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Supplier Rajboori Looks Ahead

When organic linens supplier Rajboori was accepted into the September 2009 Maison et Objet show, it was another first in a year of firsts.

The company made its trade show debut this past January at the New York International Gift Fair — and was a finalist in the home textiles best new products contest for the bedding category. Rajboori featured quilts made by a community of weavers in a village in India from cocoons of wild or semi-wild silkworms that are allowed to live out a full life cycle. The dyes used are azo-free and the quilts are sun-dried.

Shortly thereafter, Rajboori's bedding was selected to appear on Time magazine's "Green Design 100" list. In May, HTT's readers voted the bedding the Best Organic/Eco-Friendly product introduction in the semi-annual TiA awards competition.

"We're taking it one little step at a time," said company founder Mitun Chakrabarti. A business major at Georgia University, she began her career as a project manager for a software company working with international clients. But that was not her passion.

"Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to do something with design," she said.

Born in Calcutta, she felt that India produced "so many beautiful things that don't get exposed." Working with industrial designer Stephen Burks of Brooklyn-based Readymade Projects, Chakrabarti settled on an artisanal method of silk fabric production that results in a soft hand. The full line includes quilts, duvet covers, shams and coverlets.

"The pieces can be inter-mixed. The Euros can be pared down to 20-by-20 for a couch. You can use them in the living room or the bedroom." she said.

The quilts, which have more than 200 pieces individually hand-cut and hand-sewn together, retail from $700 to $800. "They are priced comfortably for the quality of the product," said Chakrabarti.

Rajboori has U.S. sales representation in the United States., Europe and Dubai calling on boutiques and upper-tier department stores. "We are targeting people with discerning taste and an appreciation for artisanship," she said.

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