Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council is an initiative established as part of the NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of NAMA.
The council promotes traditional crafts to bring them into the 21st century, engaging with artisans and practitioners to incorporate new technologies and practices that create modern narratives and open up new markets. Its mission is to empower women economically and socially across the Middle East, North Africa, South East and Central Asia regions.
A carpet made of 100% wool and hand-woven by skilled artisans in Afghanistan, Misnad is a modern interpretation of the distinctive narrow bands and geometric patterns of AlSadu weaving, a traditional style that employs colour and pattern motifs as decorative elements but also suggests social artifacts and cultural values. The main inspiration was drawn from the two-toned dotted triangles known as Uwairyan, which are said to represent heaps of dates or sand dunes. It is attached to a black leather bench to provide a variety of seating options. Aljoud Lootah is an Emirati multidisciplinary designer based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with work exploring the realms of product design and personalised corporate gifts. With a keen interest in the idea of contrasts in form and function, she composes her creations by mixing traditional silhouettes and concepts with modern elements. Patterns, folds and geometric shapes are at the heart of her inspiration. Her creative drive comes from a passion for detail, aesthetics, and experimental approaches to materials and techniques. As a product designer, she has been involved in projects that distinctly interprets the Emirati culture, traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design.