Ritu Kumar debuts her Indian craft-inspired homeware line
- The designer says this line has been “a long time in the making”
- She reinvents her famed signature design aesthetic based on traditional craft techniques
India’s repertoire of traditional designs finds a much better place in homeware than on clothes, because most of them have been used as part of interiors in homes or palaces. Cushions or takias were always conceived keeping textiles in mind," says designer Ritu Kumar. Known for reinventing Indian textiles with her eponymous brand for the last 50 years, the designer is now set to debut her homeware line called Ritu Kumar Home.
The new line, says Kumar, has been in the making for a while. “In the days when I used to run my printing unit in Kolkata, whenever it rained, there would be times when none of the fabrics would dry. So, I would use whatever fabric was left over from after making saris to craft square pieces and print on them. We eventually made them into cushions. These are some things I have recreated now," she says. She would also employ women from Bengal’s villages to embroider Kantha on them.
In homage to India’s craft heritage, the collection includes cosy quilts and cushions in bright colours, featuring embroidery techniques like Kantha and zardosi. Rich and embellished textiles are offset with layers of translucent textiles such as mulmul. The crockery is printed with warm, earthy-hued patterns, and accompanied by vibrant stained-glass tumblers. The block prints hark back to the traditional classic floral and paisley motifs, among others.“The collection comprises elements based on different schools of design from across the country, such as those of Kashmir’s woven shawls’ patterns, Rajasthan’s booti and bagh prints, Andhra Pradesh’s Kalamkari prints, Uttar Pradesh jaali patterns, etc.," she says.
The project hasn’t been without its challenges. “It’s almost impossible sometimes to find certain crafts being printed the way they used to be. Fortunately, I was able to recreate them from references that are preserved at museums. It was also an exciting challenge to lay these prints out on materials such as ceramic, for the crockery," she says. A highlight of the new range is cutlery crafted from kansa (brass).
The collection is available at select Ritu Kumar stores and will be available on Ritukumar.com from 22 July.
FIRST PUBLISHED21.07.2019 | 11:20 AM IST
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