Hemp and Nettle – Fibres of the Future

Hemp and Nettle plants have been growing in abundance in the Northern reaches of India at the foothills of the Himalayas; however their cultivation for making fibers and finished products is a recent phenomenon. Given their high tensile strength, organic nature and biodegradable values, these fibres are eco-friendly and incredibly pliable.

The plants are harvested once every year when the cold weather descends this region and their journey thereafter is a proof of human ingenuity and artisan skills. It is essential that only green plants are harvested, else the quality and strength of the stems from which the fibres are derived is greatly affected. The outer stem is then peeled off and the inner fibre extracted. It is thoroughly dried and then stored in well ventilated spaces. The dry raw fibres are then boiled along with natural sedimentation and purifying agents like wood ash, which cleans and softens them. They are bleached using a mixture of white clay, maize flour and rice chaff which further softens them while also making them lustrous.


The fibres are then degummed which essentially removes plant sugars like pectin and lignin which hold the fibers together. Rather than using harmful chemicals popular in commercial textile production, this process is carried out using still water stored in pots or running water from nearby streams which is just as effective. The fibres are now ready to be spun and woven.


Purvaai is working with this talented group of artisans to create fabrics and finished products like shoulder totes and storage bags which are uber chic, incredibly good for the environment and also reflect their creative spirit.


And then there were more….photos

Mark Henderson (our super talented photographer) and Team Purvaai spent a gruelling day of filling cushion covers, climbing on boxes to hang curtains on trees, and talking to Farmer James and his dog for permission to use his farm gate, and side stepping Thames Valley Police while we played around with a bench by a roadside! Yes, we were on our latest photo shoot and what a day it was.

Phew…now we have some cracking shots of our latest hand crafted products including cushions, throws, tote bags, curtain panels et all. With our focus on texture and detail at Top Drawer this year, this new range coming soon to our website will be spot on if you care for the craft while glamming up your home. Stay tuned to our website and in the meanwhile enjoy the photo journey of our latest shoot here…..

Windsor and Maidenhead-20131008-00844 throws4 bench7 _MG_9889 bench4 curtain ties collection2 _MG_9869 _MG_9867 totebags2Windsor and Maidenhead-20131008-00851

Purvaai launches new collections at Top Drawer 2013

On its third outing at Top Drawer, to be held from September 15-17 at Olympia, London, Purvaai, is all set to unveil its newest range of products.

Split into three distinct yet cohFloralJaal_500esive collections, Hand Stamped, Hand Woven and Hand Embellished,

Purvaai’s product offering this time comprises made-ups for the home, exclusive personal accessories such as scarves, stoles and bags, fabric as yardage, which can be converted into bespoke products on request and brand new textile-based gift items. The three collections, each focusing on a unique aspect of hand work, will make it easy for visitors to the show to visualise how mixing and matching the techniques can help them develop a look that is all their own.

HandblockprintedElephants_500The Hand Stamped collection features gorgeous hand block-printed cottons and silks in a variety of motifs and colours, traditional as well as contemporary. On offer are a complete bedding range including flat sheets, duvet covers, pillow cases, and quilts in bespoke designs. Also available are a wide range of scarves and stoles to help brighten what would otherwise be a rather somber Autumn-Winter wardrobe.

BhagalpurScarf2_500Naturally dyed pure sheep’s wool, silks and cotton woven on traditional hand looms and eco-friendly fabrics made from Hemp and Nettle make up the Hand Woven range. Available either as yardage or as made-ups and personal accessories, these fabrics are perfect for Autumn-Winter.

modifiedchevronforblogDelicate hand embroidery in soft pastels and punchy accent colours, the quilts and cushions that form a part of the Hand Embellished range feature the traditional techniques of Kantha, bead work and appliqué.

nettlebaggreyWe are more than happy to work with interested buyers on bespoke requirements. We can undertake all the work from designing and sampling to finally producing the order. There are discounts available for orders placed at Top Drawer and also quantity discounts available after the show.

Visit us at Stand B119, at Top Drawer 2013, September 15-17, at Olympia, London.

Winners of Purvaai’s Textile Design Competition 2013 announced

On July 18th, 2013, Purvaai announced the winners of its second annual Textile Design Competition at an awards ceremony held at Craft Central in London.

Victoria McLean and Elise Nichols were the first and second place winners, respectively. They are both students of the Winchester School of Art.

Winners of Textile Design Competition- Victoria McLean & Elise Nichols

Winners of Textile Design Competition- L to R-Victoria McLean & Elise Nichols with judge Nicola Holden (extreme right in blue.)

The theme of the competition this year was ‘Naturally Yours’, inspired by current designs trends and Pantone’s shade of the year- Emerald Green- and participants were free to interpret the theme as they best saw fit.

The many entries reflected the breadth of the theme as participants took inspiration from flora, fauna, sea life and even the insect world!

The first place winner, Victoria McLean, is currently a second year student at the Winchester School of Art, studying for a BA Hons in Fashion and Textile Design.

Tori’s entry used a colour palette inspired by Pantone’s shade of the year, Emerald Green. The sea blues and the various soft and warm shades of green in the designs are reminiscent of spring. The motifs are a combination of floral designs boldly superimposed on striking bird and leaf motifs.

