The Satranji Project
When we think of satranji, most of us usually think of just rugs and mats — and perhaps, table runners. That's about it. But should that really be the case?
Rayana Hossain, director, Dekko Isho Group, thought out of the box regarding satranji, and launched the 'The Satranji Project' for her furniture brand, ISHO. Its Satranji series comprised of not just rugs, but chairs and ottomans as well! And it took the market by storm.
But of course, even before The Satranji Project, ISHO had already created a good reputation, striving to provide what a modern Bangladeshi household desires when it comes to furniture — backed up by rigorous market research and an innovative team of designers creating furniture that boast aesthetic designs and as well as functionality.
As for their satranji line, it is a happy marriage between heritage on one side, and style and modern living on the other. The age-old craft of satranji weaving in Rangpur goes back centuries. However, one may say that the glory days are over.
"Many among the current generation of craftspeople do not see any future, and thus they are not encouraging their children to follow onto their footsteps and join this trade," Hossain explained. "And hence to revive the craft, you would want to make the products relevant and appealing to people."
The Satranji Project started in order to pay homage to this heritage. ISHO's aim is to reinvent this unique craft by introducing it back into our lives.
That is not all. On one hand is of course promoting heritage, and on the other, is doing your bit for the environment. And ISHO's 'bit' is the idea of using fabric waste produced by the readymade garment factories in Dhaka, to recycle them and use them in the making of the chairs and ottomans.
"A lot of these wastes previously used to go untreated," Hossain informed.
The Satranji Project, therefore, sprung out of these two noble causes — promoting heritage and protecting the environment.
And with the ISHO twist to it, the Satranji ensemble turned out to be a huge success. "It was well-accepted by our customers. All the furniture sold out in no time!" Hossain said.
However, if you are regretting that you have missed your chance, be a little patient, as you can get them again in about three or four months.
"We are considering expanding the product range as well, to include furniture such as couches and divans," Hossain said.
With the awe-inspiring satranji tapestry and ISHO's sense of style and functionality, the wait is worth it!
Photo courtesy: ISHO