Sarah Fotheringham and Maninder Singh: EDIDA India Fabric winner 2016

JUL 10, 2017 | By Tasneem Merchant
Left: The Peace Hands pattern showcases the popular gesture people in Japan make when being photographed. Right: Festival depicts street celebration which sees participation from ladies. The EDIDA winning Woven Kawaii collection features three ranges. Left: Sarah Fotheringham and Maninder Singh; Right: The Crane series features a pattern of origami cranes.
Over the years, Sarah Fotheringham and Maninder Singh’s homegrown label, Safomasi (a play on their names), has been quietly and consistently making a name for itself in the industry.
Their whimsical, intricately detailed patterns weave a story in warps and wefts, telling tales of the places they have visited and vistas they have seen. The art imitates life maxim holds so true in their case.
Take for instance their EDIDA winning Woven Kawaii collection, a canvas of their experiences in Japan. The fabric, usable on both sides, captures the essence of the culture while also being true to their brand’s style. We delve into the details of this award winning range.
ELLE DECOR: What is the best part about winning an EDIDA?
Maninder Singh: It is always great to be recognised for your work and coming from ELLE DECOR India, we feel privileged to have won.
ED: The best way to describe your EDIDA winning product…
Sarah Fotheringham: It is a collection of three patterns inspired by our travels in Japan and they have been reinterpreted on woven fabric. It features motifs that were influenced by the culture there.
MS: Take for instance our Peace Hands fabric, which features the V sign. In Japan, they make that gesture a lot when taking a picture. The crane design is taken from the origami bird and reflects the idea that 1,000 origami cranes bring good luck. The festival design is inspired by the street celebrations where you see a lot of ladies waving flags, wearing traditional kimonos with different patterns. Then you also witness samurais in their entire outfit on their horses. It’s what we experienced and saw. Its not the whole picture, but bits of different things that resonated with us.
ED:Take us through the process of creating your EDIDA winning product.
SF: We wanted to do the patterns in our own way but with a twist. It was also an opportunity for us to do something different.
MS: Basically, we experimented a lot and we thought about embroidery and other techniques for reproducing the same designs, but they have a lot of details. For these, we had to do a lot of samples. There were other motifs we wanted to do, but the weavers told us the details would be lost in the jacquard weaving technique. In the end, we decided to proceed with the three you see…
ED: Is there a fabric designer you admire?
SF: Josef Frank! But we are also inspired a lot by the work done by our friends. One of them has to be Hannah Bouldron.
MS: We work closely, so we do like similar people such as Klaus Haapaniemi
Karen Mabon.
ED: Two characteristics fabrics of the future will have…
SF: Self-cleaning fabrics would be so cool. Fabrics should also be able to tell some kind of a story.
MS: They should also be sustainable. In terms of durability and longevity. These would not need replacing so often!
Website: www.safomasi.com
Also read: 5 reasons you must participate in EDIDA 2017