Prisoners as weavers

Satna Jail, Madhya Pradesh, India

Collaborated with local village women, prisoners of Satna jail, and a designer duo from Australia to design, develop and document a line of locally produced furnishings. Strategised development of a sustainable model to generate premium income opportunities.

Soolkaama worked with two textile designers from Australia – Trish and Nathan Bygot on this project and together we visited Satna Jail where prisoners are taught to weave rugs made from locally sourced wool. Local women in the village of Ichol, MP then embroidered motifs on them. The motifs were inspired by local designs found in and around the village and which were rooted in the cultural history of the place.

Soolkaama was engaged as a liaison between the designers and the artisans. They worked with the designers to help them document and understand the cultural history of the area. They worked with the artisans to help them realise the economic potential the knowledge they had of their local heritage. Furnishings created during the collaboration were presented in an exhibition in Delhi. They were priced at a premium and were sold out before the end of the 3 day exhibition.