It’s not everyday we meet people who have found a way to funnel their travels and adventures into something beautiful and tangible that others might experience through their design. Yet this is exactly what Sarah Fotheringham and Maninder Singh of Safomasi, a homeware and accessory brand, have done. Noteworthy for the striking narratives they weave into fabric and maintaining a balance with a more contemporary aesthetic, the duo’s style is both bold and comforting in its authenticity. We teamed up with Tenzing Lhyagyal, who trained his lens on their warm studio and products, while we chronicled the brand’s work, space and processes through a small but revealing interview.
Their collection’s journey begins the minute their travels start. When they return, they start conceptualising prints inspired by elements that left an impression–-the landscape, the mood, the details that they noticed. Everything that tells the story. Safomasi tells us, “The ‘Safari Tracks’ print from our latest collection illustrates a cross hatched pattern of the foliage, with tigers dotted amongst the clearings and surrounded by tourists in jeeps and on elephants. That print is paired with ‘Tracks and Trails’ where we’ve drawn looping tracks of pug marks and tyre trails, with jeeps speeding around. The two prints tell the story of our experience on safari, circling the park on the look out to spot an elusive tiger.”
Most of their products are made of cotton and cotton linen, which is sourced raw. It is then processed and dyed with azo free dyes. Safomasi’s illustrations are screenprinted by hand with water-based inks onto the fabric. For this to happen, the illustrations are dissected and each colour is printed separately to slowly build up the design. “It can be quite a long process –some of our designs have 10-13 colours,” they admit. “Once the fabric is printed it’s heat treated to fix the print, then depending on the item the fabric is washed and softened before it’s made into products by our team of in-house tailors in our New Delhi studio.”
Most recently, Safomasi has expanded their lifestyle collection with a new range of silk scarves and bomber jackets. Additionally, their prints are now available as fabric by the metre—leaving it completely up to you to do as you please with the material. Turkey is next on their bucket list, and we know we’re waiting to see what becomes of this! Scroll on to get an exclusive feel of studio Safomasi.
All Images Courtesy: Tenzing Lhagyal