“Handcrafted things never go out of style”
A legacy one yearns to relinquish from a generation to the other, without letting go its true essence/soul is a ‘craft’ or ‘artistry’. Indian crafts seize a special space globally for its rich culture, diversity & exceptionality. Each craft possesses an imprint of the religion, era & dynasty it journeyed through. These crafts not only adorn our culture but also backbone our economy via natural, ethical & sustainable ways.
Ritu kumar, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Rahul Mishra, Anita dongre, Neeta Lulla, Rohit Bal, Wendell Rodricks are few names amongst many ace designers trying to keep the heritage of Indian textiles, prints & embroideries- ‘zoetic’ & growing our pride to the future generations inspiring them!
FFAB is one such Indian label formed in 1999 with the sole purpose of lending a hand in resurrecting the lost grandeur of our weavers, artisans & their priceless art. They work in close collaboration with handloom, powerloom weavers & artisans, supporting them psychologically & economically in an effort to bring into mainstream, thus helping them grow. Their business is laid on core values such as sustainability, ethical & a nature-friendly approach.
Along with weaves, our ancient prints & embroideries equally braid magic, mesmerising hearts worldwide.
Wanna know a handful of these glorious prints & embroideries? Featuring some noteworthy ones’:
- Azrakh - hypothesised to be the oldest prints instigated about 4000yrs ago (indication being the 600-800 yrs old AZrakh cloth found in Egypt), native communities of Kutch (Gujarat) hold expertise in traditional way of block printing it sporting vintage blues/ reds/blacks in geometrical pattern & floral, with natural organic dyes. Khoja sheiks- a community rooting from Kutch - are still celebrated for their AZrakhs. Revamped into present-day patterns for brands like Fabindia, Biba, Raw mango & Good earth, it continues to beautify collections of designers too!
- Kalamkari - referring to freehand ‘pen-work’- owns a spiritual identity since its presence in temples, scrolls, chariot banners, portraying deities etc. Special ‘kalams’ are crafted out of bamboo tree to paint this extraordinary intricate piece of art by ‘Qualamkars’ (as addressed by Mughal rulers of Golconda) hailing from Andhra Pradesh. Highlighting vibrant colors from vegetable dyes, modern applications are inclusive of animals, flowers, hindu symbols, musical instruments, Persian motifs (as blocks) etc. Brands like Myntra, Ajio feature Kalamkari in dresses, Sarees, indo-western silhouettes, bags, bedspreads & more.
- Bandhni - named after ‘banda’ (meaning to tie) by Khatri’s of Gujarat, this pulsating trend seems to have been embraced by the instagramers & social media junkie’s alike amidst this pandemic. Revered & homed by European brand Etro & Indian label Abraham & Thakore, bandhni is eternally of Rajasthani origin. With great precision fabric is firmly knotted at numerous points & dyed in brilliant reds, greens, yellows, blues- beautifully patterning into waves, dots, squares, lines & more. The knotted points un-penetrated by dye colours stay white & do the trick of forming wondrous designs on fabric surfaces.
- Phulkari - ‘Flower-work’ embroidery tried & tested by Punjabi women, hallmarks vivacious colours in several patterns where threads travel horizontally, diagonally & vertically forming alluring Phulkaris. This essential ‘flower & garden’ thread-work is an expression of embroiderer’s dreams, emotions & optimisms. Motifs range from animals, flowers, folklore, ‘belan’, ‘chandrama’, trees etc. which are family reliant. For design to contour on fabric surface, stitches are sewn on the reverse side of fabric. This timeless art is a redeemer for Punjabi widowed women during the Covid crisis, who are busy embroidering Phulkari masks for Indian cities & countries like Australia, for their livelihood.
- Chikankari - - trusted to be a noble craft initiated by Nur Jehan (wife of Jehangir) in Lucknow, depicts delicacy & shadowed embroidery! Commenced with a white thread on white muslin/ cotton base, is now toted on all fabric grounds in pastel/ bright colours. Categorised into flat/ embossed/ jalli stitches, chikankari has lent the GI elite status to Lucknow for being its chief hub. Enthused by the ace designers Sandeep Khosla & Abu Jani- Judi dench wore their Chikankari creation for her Oscars back in 2004. Favoured by our Bollywood biggies & A-listers, their casual outings-formal meetings-wedding celebrations are immersed in Chikankari!
- Kantha - The simplest of stitch (running stitch) transmuting into sophisticated patterns- forms splendour of ‘Kantha’! Born out of Bengal, technique of vibrant layering of fabrics & sewing together with the lightest colour on the outside is referred to as Kantha quilts. Inspired from life forms, geometric designs, folklore & ancient myths are Kantha patterns! Uses range from- baby blankets, purses, floor covers, prayer mats, bedspreads & observably clothing as in Jackets, Kantha robes. US based brand Etsy showcases ethereal handmade Kantha blankets, masks, yoga mats, jackets & so on.
- Batik - From India to Egypt the prints source is still under debate. A resist dyeing procedure where wax applied synchronically onto fabric surface sojourns the colour dispersion, expressing patterns. Blues from Indigo, oranges/ reds from henna- natural dyes reign batik prints. The crew of Malaysian airlines attires in Batik uniforms, also it adorns both national & international brands.
Shop a stunning range of Craft/ printed fabrics at FFAB. We employ close to 1375+ handloom, power loom weavers & artisans- weaving magic just for you. Visit us at https://ffab.com/ & call or whatsapp us @+91 9650700711. You can learn more about The legend of power loom fabric; powering clothing industry in our upcoming blog.