Telling the Story of India – The New Indian Express

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Express news service

Indian fabrics have historically been more than just fabrics. They were sold in Europe, traded for spices in Southeast Asia, fueled the industrial revolution, became the symbol of India’s struggle for independence and the economic base of an intertwined modern world. There is a story here, and it’s fascinating when a furniture brand tells the story.

In 1664, the French East India Company brought the first of the colorful printed cotton fabrics known as indiennes, from India to France. These printed cotton fabrics were so popular that the word Indian entered the French language, referring not only to the fabric but to the clothes made from it. … an Indian-painted canvas scarf ”, a cotton scarf printed from India, ancestor of Hermès scarves. Indian canvas joins this thread of human history by telling stories through collections of furniture and wallpaper.

Akila Seshasayee and Pankaj Kehr

Founded in 2017 by Akila Seshasayee and Pankaj Kehr, Toile Indienne is an award-winning company and won the Lexus Design Award for Textile Design in 2018, the Elle Décor Design Awards for Best Fabric in 2019 and the Elle Décor Design Awards for Wall Finishes and upholstery in 2020. Inspired by the romance of history, craftsmanship and legends, what sets this brand apart is the way it discovers a theme and its potential: from an understanding of l socio-economic, cultural and design history of the subject. .

For example, let’s look at the Love & War collection, which is a lively re-imagination of Draupadi’s exciting swayamvara. Carefully illustrated, based on hundreds of historical references, the design is rendered in a Mughal miniature style in homage to Emperor Akbar, who commissioned the profusely illustrated translation of the beloved Indian epic – the Mahabharata – into Persian, called the ‘Razmnama’ or ‘Book of love and war’. Each character adds to the dramatic tension of this piece of decor, while the cool, romantic colors express the excitement of love and celebration.

The brand prints to order on pure, high-quality cotton, linen and linen, using sustainable manufacturing processes such as certified non-toxic dyes. In addition, custom printing ensures minimal waste ends up in landfills. Upholstery fabrics are tested according to the Martindale Rub test, which measures the durability and suitability of a fabric for various uses, frequently used for sofas, decorative accent chairs. or heavy commercial use.

India has several design houses in the field of interior decoration, and many do a great job, but the uniqueness of Toile Indienne is its roots in history and culture. The prints come to life after a meticulous process of research and documentation and thus go beyond mere surface decoration. The company sees its work as a way to document, comment, record, broadcast and celebrate our common Indian heritage, not as passing fancies, but things to be cherished because of the stories they contain.

India has a long tradition of kahaavats or lapidary idioms. The Kahavat collection is based on sayings and idioms taken from different regions and languages ​​of India. The diversity of languages ​​makes idioms fascinating, due to their quick wit and local flavor. Tamils ​​often describe what they consider an impossible task with the phrase “You can’t put butter on the head of a crane”. Cranes are notoriously difficult to catch; trying to put a pat of butter on someone’s head is an even bigger task. A lesson in life that makes people laugh involuntarily.

The writer is a well-known curator of luxury handcraft, and writes and speaks on craftsmanship and culture with their link to history


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