Formed under the aegis of the Lucknow Design Trust in 2016, the Kalhath Institute works on Indian embroidery artforms from Uttar Pradesh. It is the brainchild of Maximiliano Modesti, a craft and fashion entrepreneur who works mostly out of Paris and Mumbai. The Kalhath Institute has been playing a major role in turning Modesti's visions into reality by promoting creativity and innovation among local artisans through apprenticeship under professionals.
Cultivating imagination for innovation
The history of craft in India can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization and its evolution has been in coherence with the regional sensibilities of the artisans. However, during the colonial era, the authentic embroidery arts of Lucknow such as Chikankari and Zardozi, entered a period of stagnation, as far as innovation in design was concerned.
Briefly re-kindled during the Swadeshi Movement, the creativity of these art forms died soon, around the 1960s. With an aim to revive this imaginative spirit, Maximiliano Modesti started the Kalhath Institute. His belief is highlighted by his words- "Design and craft cannot live in isolation and one cannot use centuries-old design in craft, it needs co-working of people from both streams. The sustenance of artisans is important for any craft to thrive and this can happen through training, opportunities and giving them a voice to express."
Today, the Kalhath Institute offers two full-time programmes in order to enhance knowledge sharing between artisans and professional practitioners. The first programme is on Craft Innovation and Entrepreneurship which is suited for Zardozi and Kamdani artisans. The second programme is on Sangraha Embroidery and Product Design which focuses on Chikankari and Daraz artisans.
About the founder
Modesti has been working in the craft industry for over 25 years and aims at taking it to the next level through innovation. He is also the founder of Les Ateliers 2M, an embroidery design and craft excellence centre that is committed to Kalthath and caters to international brands like Christian Dior and Saint Laurent.
The Kalhath Institute endeavours that its efforts would lead to the financial independence and social well-being of artists, as they confidently practice their art through engagement and enhanced excellence. Follow the Kalhath Institute on their Instagram, Facebook and official website to stay updated with the latest developments.
-With inputs from Shivangi Garg