On designer Rema Kumar’s upcoming exhibition in Chennai

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From Rema Kumar’s collection

From Rema Kumar’s assortment
| Picture Credit score: Shrikant Narayan Arora

In 2021, textile designer Rema Kumar was approached by Madhavi Katuri (a good friend who heads an NGO working with senior residents) to upcycle a 70+ 12 months outdated mushy muslin saree from the pre-partition days. “It had easy scallop embroidery alongside its edges that was executed by her mom. The saree was priceless due to the reminiscences hooked up to it. We needed to discover one of the best ways to breathe new life into it, and we agreed to make two dupattas,” says Rema, who’s all set to deliver her newest assortment, Textile Tales, to Chennai after three years. Been within the works for 2 years, she says it has a number of items “which have handblocks and detailing executed through the pandemic to interact artisans throughout numerous craft teams.”

Comprising sarees, dupattas, blouses and kurta items in different weaves of cotton, chanderi, uttara, Benarasi, amongst others, the main target is on Rema’s floor element methods on “completely different batik, ajrakh, kalamkari, handblocks, pipli appliqué, embroidery, dori work, ariwork, zardosi, patti ka kaam, kantha, lambani embroidery”. The spotlight, nonetheless, is a particular presentation by the New Delhi-based designer on her endeavour, Creating New Narratives, that kickstarted in lockdown.

From the Creating New Narratives collection

From the Creating New Narratives assortment
| Picture Credit score:
Particular Association

Aimed toward reviving valuable weaves, Rema explains how the phrases upcycle, repurpose, sluggish vogue, and sustainable residing “took on a brand new that means within the post-pandemic world”. “Although I’ve been doing saree makeovers over the previous a few years, we started reconnecting with our possessions, particularly our wardrobes, throughout lockdown. Within the course of, we found many sarees tucked away for years – some stained, just a few broken or torn, and others that individuals acquired bored,” she says, “One after the other, by means of hand blocks, embroidery and/or extra detailing, tons of of sarees have undergone unbelievable transformations because of this initiative. Aside from preserving valuable reminiscences and creating one-of-a-kind sarees, this has been an excellent step in the direction of accountable vogue.” 

As part of the presentation, Rema will share quite a few photos of those completely different transformations, and the challenges concerned in working round the issue areas resembling stains and tears. “The presentation will give guests a good thought concerning the potentialities of upcycling their sarees and textiles in the same method,” says the designer who’s encouraging guests to deliver their forgotten weaves for a saree makeover recommendation on the occasion. By means of the initiative, sarees have made their approach to Rema from throughout the globe. She says just a few have been transformed to dupattas, and others into patchwork quilts. “Throughout the lockdowns, the pattern of buying preloved saris by means of completely different on-line boards gained recognition. Consequently, many consumers have had them shipped to me for a makeover earlier than the sarees even reached their arms.” 

A snapshot of Madhavi Katuri’s upcycled saree

A snapshot of Madhavi Katuri’s upcycled saree
| Picture Credit score:
Particular Association

However her prized challenge until date continues to be Madhuri’s. “We used scallop embroidery alongside the 2 lengthy sides of 1 dupatta, and on the pallus of the opposite. Kota was the chosen material to retain the same really feel, then dyed to match the off-white, handblocked with pink floral block and borders, and eventually completed with lace trims,” says Rema who’s now gearing as much as launch a house linen assortment within the capital subsequent month.

“It’s the fruits of a year-long sequence of design intervention workshops with the Lambani artisans of Sandur, needlework and crochet artisans of SEWA Ruaab, and crewel embroidery from Kashmir,” she says, including that one other launch challenge slated for 2023 features a coaching workshop for ladies artisans in Haryana. “They’ll create merchandise out of cloth surplus acquired from garment manufacturing items, and surplus yarn to create limited-edition woven dhurries.” 

Textile Tales will probably be held from November 23 to 26 at Weddings and Marigolds Studio, T Nagar, Chennai. For particulars, name 9840030126

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