Never felt better

What started out as a leisure activity for Dhaara Kumar has now become a full-fledged business. The Ahmedabad-based designer, who makes quirky accessories out of felt, tells Phorum Dalal how her daughter is the inspiration behind Felt Paper Scissors

At first glance, Ahmedabadbased designer Dhaara Kumar’s accessories seem quirky. But look closer and you realise that they are made from felt, a textile that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibres together. Her products, which range from collar clips, bow ties to car hangings, boast of innovative designs and make quite an impression. The mother of one reveals how she found her calling through Felt Paper Scissor. Excerpts from the interview:

Dhaara Kumar
Dhaara Kumar

Q. How and when did you set up Felt Paper Scissor?
A. After my graduation in textile designing and home science from SNDT University at Santacruz, I moved to Ahmedabad to pursue a master’s degree in apparel design from the National Institute of Design. I worked at Bandhej as a designer for four years and eventually got married in Ahmedabad. I quit the job when I was expecting and took a break from work for two years. Having worked all my life, it wasn’t easy for me to sit at home. When my daughter, Meher, turned two, I started making simple accessories such as hair bands, clips and broaches from felt to match her outfits. My friends and family liked what they saw and started giving me orders. That’s how Felt Paper Scissor began eight months ago.

Bowties and festive broaches by Dhara Kumar
Bowties and festive broaches by Dhaara Kumar

Q. What products do you make now?
A. I make whimsical hair accessories and felt products for all ages, be it car hangings, doorknob hangings, collar clips, bow ties for men and women, and badges. I recently made a personalised wedding card for a client, and in the past, have even made finger puppets. I am open to all kinds of ideas.

Q. Why did you decide to use felt?
A. Felt is a very underrated material. It has a very raw earthy feel. I use natural felt, which is 100 per cent wool and
source it from Kashmir.

Q. Tell us about your design style.
A. As felt is not very easy to cut, I cannot make intricate designs. So I make simple forms. Most of my designs are inspired by nature and animals and have a quirky edge such as those of hedgehogs, cats, owls, eyes, skulls and flowers.

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