About Purvaai Home Decor

Purvaai, which means ‘Winds from the East’ in the ancient language Sanskrit, explores and reflects the diversity of Indian art and craft, its cultural influences and a plethora of relationships, which nurture creativity and ingenuity. The range of Indian handicrafts is as diverse as the sub-continent itself. At Purvaai, we aim to share the knowledge about these ancient crafts and create an awareness and appreciation of many of the lesser-known techniques. Our unique designs largely use locally sourced natural fabrics, handcrafted textiles and traditional Indian embroidery techniques. Our product range, which includes cushions, throws and bedspreads, will enliven your home through exquisite art-like designs. The designs are not only reminiscent of vibrant India but also resonate with all the elegance of modern Indian design.

Purvaai’s Textile Design Competition Reloaded- Students and Fresh Grads invited

Competition Participants

Entries from the competition in 2012

Calling all student designers and recent graduates of textile/ interior design programs! If you are a whiz at design and want to be noticed, then you simply can’t miss Purvaai’s second annual Textile Design Competition.

After a resounding response to our first ever competition last year, Purvaai’s Textile Design Competition 2013 is an opportunity for talented young designers- students and recent graduates of UK-based design programs, to showcase their talent to industry stakeholders and the public at large (and also a chance at winning the cash prize.)

The theme for Purvaai’s Textile Design Competition 2013 is ‘Naturally Yours’. This theme is drawn from a top trend emerging for 2013 of the ‘Natural Home’- a cozy nest of texture and pattern both inspired by nature and grounded in an earthly palette. “This trend directs the desire to reflect the natural world in a tranquil home environment”, says Llenay Ferretti, Trade Development Consultant East & Central Africa Trade Hub.

Even Pantone’s colour of the year is ‘Emerald’. Described as being  “Lively. Radiant. Lush… A colour of elegance and that enhances our sense of well-being, balance and harmony.” The Pantone site says, “It is the colour of growth, renewal and prosperity, no other colour conveys regeneration more than green.” As a generation turns its attention to conservation and regeneration, materials such as handloom cotton, raw silk, wool and un-dyed fibres in linen or flax put sustainability top of mind. There is an increased appreciation for natural plant-based dyes, which influences the approach to beauty in an ecologically friendly way.

According to trend agency Lobster Concepts, a new generation of designers is reviving traditional craft techniques. Less is more and humble yet precious textiles are leading.

With the theme of ‘Naturally Yours’, Purvaai’s Textile Design Competition 2013 provides young, talented designers a platform to present designs inspired by Nature. They are welcome to interpret this theme in their own special way.

Registration forms are now available for download on the site.

IMPORTANT DATES:

  1. 1st April 2013 – Last date to register by completing, signing and sending the registration form to competition@purvaai.co.uk
  2. 30th April 2013 (midnight) – Final deadline for submission of designs.

Purvaai’s Autumn Winter collection launch at Top Drawer Autumn, 2012

We’ve just wrapped up all the frenzy of post trade show activity like booking orders, making sure the supply chain is handling the demand and toasting to the most successful showing till date! Exhibiting at Top Drawer Autumn 2012 was a very wise decision in retrospect despite all the drama before and during the show – what with some of the samples arriving the day before AND our stand having no walls to it. See how the trade show progressed in pictures. Here is how the stand looked like at the end of the setting-up.

Top Drawer Autumn 2012 stand

Here’s what we had to say about our participation in the trade show and our brand new collections.

Apart from all the serious stuff, we made some fab friends with our neighbors at the trade show. They all are enterprising entrepreneurs, with some fantastic products and great big smiles! Thanks for making all the effort so much fun!

Odd Co

Odd co – they make the grooviest cases for e-readers, i-phones – very cool

Matt from Buddha Board

Matt from Buddha Board – a really relaxing way of doodling – and no paint mess to clear after

Karenza

Karenza of Karenza & Co – we’ve crossed path at both trade shows this year – so feels like we are on the journey together

Potina Vuyisa

Potina Vuyisa – a South African ceramic artist with the widest smile ever and the most gorgeous products

And finally us, feeling quite chuffed with the whole experience! We will be at Top Drawer Autumn 2013….hope to see all our friends again and wishing them the very best till then!

