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    Find original block prints on saris, quilts and tunics at Chamiers, courtesy Bangalore-based Gulmohar

    Fortunately for us, NGOs, designers and entrepreneurs in India are showing an interest in reviving traditional crafts and the textile industry. Joining the club is Gulmohar, which is promoting Indian crafts like block printing to incorporate it into daily living. The eight-month-old brand will be showcasing their collection, combining classic motifs and silhouettes in cotton, tussar, silk, linen and mulmul, at Chamiers today. “We work with contemporary wearable fashion,” says founder Preeti Singhal, adding that styling is their biggest strong point.

    The revival

    Singhal, who launched Gulmohar this March, is aware of the competition with many designers working on block print. “It’s a dying art, as it’s a tedious process. People are moving to screen printing where the production is much higher. Revival is one part. What sets us apart is fitting and cuts. They are made to suit the Indian body type, which is curvier than Asian and European counterparts,” she offers. This is the third time she is showcasing in the city (earlier outings were at By Hand from The Heart and at Silk Route). Singhal works with block printers in Rajasthan and Bhuj. She is also particular about the fabrics. “Comfort is the bottom line,” she assures, as she targets the office going crowd.

    New on the block

    Traditional motifs used in forts like the jali and flower pots as well as animal prints like cows, birds and camels are seen on tops, kurtas and tussar, chandheri and mulmul saris in pastel colours. Singhal, who had a fascination for block print from childhood, took it up seriously when she was on a sabbatical from her finance job. “I was travelling with my husband who is in the garment export business, which gave me the idea to learn the craft. It took me two years to put up my unit,” she shares. Singhal works with vegetable dyes and pigment and will also be bringing quilts and dohars in reverse block printing. She soon plans to open an online store and work with weavers in Trichy and Karur for the revival of handwoven voile collection.

    The collection is priced from Rs 750 onwards and will be showcased at Chamiers today and tomorrow. Details: 24311496

    — Madhuwanti Saha

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