Irthi Focuses On Region’s Handcrafting Heritage With Launch Of Two New Collections At Design Miami/ Podium X Shanghai

SHARJAH, (Pakistan Point News - 18th Nov, 2021) Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, an affiliate of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, is broadening the global appeal of the cultural heritage, knowledge and skills associated with traditional crafts of the region with the launch of two curated contemporary collections on a leading international platform renowned as a showcase for limited-edition and bespoke design.

The collections that were launched are part of Irthi’s Series, which highlight the sophistication and exquisite detailing of luxury handmade crafts made their debut at Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai, that concluded in the Chinese city, Shanghai recently. Teaming up with Design Miami, a global authority for collectable design, Irthi is showcasing the timeless elegance of its uniquely designed yet functional objects which weave together the crafts heritage of the region, alongside exceptional historical and contemporary art and design objects from design and art galleries across Asia.

At Design Miami/ Podium x Shanghai, which ran until 14th November, Irthi unveiled the "Zenobia Collection" drop, which initiated a dialogue between two crafts from different regions - Emirati Talli and Lebanese Marquetry, and the "Thaya Collection" drop, which pushed the boundaries of the Emirati Safafah weaving heritage.

Reem BinKaram, Director, NAMA, said, "Irthi has emerged today as a hub of global crafts collaborations under the vision and guidance of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of NAMA. Our presence at the forefront of design-led events on the world stage gives greater momentum to our efforts in revitalising and safeguarding the region’s intangible cultural heritage."

The NAMA Director added, "Our new collections merge Emirati and regional craft traditions with artisanal techniques and cutting-edge design to permanently forge a connection with our past, even as it takes the indigenous handmaking heritage of the region into the future."

A collaboration between Irthi and Levantine designer, Nada Debs, the Zenobia Collection weaves the worlds of Talli and Marquetry together to create an intricately crafted interpretation of the vessels traditionally carried by Bedouin tribes.

Using palm fronds (khose), camel leather, and recycled felt, Irthi’s Thaya Collection represents a contemporary interpretation of Safeefah (palm frond weaving) homeware items traditionally found in Emirati homes. Design, colour, material, and pattern come together to create modern lifestyle narratives where traditional homeware pieces and accessories are transformed into sculptural pieces.

For its Thaya Collection, Irthi has collaborated with Hala Kaiksow to create a woven Safeefah tapestry featuring a Bahraini hand dyeing technique. Irthi has merged Emirati Safeefah with camel leather to create functional products featuring a feather effect in collaboration with the designer Ghaya Bin Mesmar.

The Collection also features an Irthi-Studio Lel collaboration to create a stacked stone and Safeefah vase.