LtoR – Tarangini, Priya and Sonali

Top Drawer Autumn… next chapter in our trade journey

Having bet on Top Drawer as our launch trade show in January this year, and coming away from it with many retail contacts and a few orders to sustain us, we were quite happy with the start of our trade career. So choosing to be back at the show this Autumn with a new set of collections, hoping to have another crack at the retail buyers, we must be stark raving mad!!

But there is method in this madness (or atleast we hope so!) as we are doing so many things which we missed out with our first show. We have the samples ready well in advance, stylized images evoking a sense of luxury are out into the digital world, press releases about our very many inspirations written and blogged, a feature in a trade mag BEFORE the trade show, invitations to the buyers sent out so that they receive them well in advance AND wardrobe for three days of high power sales sorted!

All we need is for hordes of buyers to flock at our stand (B122 in the Gift isle), gush at all the gorgeous colours and designs (a little bit of gushing is very good for the ego) but at the end of it all BUY our products! The other thing we have worked on (apart from the look of the wardrobe) is the product pricing – we have many many designs in the affordable range so that Purvaai’s gorgeousness can spread across many homes this Christmas (oooh we like the sound of that – Santa you have some serious competition!)

Visit us at Stand B122 at Top Drawer Autumn, 16-18 September 2012, London Olympia.

The feel good factor

As more and more traditional arts and crafts are dying out, thanks to mechanization, over-the-top consumerism and just plain short sightedness on our part, organisations like Himalayan Weavers, come as a breath of fresh air.

Himalayan Weavers was set up to promote environmentally friendly products from the Himalayas. Working with two tribes who have inhabited the foothills of the Himalayas for centuries, the Bhotias and the Jaunpuris, Himalayan Weavers practices fair trade.

These tribes live along a wide stretch of the Himalayas. They are legendary traders, shepherds, spinners and weavers. For generations they nurtured partnerships with nomadic Tibetans, enriching their craft by learning about new dyes and adapting Tibetan designs.

Handwoven, Naturally Dyed Sheep's wool throws

The warm and wonderful fair trade throws, which are part of our Autumn Winter range

They are highly skilled but their access to markets is very limited, largely confined to pilgrims visiting various holy shrines in the Himalayas. In recent times, greater access to mechanized mill products has also led to a decline in the demand for traditional wool craftsmanship. The Himalayan Weavers’ co-op is working to revive this tradition by supporting spinners and weavers of the region.

The salaries and wage rates paid by Himalayan Weavers to these groups are considerably higher than those prevalent in the area. In addition, they also practice a policy of equal pay for equal work, thus empowering women workers.

Himalayan Tribal woman weaving wool on handloom

One of the Himalayan Weavers (source: Himalayan Weavers)

They encourage people working with them to study further. This is particularly important in case of women employees, many of whom drop out of school at a very young age. They pay all the expenses related to their education and allow fully paid time off so that they can prepare for and sit examinations. Supported by Himalayan Weavers, two of the women employees are now pursuing a college degree. They also provide medical support by reimbursing the cost of hospital visits and medicines. But above all, they encourage craftspeople (women spinning yarn and the weavers) to work from home so that their other economic activities, such as farming, and social life are not affected.

We are proud to be associated with Himalayan Weavers and present hand spun, hand woven throws in naturally dyed sheep’s wool as part of our Autumn Winter ‘Weaves’ collection.

If you are a retailer interested in stocking these beautiful, warm, rich throws and also in supporting the indigenous Himalayan people while preserving rich handicraft traditions, please contact us.

Handwoven Sheepswool Throws in Purvaai window display

Available in a variety of colours, better to mix and match with, our throws displayed in Craft Central’s window in London

These soft and luxuriant fair trade throws will also be on display at our stall (B122) at Top Drawer in Olympia, London, from September 16-18, 2012.

