When it comes to Indian art and design, it really isn’t possible to discuss everything in a few hundred words! So, in continuation to the previous post on this topic where we discussed bandhini, ikat, kantha, batik and kilim, let’s take a look at some of the other incredible textile styles that the country has to offer!
Of course, this is not meant to be an exhaustive list, since the variety of beautiful fabrics and textile treatments that have become synonymous with India would take up a whole book. Still, there are a few that deserve a mention, especially since they are perfectly suited for home and interior decor.
1. Warli – This art form that originated in Maharashtra is becoming a major player in the textile design game today, for apparel as well as interiors. The ‘stick-figure’ styled representations of village life and everyday activities are presented with a simplicity that is childlike and endearing. Usually painted with light colors on a darker background, Warli painting has captured the hearts of design enthusiasts in a big way!
There is no shortage of applications for this beautiful textile treatment, since you can use it for pillows, bed linen, lamps and much more. You can even paint these lovely designs on walls outside or inside the house. If you want to capture the effect, try a hand-painted Warli border on a mirror frame, fabric lamps or even table linen!
2. Zari – This is possibly one of the most famous textile embellishment styles associated with India. Gorgeous designs created with metallic thread form breath-taking borders for saris, accessories and now, home decor too. The opulence and beauty that zari defines is making it the textile treatment of choice for luxury home decor and interiors!
Fashion and interiors design gurus all over the world have been using zari-adorned fabric in heavily embellished clothing, bags, shoes and home decor accessories for years now. In India, zari was traditionally reserved for bridal and festive clothing, but you can make a statement by using it in the home too. Handmade book covers or folders with zari on the spines can create a beautiful effect for your book shelves!
3. Kalamkari – The art of kalamkari (kalam – pen, kari – craft) is one of the oldest forms of textile treatment that exists even today. The practice of telling a story by painting it on cloth with vegetable dyes and makeshift tools is one that has fascinated the whole world for decades now.
Indian kalamkari artists in Andhra Pradesh still practice the original technique, immersing the textile in resin and milk to create an extra-shiny effect. The revival of this beautiful and intricate art form has seen it being used in high-fashion clothing and home decor. Add a touch of old-world charm to your bedroom or living room with framed kalamkari panels!
4. Patchwork – The gorgeous patchwork quilts that we see at any handicraft exhibition are probably the most famous examples of this textile design technique. While patchwork masterpieces can be created with any fabric at all, the most popular ones are those made with recycled silk saris.
Whether they are embellished with beads, sequins and embroidery, or simply coordinating pieces stitched together, patchwork accessories are definitely attention-grabbing. A plain couch with a selection of colorful patchwork cushions would liven up your home in an instant!
Of course, there are many other beautiful textiles that are unique to India, which you can use as design inspiration for interiors. Block-printed animals, paisleys or floral designs, intricate wool embroidery, beadwork and Shisha mirror-work are some examples of breath-taking craftsmanship that have the whole world going ga-ga.
When you use Indian textiles to adorn your home, make sure you pick the right furniture and accessories too. Balance them with natural wood furnishings, like carved wooden swings, low seating and plenty of pillows. Lamps, decorative figurines, wall art and fixtures should all complement these fabric choices that are rich in color, pattern and texture!
CC Header Image Courtesy: Shashwat Nagpal on Flickr