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Home > Ashiesh Shah Selects: 5 Decor Brands That Epitomise the Finest in Indian Craftsmanship

Ashiesh Shah Selects: 5 Decor Brands That Epitomise the Finest in Indian Craftsmanship

Mumbai-based architect Ashiesh Shah is one of the India's most well-regarded designers, and is also an avid supporter of emerging Indian talents

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Architect Ashiesh Shah is a design virtuoso, whose masterful creations transcend the boundaries of conventional interior and architectural design. He finds beauty in simplicity and his genius comes from being able to masterfully mask a layered and informed narrative with an aesthetic that tugs at something fundamental in the viewer. Shah through his atelier and other platforms of curations and exhibitions has often helped shine a spotlight on the talented designers and product makers. 


1. Heirloom Naga

Jesmina Zeliang founded Heirloom Naga in 1993 with just one weaver, with the goal of reinventing traditional Naga textiles woven on the most ancient loom to cater to contemporary demands and styles. Today, the Nagaland-based brand acts as a pioneering force in keeping the cultural legacy of Naga loin-loom weaving alive. The brand also provides livelihood opportunities to more than 450 weavers from various Naga tribes to create a range of luxurious soft furnishings and textile products that are sought after by clients from around the world.

The brand’s legacy in Indian textile design extends even further, having played a role in creating awareness of locally sourced and environmentally friendly natural fibres in the handloom sector by reintroducing cotton and eri silk, at a time marked by a shift to artificial fibres. 

“Heirloom Naga is an embodiment of meticulous preservation of traditional Naga craftsmanship. Their unwavering commitment to the rekindling and exaltation of Naga tribes’ intricate art forms and techniques is deeply admirable,” adds Shah. 

Photo credit: Heirloom Naga


2. Vastrakala

Vastrakala was founded in 1993 by Jean-Francois Lesage, Patrick Savouret, Malavika Shivakumar and Sandeep Rao, with the aim of designing high-quality hand embroidered textiles. Working with a team of local craftspeople out of their workshop near Chennai, Vastrakala’s early years were dedicated to crafting embroidered textiles for interiors in collaboration with architects, designers, private collectors and more. In the late 90s, Vastrakala also began working on fine embroidered fashion textiles, catering to the needs of Lesage Paris, Jean-Francois’s celebrated ancestral embroidery house based in Paris. 

“The brand serves as a testimony to the harmonious marriage of contemporary design sensibilities with the time-honoured traditions of Indian textiles,” says Ashiesh. “Their adept fusion of age-old weaving techniques with modern aesthetics yields creations of profound cultural resonance. The brand’s offerings are a harmonious symphony of textures, colours, and forms, seamlessly uniting the past with the present.”

Photo credits: Vastrakala


3. Neytt

This luxury brand based out of Kerala crafts bespoke rugs and carpets, working with age-old craftsmanship techniques and using materials such as silk, sisal, seagrass, water hyacinth, lyocell, bamboo silk, linen, and recycled PET. 

Founded by Sivan Santhosh and Nimisha Srinivas, Neytt comes from a rich heritage of carpet making which dates to the founding of its parent company, the Travancore Mats and Matting Company in 1917. 

Neytt’s innovative work in the realm of sustainable design resonates with Shah. “The brand’s pioneering strides in the judicious use of eco-friendly materials, coupled with a steadfast commitment to reducing environmental impact, exemplify a forward-thinking philosophy,” notes Shah.

Photo credit: Neytt


4. Glass Forest

Founded by Pallavi Chandra and Deeksha Saini in 2018, Glass Forest crafts a wide range of glass-based products home decor pieces, light fixtures, wall murals and bespoke art installations. The New Delhi-based brand’s design language is guided by the relationship between glass and light. Each piece is meticulously designed and produced, extending beyond the boundaries and scope of traditional glassware.

“Glass Forest shows a mastery of the delicate medium of glass, transforming it into intricate and enduring works of art,” says Shah. “The juxtaposition of fragility and resilience in their pieces leaves an indelible impression on the observer.”

Photo credit: Glass Forest


5. Oorjaa

The lighting design company Oorjaa uses sustainable resources to handcraft distinctive lighting fixtures for homes. Jenny Pinto established the studio in Bangalore in 1998, as one of the first artisanal paper workshops in the nation. Oorjaa has experimented with and mastered the art of transforming waste and organic materials into stunning lighting fixtures that serve as a constant reminder to build a more sustainable future. 

Oorjaa’s collection features innovative light sculptures crafted using natural materials such as banana fibre paper and lantana. These biodegradable and renewable materials were designed into organic fluid-like shapes that sense motion, mimicking nature and emphasising the interconnectedness of all things in nature. “I think what they’re doing with crafts and how they’re mixing material and creating these incredible moments of design, they’re definitely one of my top selections,” Shah elaborates.

Photo credit: Oorjaa


Story by Sridevi Nambiar


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