Tie-Dye….The Eternal Favorite

Bandhani and Lehariya turbans

An ancient and ever popular technique, tie-dye is a process of resist dyeing textiles typically using bright colors. While there are several variations in technique, the method basically involves patterns of color by folding, tying, stitching, crumpling the fabric to inhibit the flow of the dye into the folds of the fabric. The pattern of the folds and where the colors are squirted determines the final design.

Several variations of the tie-dye technique are evident the world over, from the Shibori in Japan, the Hausa technique in West Africa, Plangi and Tritik in Indonesia to the beautiful Bandhani, Ikat and Leheriya patterns of India.

The now very popular form of “Bandhani” derives its name from the Hindi word Bandhan which means tying up. Bandhani is an ancient art practiced mainly in Western India.

Lehariya turban

This region is also well known for its Leheriya pattern – literally meaning waves. This technique is quite different to the Bandhani as here the fabric is rolled from one corner to the other diagonally and then it is tied at intervals with strings. An astounding variety of Leheriya prints are produced using the simple process of tying and dyeing. The Panchranga technique, using five colours is considered to be very auspicious as the number five has a special position in Hindu Mythology. The Saptrangi flaunts the seven colours of the rainbow. Stripes that follow in one direction are called Leheriya, while diagonal stripes that intersect at right angles to form checks are called Mothra.

The leheriya was patronized in the nineteenth and early twentieth century by the local traders and merchants who wore turbans of bright Leheriya fabric.

This Leheriya (zigzag pattern of irregular colour stripes) is a visual invocation of the flow of water – creating a calm and restful coastal feel we gushed over in our earlier post. Especially in Indigo it shows the wonderfully varying depths of colour after multiple mud-resistant and dyeing processes. No small wonder that the blues in leheriya attract the eyes instinctively, as they did ours.

Purvaai’s Oceana tie-dye collection

Having experimented with the Shibori technique in the Spring Summer collection, Purvaai now brings to you the Leheriya pattern in its new collection ‘Oceana’ of quilts, cushion covers, tea towels and silk stoles.

Watch this space for more updates and visit us at the Top Drawer Autumn, Stand B122, 16-18 September, London Olympia.

Bidri inspired textile art

The Bahamani Sultans ruled over many provinces in India between the 13th and 15th centuries. Being great patrons of art and architecture, they commissioned Abdullah bin Kaiser, a craftsman from Iran to work on decorating the royal palaces and courts. It is believed that Kaiser collaborated with local artisans to give birth to the craft in the township of Bidar (hence Bidri) in South India. Since then the craft has been handed down through generations.

The craft process and its final manifestation, both are very intricate. Involving many steps including casting, engraving, inlaying, blackening and polishing, the resulting products are striking on account of glossy, luxurious silver set against a deep black metal background. The details of the pattern are etched by hand using small chisels and thin sheets of silver are gently hammered into the engraving.

Bidri Hookah Base exhibited at the Louvre

Contemporary Bidri products

Traditionally, the Bidri designs are patterns such as the Asharfi-ki-booti, stars, vine creepers and stylized poppy plants with flowers. Designs also include the Persian Rose and passages from the Quran in Arabic script. However, many modern interpretations of this traditional craft are surfacing in contemporary products like dinner ware, candle stands, and accessories like key rings. We hope that this will allow the beautiful craft to reach a wider audience. Purvaai is making its own humble attempt by interpreting Bidri in textile art. Our new Autumn Winter Collection pays homage to this intricate craft and its dedicated craftsmen.

Purvaai’s Bidri collection of cushions

View our entire ‘Bidri’ collection of cushions at Stand B122 at Top Drawer Autumn, 16-18 September, London Olympia.

She Sells Seashells on the Seashore

This phrase evokes a wonderful sense of nostalgia with images of long sandy beaches, sun bleached driftwood, naive string of shells hanging in the neck, reckless abandon while frolicking in the warm waters… an envelope of peace and well being.

