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Six years ago, the 7th of August was designated ‘National Handloom Day’ to honour craftspeople and to create awareness around India’s craft heritage. India is in fact the largest producer of handmade textiles, but much of it either doesn’t show up in the domestic market or are difficult to procure. With e-commerce though, access to both producers and consumers has become a lot easier recently. And, yes, most people think of saris and scarves when you say handloom, but that’s a terribly restricted assumption. There are a number of brands producing elegant ranges of home linen, most are small-batch, so as soon as you read this story, you want to get to these beautiful things.
1. Manifest Design
Manreet Deol, founder of the sculptural jewellery brand Manifest Design, collaborated with artist Geeta, who embroiders beautiful designs on handloom fabrics. She creates simple patterns using a traditional style of Soof embroidery on towels and scarves. The end-result is a comforting product with a naturally wrinkled texture and detailed small patterns.
Image courtesy, Manifest Design
Image courtesy, RasLeela
2. RaasLeela textiles
This brand believes in a sustainable approach and sources handloom fabrics that are process-free, bleach-free, and dye-free. They make quilts and cushion covers among other things with such fabrics. The designs are a true example of contemporary expressions of craft.
3. Kara Weaves
Kara works with local weavers in Kerala to make lifestyle products. The overall look is chic and fun. If you are the kind of person who likes a bit of colour, then Kara’s collection is perfect for your home.
Image courtesy, Kara Weaves
Image courtesy, Seepi
Seepi’s products are made by traditional artisans, weavers, and several social enterprises. The designs have a casual vibe and go well with kids’ rooms. The peppy colours add a bit of fun to traditional fabric.
Weavorks offers a variety of designs in cushion covers, table runners, throws and other things. The products are made using recycled waste, that is hand-woven, hand-dyed, and handmade into basic everyday products including accessories like laptop cases. These come in rich natural colours and intricate weaves that feel as special as handmade cloth.
Image courtesy, Weavokrs
Image courtesy, Home Neera
6. Home Neera
Poornima, a textile graduate, started Home Neera with the intention of having practical yet intricate floor coverings for homes. Her designs, which she calls ‘art dhurries’, take inspiration from everyday life. Each rug is of practical sizes and suitable for various contemporary settings, such as a design-conscious kid’s room, perhaps.
ReCharkha upcycles waste plastic into pliable threads using handloom processes and converts that into home décor products like planters. A great example of the circular economy at work.
Image courtesy, ReCharkha
Image courtesy, Bia
bía is a young decor products brand based in Lamka in Manipur. The products celebrate a traditional fabric called puan. The designs reflect the town’s culture, and provides employment to local weavers.
This brand curates handloom fabrics from across India and converts them into beautiful home products. For people with an affinity for traditional motifs, this is perfect.
Image courtesy, Hathkargha
Image courtesy, Kandu
Perhaps you’re not a print-lover, who was about to give up hope you’d find something tactile, of natural shades and utterly subtle. You might fall in love with Kandu: An edited range of napkins, towels, and just plain yarn, made painstakingly in small batches in Karnataka. Kandu’s story is an education in what it takes to create a viable model of creation and consumption in the craft world.
Even though Rouka is primarily a fashion brand, they have a collection called ‘The Origins in Kerala’, which includes a variety of products like cushion covers and coasters. These products have a timeless traditional look with a modern touch and are made to order.
Image courtesy, Rouka
Image Courtesy, Metaphor Racha
12. Metaphor Racha
Using dyes that need a minimal amount of water for application and by including a lot of textile waste in their products, this brand produces goodhearted products. You can shop napkins, quilts, cushion covers and dhurries among other accessories in a variety of subtle but elegant designs.
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