Yeh Hai Life!

Indian weavers + African Cotton = a UK designer to love

In Fashion on April 27, 2009 at 8:54 pm

By Antoinette Alexander

Luxury denim company Sharkah Chakra melds high fashion, traditional craftsmanship and eco-friendly manufacturing to bring to market high-quality jeans that not only look great but also benefit all of those involved.

The cloth for the brand, which uses Fairtrade organic cotton and a totally natural dyeing process, is weaved in a village in Tamil Nadu that dates back to more than four generations. Tamil Nadu is nestled in Southern India. There are 14 artisans who work exclusively for the denim company and each pair of jeans takes half a day to weave. Each weaver signs the jeans, representing the hands that made them. Among the weavers is Mr. Babu, who has worked as a hand-weaving craftsman for more than 30 years, a craft he learned from his father. Today, his work means that he is his own boss, which is a feat that no doubt makes Babu quite proud.

Sharkah Chakra founder Sara Simmonds formerly worked as a denim buyer at Harvey Nichols, London, and it was during this time she studied and developed a passion for the ancient techniques of natural indigo dyeing and selvedge denim previously seen only in Japan. Her zeal and research eventually led to the launch of the luxury denim brand’s first collection in the U.K. in September 2007.

Sharkah Chakra denim is available on the website http://www.sharkahchakra.com and in Harvey Nichols, Liberty, Browns and Matches.

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