Our new Desi blanket collection is coming along nicely. We hope to have the blankets ready for launch in September. On his last trip to Gujarat, Graham met Shamji Vankar, master weaver of fine woollen textiles. Shamji was filmed recently for BBC's Hidden Treasures of Indian Art, and interviewed by Griff Rhys Jones. In this excerpt, Shamji appears about 12 mins in (although I would recommend watching the whole 60 min programme if you have time!). His family run a weaving cooperative which employs over 90 local artisans, and is committed to teaching the handloom craft as a viable economic opportunity.
Inspired by the natural dyes used in our Narayan collection, we wanted to exclusively use natural dyes again in this collection.
We have asked our friends at SEWA to embellish the woollen lengths with several lines of traditional embroidered stitching running the length of the blanket. I refer to these lines as train-tracks, but I must ask our artisans the proper name for this stitch! We have sourced naturally dyed woollen embroidery yarns from Gujarat, and will use several colours in each blanket. Graham will finalise the designs and colours when he visits Gujarat next month.
There will be two sizes of blankets - the smaller throws will be 120 x 180cm, just right for throwing over the end of the bed, or for snuggling under on the sofa, and larger blankets of 180 x 220cm, which will be large enough to cover a king-size bed.
The throws will be available in 5 colours - indigo blue, Lac red, Khaki, chocolate brown and natural cream, and the large blankets will be multicoloured in two colourways - Lac red, Khaki and chocolate brown, or Indigo, Khaki and chocolate brown.
We'd love your feedback on the collection? Which is your favourite colour?