A stitch in time
An exhibition woven together by noteworthy craftsmen from the country hopes to acquaint attendants to the world of embroidery
Can you imagine the result of the best craftsmen from Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maheshwar, Kutch, Kolkata and other parts of the country working their magic on a piece of embroidery? Deepa Mehta, founder of an online contemporary Indian textile label called Queen of Hearts, has been facilitating this creative fusion for five years.
Her company offers embroidered sarees, blouses, accessories and other bits and bobs made out of fabric, like tote bags and quilts, through its website. Meanwhile, she also believes in having one-on-one interactions with customers, so as to get them to touch, feel and try out the material before making a purchase.
So, she organises pop-up exhibitions that display her creations in the form of embroidery, weaves and other experiments with cloth that tell the story of how a saree or a quilt came to be. The upcoming one is a three-day pop-up to be held next weekend, which will feature two new sarees. People can also carry their hand-me-down sarees that have a sentimental value attached to them but are too old and jaded to be worn. They will help revive them as a new one, dupatta or kurta using patchwork or by hybridising it with new fabrics and patterns.
The concept behind the creations is Mehta's — from the material and the motifs to the colours, designs and borders. She draws inspiration from everything around her, including travel, nature, books, the film industry, fashion and what she sees women wear in their daily lives.
"The cloth becomes my canvas," she shares. The process of putting together the outfits is gradual, including stages of ideation, visualisation, sketching and then weaving. Mehta shares her vision with a team of embroiders, tailors and karigars settled across India, who having embroidered the material, send it for another round of detailing. Since a lot of her buyers are young, working women, the designs materialise from contemporising traditional weaves.
"I have worn handloom all my life and why wouldn't I?" Mehta asks, referring to India's rich tradition of weaving and embroidery. "There is a huge demand for it among foreigners. It's about time we treasured it, too."
On September 20 to 22, 12 pm to 7 pm.
At Queen of Hearts, 10, Kalyan Niwas, Chunabhatti, Sion.
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