The Extraordinary Textile Designers of India

I fell in love with textiles as a child, and I remember that, in particular, the colors and fabrics of India made a huge impression on me. There was something unique in their way of using embroidery, their classic dye techniques, their Kantha thread work that was created to protect the soul, and the madras plaids that have defined Indian fabrics for centuries. The colors of traditional Indian clothing to me represent a vibrant celebration of daily life.

We presently have eight Indian designer’s lines in our shop: InjiriMakuRaagYaviKashmir, Blessed, Amrich, and Me & Kashmere.

Here are some highlights of what has just arrived for Spring.

At The Top of the Page and Below: Injiri Designer Chinar Farooqui cultivated a love of hand-loomed fabrics while pursuing her master’s degree in textile design at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. Injiri takes its name from the term for southern India’s famed checkered textiles—also known as madras. From her studio in Jaipur, Farooqui has developed a network of hand-loom collectives across India, from Gujarat to West Bengal. Her perfectly constructed tunics, dresses, shirts and jackets are often embellished with unique embroidery and are made from 100% cotton or silk fabrics. They are an unusual cross between traditional Indian garments and a Western sense of style, color and sizing.

BelowInjiri cotton and silk dresses in beautiful patchwork madras, embroidered and dyed fabrics.

Above & Below: Injiri Summer dresses in white and cream-colored cotton with delicate embroideries (above). Below: a celebration of the color red in cotton and silk dresses.

Below: Injiri has wonderful slip/dresses in cotton and silk in many styles and colors. They make great under pieces for dresses and tunics; or can be worn as a summer dress or cover-up on their own.

Below:The Maku philosophy is based on the mindful practice of making things by hand. Maku is the Bengali word for “shuttle” (used in handloom weaving). Maku works intimately with the Jamdani brocade weavers of West Bengali and lets the fabric take the lead in the design process. They have developed their own unique style of taking traditional Indian design and adding a contemporary twist. Their coats, in particular, have been a big hit in our shop. Below are a few of their silk dresses for the Spring.

Below: Designers Amit Vijaya and Richard Pandav both graduated from the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India. The name Amrich is a blending of their first names, and the clothing is a blending of their vision to work with natural fabrics and create elegant, relaxed fit cuts with both a traditional and modern silhouette. The fabrics are gorgeous, and the workmanship is exquisite. Each dress comes with a beautifully made cotton slip.

Below: The word Yavi is Sanskrit for “the joining of the earth and the heavens.” This is reflected in their unusual approach to textiles and design. Two female artists, one from France and one from India, have joined forces to bring their artistry to the silk and cotton fabrics of the clothing they create. Their dresses, shirts, skirts, jackets and pants are beautifully made and represent a new direction in design from India. The silks have a wonderful flow and feminine soulfulness, and the fabric prints, inspired by their painting and unique dye techniques, have a vibrant life of their own.

Below: Raag is the sister line to Yavi (above). Created by the same two artists, it is slightly more traditional in style. Their dresses, shirts, and pants are wonderful and easy to wear. Here are some of the new Spring designs. To see them all, click on the Raag and go to their page on our website or scroll down to see more below.

Below: A cotton corduroy button-down coat/dress from Raag.

Above and Below: A gorgeous silk tunic in black and white with a flash of pink and (below) two silk dresses in wonderful painted prints by Raag.

Below: Raag a lovely drop waist, long silk dress in an exquisite Shibori hand-dyed design.

Below: Here’s a great new line we just received for Spring. Blessed is a 100% cotton, hand-dyed line of shirts, draw-string pants and button-down dress/cover-ups from India. A portion of the proceeds from Blessed’s sales provide food to 15,000 children in Shirdi, the home of 100-year-old yogi and spiritual teacher Babaji, who has personally blessed the line.

Below: Gorgeous 100% fine cashmere scarves made for Me & Kashmere through the Center for Excellence in the Kashmir Valley of India. They create sustainable employment for spinners and weavers and help to revive and protect the ancient art of hand-weaving techniques that are in danger of being lost. The focus is on hand spinning, hand weaving, and hand dying; the results are beautiful.

Below: Injiri makes a line of silk and cotton whisper-thin scarves and shawls that are hand-dyed and hand-woven madras fabrics with embroidery and embellishments.

Below: Many years ago, when we first opened our shop, a wonderful man appeared and asked if we would like to see items he had brought here from his home in Kashmir, India. From that day began a beautiful friendship, and he has come twice a year since then to show us extraordinary scarves, shawls, bedspreads and throws, jackets and coats. We called his line Kashmir, and we always have many of his treasures in stock. Here are a few below:

Above & Below: Kashmir: An exquisite “all-over” (referring to the level of the embroidered surface) scarf/shawl in greens, reds and purples on a black fringed wool fabric. And (below) a woven paisley design shawl with a black wool center and cream wool background borders at each end.

Below: And finally…..I had to show off the new Alquema dresses (not from India…. from Australia) that have arrived for Spring: Smash Pocket sleeveless and 3/4 sleeve dresses and coat dresses in great solids and printed laser pleated designs. More on the way soon!!!