Sarthak Sahil Design Co fashions the vibrant and quirky Pom Pom chairs out of fabric waste

APR 24, 2020 | By Sarthak Sengupta
The Pom Pom Katran Love and Pelican chairs

Playful, multicoloured and adorably shaggy—our katran chairs repurpose production waste, using the fringes that form pom-poms. Katran means small pieces of leftover colourful cloth. It is the by-product of fabric mills, usually cotton or georgette. These pieces are collected by rural communities and spun into ropes which are then used to weave traditional Indian day beds (khatiyas).

We came across this material while designing an interior project in Rajasthan, where it was being sold as an alternative to the expensive coir ropes used in day beds. Essentially, the process involves using old rags, which are collected and turned into ropes. Using this procedure as our blueprint, we contacted local cloth mills in Rajasthan that were generating large quantities of cloth trimmings as waste. These scraps were clean, mostly in fast colours and could be segregated by shade and material. We partnered with local communities to collect this waste and asked them to segregate these by colour and spin the pieces into ropes.

This endeavour is about using the vibrant material or katran in an innovative way to create a collection of contemporary furniture and products that are sustainable as well as aesthetic, while having a glocal appeal. On an average we upcycle around four to six kilograms of cloth trimmings per single seater. The pom-poms are created by carefully knotting each individual string to the weave of the chair. The frame is handcrafted, while the weaving is done by traditional daybed artisans, thereby helping improve opportunities of employment.

Unapologetically quirky and rainbow-hued, the cosy and eco-friendly katran chairs are a great conversation starter. Today, the Earth has forced us to rethink the way we live. Now is the time to reinvent our world from the residue of our past habits. As designers, we should come up with solutions of a sustainable and ethical character for our needs and aspirations.