As many of us are now taking ‘staycations’ or holidaying within the UK, English seaside scenes have also become a prominent theme on soft furnishings. For your living room or bedroom, soft furnishings and linens in aquatic colours – blues, greens and whites – will help create the nostalgia. Take a look at these inspiration images inspiring the nautical theme.

Great British Seaside

We are particularly digging this trend for the bedrooms – what wonderful calm at the end of a hectic day! Now all it needs is Frank Sinatra serenading in the background…purrfect!

Calm Nautical Oasis

The Winner(s) Takes it All…

As a part of its three day selling exhibition at CraftCentral in Clerkenwell, Purvaai hosted a Champagne Reception in honour of the participants and winners of its very first Textile Design Competition.

The Champagne Reception was the culmination of Purvaai’s Textile Design Competition, which ran in April and May 2012. The theme of the competition was ‘Reminiscing the Raj’ and participants were given a free reign to interpret the age of Indian Royalty and the effects of the British Raj on the arts and crafts of India.

The entry which won first place, by Chloe Hamill of Manchester School of Art, featured India’s national bird, the Peacock – a favourite of the erstwhile Indian royals, whereas runner up Laura Andrews of University of Brighton, was heavily inspired by Indian art and architecture, with geometric patterns and bright colours figuring prominently in her designs.

Chloe Hamill with her First Prize winning entry

“We can only imagine how hard judging all the lovely designs must have been for our judges’ panel”, said Priya Raghavan, Director and Co-founder of Purvaai. “But the winners are truly deserving of the titles.” Toolika Gupta, creative lead for the competition as well as one of the judges, addressing the gathering said “There is a lot of design talent out there, and this competition proved it without a doubt.”

Currently running at the Pennybank Chambers in St John’s Square, Purvaai’s home décor showcase (the selling exhibition) is set to run from Thursday, June 7th to Saturday, June 9thand is open to the public with late night shopping everyday. Images of all entries of the competition are also on display.

More images of the Award Ceremony available here.

Laura Andrews Second Prize winning entry

Diamond Jubilee Sale

Why have a Jubilee weekend when you can have a Jubilee Month?

We’ve decided to do just that with fab events and a whopping sale all through June

So grab a stylish bargain to ‘posh up your parlour’ by shopping online or come and see us at one of these events:

June 7-9: Craft Central, London

June 30: Norden Farm Centre for Arts, Maidenhead

More info on www.purvaai.co.uk

And the award goes to…..

Purvaai’s ‘Textile Design Competition 2012’ for students and recent graduates ran from early March to the end of April.  Applicants were required to design either a range of table linen OR to design decorative cushion covers and throws based on the theme “Reminiscing the Raj”.

One of the goals of the competition was to provide students and recent graduates of design programs the opportunity to showcase their talent in front of industry stakeholders. The judges’ panel was, therefore, carefully put together and included textile designers, a celebrated interiors journalist, a stylist and decorator, a buyer and proprietor of a well-known London home décor store and an academic.

We received entries from across the UK from both, current students and recent graduates. The design ideas were many from the vibrant to the romantic; from intricate to the contemporary. Many motifs, colours, architectural designs, jewels were used as inspiration by the participants.

Our jury had their work cut out. Toolika Gupta, our creative lead for the competition and also one of the judges, had put together various aspects on which the participants were to be marked, like; concept and creativity, interesting interpretations of the design brief, innovative placements, market relevance and practicality of execution. After a month long completely independent jury process, we finally have the winners! However, the suspense is to last just a little longer…..

The winning entries are to be announced at the Awards Ceremony during our ‘Home Décor Showcase’ exhibition at Craft Central in Clerkenwell, London on Thursday, June 7. A grand champagne reception is planned to felicitate participants in the textile design competition, as well as the awards ceremony where the winner and the first runner up will be announced and presented with their prize cheques. This reception requires an invitation which can be obtained by sending an RSVP to info@purvaai.co.uk.