Victoria McLean's first place winning entry

Victoria McLean’s first place winning entry

Her design note suggests the use of high-end fabrics for production such as shot-silk and techniques such as screen print, embroidery and applique.

Elise Nichols, the second-place winner of Purvaai’s Textile Design competition, is also a student of the Winchester School of Art.

Elise’s designs are particularly well-suited for digital printing. The first of her designs ‘Reflected Leaves’ is based on a popular trend of 2013, which is ‘mirroring’. She used a single leaf design, repeated and superimposed about 40 times.

Elise Nichols' second place winning entry

Elise Nichols’ second place winning entry

The colours are earthy and autumnal with browns and beiges dominating, but with a pop of blue to brighten the effect. The other design in her submission comprised a hand-drawn acorn nut repeated in a more orderly fashion. The tops of the acorns are brightly coloured, making the design very contemporary and appealing. Her recommendation for a base fabric for both designs is heavy cotton.

Sarah Campbell of Collier Campbell

Veteran designer Sarah Campbell of Collier Campbell was a surprise guest at the Textile Design Awards Ceremony.
(img courtesy: http://hearthomemag.co.uk)

The big surprise of the evening was a treat for the participants in the form of Sarah Campbell, veteran textile designer and one of the founders of textile design firm, Collier Campbell. Sarah’s brief address to the competition participants stressed the need for designers to show tenacity in their chosen field and to not give up on themselves or their designs if they are not instantly successful. Very sound advice we thought!

Parisian Inspiration

What could evoke the sense of grandeur and elegance other than the city of Paris? Every nook and turn surprises the rambler with visual delights – the shuttered windows, the quaint balconies, the grand facades of the buildings, the hints of gold on street lamps.


The city offers an abundance of inspiration for home decor. Bring the French ‘Joie de Vivre’ into your own home.




UPDATE: Purvaai’s Textile Design Competition

Great news for students and recent graduates interested in Purvaai’s Textile Design Competition! The registration deadline has now been extended to April 15th, 2013.

So if you thought you’d missed your chance, hurry up and send in your registrations now. Once you’ve registered, your competition entries must reach us no later than April 30th, 2013.

Download the info pack and registration form here.


Judges of the Textile Design Competition 2013

We at Purvaai feel incredibly lucky to have secured for the second year running some truly wonderful judges for our annual Textile Design Competition.

Just as in our launch year, 2012, this year also we have a selection of interior designers, retailers and academicians on the jury who represent a cross section of the design industry, into which the young designers participating in our competition will soon be making forays. The judges will be able to give them feedback, which will help them as they launch their careers

To learn more about the Judges for the Textile Design Competition 2013, read on.

Toolika Gupta- Independent Fashion and Textiles Researcher and Academic

Toolika GuptaToolika Gupta is a UK-based costume, textile and fashion enthusiast. With over 15 years of Academic, Administrative and Industry experience, her particular areas of interest include the history of textiles and fashion, especially Indian textiles, surface design techniques, sustainable and ethical fashion and fashion studies. She is a tutor at Buckinghamshire County Council for Indian Textiles and at Missenden Abbey where she teaches courses such as ‘An introduction to Indian Tie and Dye’ and ‘An Introduction to Indian Hand Embroidery’.

Toolika has run and participated in several workshops and presentations on the history of textiles, eco-friendly  textiles, craft-cluster development and more. Toolika is currently a PhD candidate at The University of Glasgow.

Nicola Holden- Interior Designer, ‘Nicola Holden Designs’

Nicola Holden, Interior Designer

Nicola Holden, Interior Designer, Nicola Holden Designs

Nicola Holden is an established interior designer, with her own boutique interior design company, ‘Nicola Holden Designs’, which specialises in bringing outstanding  contemporary design and decoration to all areas of residential interiors. Her work has been featured in 25 Beautiful Homes, Ideal Home Magazine and North West Magazine. She is an active member of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), and writes her own blog as well as blogging regularly for Decorex International.
Freddie Oke- Co-founder and Proprietor, Do South

Freddie Oke- Proprietor, Do South

Freddie Oke- Proprietor, Do South

Freddie Oke, owner of Do South, runs a successful retail shop based in Crystal Palace, South London. He has opened his world of modern and vintage design to a discerning public that want beautiful things. His eye for colour and style is what makes Freddie’s imagination an enchanting experience. Having traveled the world extensively, he has built up a wide collection of interior pieces. He spent his early years playing and recording music for television and radio and has since gone on to create his new way of harmonies through beautiful furniture and objects.

Jo Walker – Founder and Proprietor, Pure Lana

Jo Walker, Founder and Proprietor, Pure Lana

Jo Walker, Founder and Proprietor, Pure Lana

Jo is an entrepreneur who is behind the luxury brand ‘Pure Lana’, which specialises in creating luxurious home-ware products using traditional craftsmanship and 100% organic textiles.

Pure Lana is renowned for producing unique products using textures with warmth and depth. Jo’s role is to ensure each collection strives to produce the perfect alignment of stylistic elements necessary to satisfy a diverse range of tastes.

Purvaai’s Textile Design Competition 2013
is an opportunity for talented young designers to be noticed by industry decision makers. With prizes totalling £400, this is a great platform from which to launch their careers. Register by April 1st and send in your competition entries no later than April 30th, 2013. Registration forms and info pack available to download here.