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Translate-Handwoven Ikat – transforming the traditional handcrafted textile to comfortable timeless clothing and lifestyle

Translate-Handwoven Ikat, launched in 2012 is a concept apparel and home textile label in India with the primary focus in reviving the age-old art of Ikat by honouring the artisan’s know-how.We aim in transforming the traditional handcrafted textile to comfortable timeless clothing and lifestyle. 

Translate commits in giving new lease of life to Ikat craft technique by empowering and providing consistent employment to the sixth generation artisanal communities.We are dedicated in setting up the path of revival and resurgence of the glorious Ikat textile. 

Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business 

My journey is very unique and rare. Was born in Calcutta and brought up in the small town of Rourkela, pursued my studies in science but was always keen on fashion, retail & all things textile. I Pursued a short course in fashion designing and got a job at an export house in Gujarat. I married very young at 21 years of age, we were in Raipur and as we were a small family and the city was new I planned to start something from my garage like a workshop for clothing. New opportunities further opened when we came to Hyderabad in the year 2000. 

My first store was 100 square feet space at our very own restaurant, Little Italy, and gradually over the years, we expanded it to a 5000 square feet multi-branded store Anonym founded in 2006, which sells contemporary clothes for all age groups in Indian textiles. My husband, friends, and mentors were supporting me in this vision through all these years of hardships and joy. Eventually Translate ikat was founded in 2010 where we weave, design & retail all under one umbrella. Translate opened windows for exports which took us to Paris & London. My focus with my brand is to promote “made in India” both locally and globally. 

Success came organically over the years as I believe in word of mouth as the best goodwill having started in 2002.

The challenges the business/market is facing 

The top challenges we primarily face are powerloom and printed Ikat. Due to the fast producing nature of powerloom, the fabric is sold at cheap prices thus undermining our efforts to uplift this village craft. 

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Since Ikat weaving is an a village craft, the depleting number of weavers is also one of our main concerns. For the skilled work they do, weaver wages are low and therefore survival is a struggle. Weavers & their families are dwindling in the village who have not yet given up the skilful craft passed down through generations due to poor financial conditions. But unlike some, there are many who have moved away from the craft for more viable means of livelihood.