Designing from the Ground Up

Designing from the Ground Up

Since New Delhi native Ishrat Sahgal 11 IA returned home several years ago, she has been championing traditional Indian craft through a carpet-focused startup she playfully calls Mishcat Co (after the nickname her brother gave her as a child).

“Each state in India has four or five unique crafts that are so beautiful,” she recently told a Forbes reporter, “but they are fading away because people don’t know about them.”

Sahgal is tapping local artisans to hand-weave one-of-a-kind silk carpets using up-cycled yarns she buys from South Indian sari weavers. She then encourages clients to select a carpet around which she designs an entire room.

“It’s about using the floor as a canvas,” she explains, “just as the wall is a canvas for a piece of art.”

Since India’s textiles industry is largely male, Sahgal works to provide opportunities for women weavers and even offers training sessions. And so far the results have been absolutely stunning, with Mishcat’s modern design aesthetic catching on with customers across India and as far away as Hong Kong, the UK and the US.


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