of course with my own little bit of twist in it…which is spontaneous. I love  Kantha embroider and you actually have to get into it to find out how much more can be done with kantha. Like there are so many patterns, styles, placements that is done with Kantha, it always takes me by surprise.”
The direction and density of running stitch creates a unique tonality and rippled effect. The design usually  relies on a central circular form occupied by a many petaled lotus  flower and four mango or tree motifs to mark the four directional axis.
handemroidered handwoven mul dupatta( hand emroidered handwoven mul dupatta)
Maya weaves has had a strong customer base for years. Apart from that they supply to state and central craft emporiums, lots of International buyers, handicraft stores and work on customizing for India’s leading designers like Abraham & Thakore, Anita Dongre, Rina Dhaka, Raghavendra Rathore to name a few.
 cotton handwoven sari( cotton handwoven sari)
“We love our work and we believe that we are doing it beautifully and we want to sustain it.In fact all the designers, government, the media , the celebrities, writers, bloggers all are doing lovely work in celebrating our handicraft and handloom.the more we use it as a consumer,So all I would want is that we all should appreciate the work and atleast give it a try, as a customer. Every piece is a work of art and  I am sure no one can ignore the beauty in the innocence and simplicity, they provide”
Antara you have embarked on a beautiful journey. Wishing much success to Maya weaves in the times and years to come .
 Follow Maya Weaves on Facebook here and Instagram here .
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