Give a handloom twist to your home
As National Handloom Day passed by, we took a look at how the humble craft has the ability to elevate your abode while celebrating the Indian artisans’ efforts
Handloom creations, wherein a cloth is weaved with a manually operated loom without the use of electricity, are at the heart of India’s heritage and history. With weaving references in Hindu mythology and dating back to 2500 BCE, incorporating handloom pieces not only brings timeless ethnic charm and beauty into your room, but it also keeps one rooted as they are a testament to the exquisite craftsmanship and timeless charm that comes from dedicated and meticulous labour.
From living room to bathroom, handloom offers something for every room in your house. Rajeswari Mavuri, designer and founder of the handloom home décor brand Label Rama, suggests, “Try switching to khadi or handloom towels for your bathroom. Mix and match solid and printed handloom tableware to create a beautifully textured table setting.”
Be it a carpet, cushion cover, or bedsheet, handloom pieces can spark conversations. “They are tangible representations of time and become cherished heirlooms passed down through generations,” says Nishith Gupta, designer and managing director of the handloom carpet mat brand Sapana Carpet-Mats.
Since the handloom industry requires craftsmanship, it contributes largely to rural India’s employment. According to Indian Brand Equity Foundation June 2023 report, “Even after technical intervention in the handloom business, it has generated employment for over 3 million weavers and workers. It has a share of 72.29% of the total handloom worker employment in India. The majority of workers in the industry are women.”
With inputs by experts, here is how you can give your home the humble handloom upgrade
The beautiful thing about Indian handlooms is their sheer diversity — in weaves, one can go from sheer and delicate muslin and jamdani to rugged, everyday khadi.
Must-have décor pieces
- Silk handloom bedsheets can turn your bedroom into a cosy haven.
- For an artsy corner in the drawing room, go for some embroidered wall hangings that display vibrant and intricate designs serving as a great head turner.
- Carpets, table runners, table napkins, mats, curtains and cushion covers are excellent handloom decor pieces to add to your house.
- With the diverse range, you could incorporate handloom into just about any decoration style from vintage Indian to modern Scandinavian.
- In patterns, just within Ikat’s, one can pick from bold and striking to delicate and muted pieces that can be added in your bedroom as bedsheets, pillow covers, curtains.
- In block prints, the Kalamkari block prints with their natural, intricate motifs like flowers to the soulfully geometric Ajrakh can be added as accent pieces via cushion covers, chair cover in the living room.
Accent it up in the living room
With these accent pieces, give your living room a handloom makeover
- Hang handloom artwork on your walls featuring the beautifully illustrated Kalamkari fabrics that come from Kalahasti to squares of vibrant, zari sarees that can be used as art pieces.
- Recycle your stained handloom sarees to make beautiful curtains, especially with its borders and pallus. Additionally, mix and match by making the curtains from the saree body and accent cushions from the pallu.
- Saree pallus can make really striking centrepieces or runners for your table.
- Use a handloom carpet to add character to your living room, where all your guests can see and appreciate it.
- Handloom silk shawls can be added as a throw on your sofas or lounging chairs.
- For a daily use handloom item or upholstery, pick more rugged handloom fabrics like khadi. Some natural dyes can be sensitive to very bright light, so don’t use them to upholster verandah furniture.
- Be bold and mix and match fabrics, prints and styles.
- Wash your handloom fabrics in cold water and dry them in the shade, not under the sun.
- Since handloom pieces have a character of their own, it is best to let them be the centrepieces. Use them to draw attention and accentuate the visual appeal of the room. Use handloom throws, rugs, cushions, and drapes in layers to create a cosy space for people to relax and enjoy.
- Do not go overboard with these pieces since they might look cluttered.
- Avoid clashing when placing two or more pieces together.
- Keep the size and colours aligned so that they add to the beauty of your house and do not make it look heavy and unaesthetic,