Have you ever considered the benefits of linen fabric for your bed? A quick recap…..It’s breathable, moisture absorbent and has evaporating qualities which leaves it fresh and cool even after being slept on. As bacteria resistant it is ideal for people with skin diseases, and children. I particularly like the sound of a ‘light massaging effect’ it has due to its microscopic breaks throughout the fabric.
Though, for maintaining an impressive lifestyle I’m sure there are other conspicuous points to be noted i.e. it becomes softer and shinier with each wash. Is anti-static and can even preserve your skin’s natural pH balance! Not to forget it acts as a dirt repellent, and is twice as durable as cotton bed linen, lasting decades.
Having collaborated with international and local AD designers and architects on various projects, L’atelier de Ranjit Ahuja is dealing only with fine 100% linen for table cloths, runners, napkins, placemats, fabrics, bedspreads, decorative cushions. The man behind this eponymous label feels there wouldn’t be a better time than this to do a home makeover. Having spent an inordinate amount of time at home (in the recent past), one probably do so in the near future; entertaining close friends and family at the pad will probably be the best option left.
Taking advantage of this opportune moment I connected with a man who’ll ‘survive the virus’ selling luxurious table and bed linen to the well heeled. Read his views on conscious craftsmanship, changes to be brought about in the business due to COVID-19, and ofcourse the label’s USP.
MD: What is the USP of your bed and table linen other than offering bespoke fine craftsmanship?
RA: The Ranjit Ahuja Home Textile collection was envisioned marrying our traditional craftsmanship done by hand on sophisticated ‘Pure Linen’ fabric. You’ll notice our products have a refined cosmopolitan subtlety.
For two decades now, I have continued to pursue the same “magic” formula without feeling compelled to diversify into blends, man-made fibres, machine embroidery, digital prints etc.
I believe “Simple done Perfect is never Simple”.
Realizing my clients’ desire for fine hand-made textiles or soft-furnishings of superior quality consistently, combined with classic designs worthy of being passed down generations, is my USP.
MD: What is conscious craftsmanship according to you?
RA: Whilst there are many buzz words around this theme in recent times, conscious craftsmanship was something I was probably intuitively aware of at the inception of my eponymous label, in late 1990’s.
As expressed, it was a conscious choice to select this fabric as the exclusive material for my entire assortment. It is known to have been used in ancient civilizations like Mesopotamia and Egypt, with references in the Bible. Was also significantly important to European economies and American colonies of the 18th century.
Well, Flax fibre is the oldest fibre used by humans.
Coming back, we rarely use neon and bright colors, minimizing the adverse impact of harsh dyes. Our embroidery yarns come from a family that has been making these for four generations. We prefer to engage with such vendors not only because their threads add beauty and value to our end products, but because we respect their centuries-old hand techniques and crafts.
Personally, I enjoy the strong bonds with niche and small vendors, where the craftsman, buyer and I know each other by name. For even my shopping both locally and during travels, my favourites are small artisanal vendors over the big names.
Quality = Sustainability, cannot be stressed enough. Equally vital is a firm business ethic and a moral compass. By imbibing these principles, the ‘karigar’, client and stakeholders, for the most part, have stayed loyal to us on this journey across various business cycles.
More than 20 years ago, I moved from New York City to Mumbai to create fabric, bed and table-linen. We are a boutique manufacturer that gives our clients both quality and luxury, sans any glamorous marketing. Our commitment is to take out time to craft something carefully by hand with natural fibres and textures.
MD: With new spending trends emerging due to uncertainties, how do you foresee your business to change?
RA: The priority will hopefully shift to an emphasis on surrounding oneself with ‘Style’ and not ‘Fashion’. Quality conscious, classic products are easier to live with – as one does not get tired of them so easily.
There is no simpler way to upgrade one’s home than with elegant decorative cushions, bedspreads and table-linens. Our products are available from stock and customization at L’atelier de Ranjit Ahuja, Colaba, Mumbai.
Through our work we are happy to support artisans, hoping to ensure their unique skills and historic knowledge are preserved.