Above all crafts, India is a mecca for fabric lovers. Textile designers and creatives have been flocking to the country for years to be inspired by India’s rich textile history in trade and innovation, and its vibrant bazaars brimming with roll after roll of covetable fabrics, trims and beading.
When researching for this post and exploring the collections of Indian textile houses, I began to remember the sheer amount of textile products that adorned our home in India.
For example, you’d think bedcovers would be a self-explanatory idea, but when I searched Western stores they were hard to find. A bedcover is a plain, printed or quilted sheet that goes over the entire bed to protect the duvet cover and pillows, because the Indian bed doubles as place to entertain family, friends and neighbors! Other popular textiles found in Indian homes include ethereal voile curtain panels — a necessity for balmy temperatures — and these can be found in every conceivable pattern and color you can think of. Also, guest towels abound — tiny towels with embroidered motifs — because Indian families have a lot of guests.
With a new crop of Indian designers tapping into the centuries of resources their country has to offer, today I am sharing the work of 10 Indian designers making collections out of India.
is a little family-run studio based in Bangalore producing whimsical illustrated textiles. Their new dreamy indigo blue collection "The Sea and I" is inspired by the ocean with complementary cushions - some illustrated with rolling waves and others a deep indigo with patterns of splattered sea foam.
extend a love for textiles into lighting with fabric covered floor, table and wall lamps showing off their creative patterns. I love this elegant "Kolam Constellation" Wall Lamp featuring a delicate illustration inspired by the auspicious design that Tamil women draw in front of their homes using rice flour or chalk every sunrise and sunset.
Made in two layers, the top panel is hand-printed in dark blue on a lovely textured cotton called Matka. The panel below this has a 2-inch detailing of luxurious banana fiber.
I'm so proud to include my own very newly launched brand to this list -
, launched with my textile designer mother Reena Ray Wahi. Our line pays homage to the multi-faceted city of Bombay with a collection of patterned home textiles that are a fresh interpretation of India’s rich craftwork. The collection combines traditional techniques like bandhani, block printing and embroidery for a new audience. Our hand-tied Indigo Bandhani cushion covers here are backed and edged in a tactile woven stripe jacquard and adorned with an oversized tassel.
hand stitched and woven "Ikat Dhaga" runner is designed for long and languorous candlelit gatherings with the doors and windows thrown wide open, welcoming in the summer scent. The runner is imagined to be used horizontally across the table joining the place settings of diners sitting opposite each other in lieu of placemats.
's abstract print textiles which span, cushions, rugs, tea towels and hot water bottles are typified by a celebratory use of color, bold screen-printing, hand weaving, embroidery and quilting. This stunning "Jungali" rug is hand-tufted in India and resplendent in pastel hues.
Another stunning rug from
in soft pastel tones with an argyle pattern. This kilim is hand-tufted by skilled artisans in India.
has an extensive range of modern collections inspired by traditional Indian designs, Paisley prints, Rajasthani motifs and classical embroidery. My favorite, however, is this elegant and monochrome Phulkari collection in muted hues and rustic textures. Coming from the northern region of India known for its farming and vibrant culture, Phulkari is a rural tradition of handwork that is inspired by geometric patterns in flowers.
This elegant Phulkari bedcover from
highlights the subtle geometric embroidery in a natural hue. I love the knotted tassel at each end to add weight.
Every time I visit
's site I get lost in a wonderland of colors and patterns driven by narrative and vibrant spirit; the fresh, almost Scandinavian-inspired prints never fail to draw my minimalist design self in. This collection of cushions, rugs, upholstery fabrics and lampshades is in fact titled "Wonderland" and inspired by exotic and surreal flora and fauna.
Inspired by the Indian craft of patching together coverlets with tiny hand stitching, this lampshade from
traces the print the delicate Kantha stitch.
These Summer Haze cushions by
blew my mind when I stumbled across them. Dreamy, painterly patterns are intricately hand-embroidered in calming shades of navy, teal and olive.
Salmon Pink and Blue Summer Haze cushion by
The Anhad Shop
creates fresh home textiles with traditional Indian motifs. This indigo collection of cushion covers in khadi silk fabric is decorated with softly worn hand block geometric prints.
The super sweet "Indienne Chintz" collection from
is an ode to the revolutionary 17th-century printed and painted calico from India. The collection celebrates and revives the beautiful motifs of flowers and fruits.
Drawing from a rich heritage of Indian crafts,
Abraham and Thakore's
womenswear collections have been showcased at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. Their recent extension of home textiles is elegant and luxurious. This Tussar cushion cover is handloomed and embroidered in black polka dots.
This striking cushion with layers of subtle details from
Abraham and Thakore
features dip-dyed applique stripes over a toffee & black combination.
New York-based, India-born designer
designs feature a collection of handcrafted textiles that mix traditional Indian craft techniques with modern, geometric forms. This stunning "Maya Ice Cream Rug" is hand-woven by artisans in Western India.
I love the striking black, marigold and pastel palette of this "Ira Kite" geometric pillow from
It is hand-embroidered in wool in North India.
I love the sentiment of this next collection because I have been thinking recently that design doesn't celebrate the color pink enough.
is a brand that strives to be at the forefront of contemporary Indian design with its modern collections rooted in poetic Indian tradition. Their new PINK collection of table-linens "symbolizes fidelity, pure sentiments, sweetness. It is young, sincere, soothing." The sweet, rose-hued linens adorned with simple patterns completely change the ambiance of a table setting.
Inspired by the traditional Indian Bandhani craft,
has created this sweet and striking dotted BINDU design with central ochre dots screen printed on linen.