Our collaboration with Guin Handloom, a family run handloom fabric company based in West Bengal, began in June 2021.
West Bengal is famed for its traditional weaving techniques, fine muslins, unique motifs and highly skilled spinners and weavers, with specific weaves dating back as far as the 15th century.
Guin's weavers produced the muslin for our Beach Frock as well as the beautiful plain weaves in naturally dyed reds and browns for our first collection.
As a child, Somnath Guin would wake to the clacking sounds of the looms.
A family of weavers, his Grandfather, Father and Uncles would weave in the family home, selling the fabrics at local markets in West Bengal during the nineties under his Father's name, Matilal Guin.
In 2017, Somnath and his Father formed Guin Handloom together.
They now employ 70-80 weavers who specialize in both silk and cotton weaving, as well as Jamdani - a regional technique with intricate geometric motifs. Generally the men do the weaving, and the women do the spinning and bobbin-winding.
The Jamdani weaver's main income is derived from weaving, while the silk and plain cotton weavers combine farming and weaving for their livelihood. The weavers weave from their homes in remote rural villages, approximately 100 kms from Somnath's hometown.
Somnath studied Geography in College.
"Many people hope for government jobs after graduation, but the way things are these days, I instead decided to join the family business. It was already established, and I had been surrounded by traditional weaving since childhood. It's what I knew."
Somnath now oversees production and orders, travelling between his village and the weaver's villages, delivering new orders and picking up completed ones. His father works with the weavers, overseeing aspects of the craft and design development.