My pals Tami and Krista of Cloth & Kind introduced me to a lovely textile designer who they represent in their showroom. We had a fun night in Jaipur.
Enjoy getting to know this talent.
KLS Textiles is British designer Kate Loudoun-Shand’s personal label, producing luxurious printed cloth, pillows, paintings and soon wallpaper, featuring Kate’s unique designs.
She is proud to introduce the first block-printed linens, printed in Rajasthan, India.
Kate has been working with makers and artisans in India for 20 years, pioneering new embroidery and printing techniques for her previous lines at Anthropologie and West Elm.
We’ll be releasing new block-printed patterns and colorways throughout 2021. These first 2 patterns, retailing for $177/yard, Dekka Stripe and Tiger Tiger, represent some of the most exciting strengths of the ancient khadi printing technique. Marrying Kate’s design simplicity and the complex and handmade process of block printing has created something wonderfully different.
‘There’s something so alive about block prints, you just have to have the fabric in your hand to see for yourself the craftsmanship and how the colors leap out. The touch of the printer’s hand, the little inconsistencies. It’s a thrill to work with the craftspeople in Sanganeer and bring these designs to life.
‘I want this line to bring some of that handmade beauty and vitality right into the home, with graceful but charismatic prints that work beautifully on both new and re-upholstered furniture, and especially, with our unique, pliant weave, make great drapes.
HOW THEY ARE MADE:
The linens are woven to order by our partners in Marashtra, Mumbai, using the best European flax. One is a darker-hued, heavy weave, the other lighter but strong. These are sent to Jaipur in small batches, a few hundred yards a time.
We work with the Chippa community in the Sanganeer district of Jaipur, a centuries-old community of dye-makers who pass block-printing techniques from one generation to the next. Three generations of the family print our linens together there, with the desert sun peeking in the windows. The finished pieces are hung out to dry on the high old stone walls in the back yard, during the warm, dry Rajasthani winter, or later, in the burning hot spring and summer.
The base linen is stretched on tables covered several times in cloth, stained with the color of thousands of prints. The extra ‘give’ allows the pigment to penetrate a little more deeply into the linen. The highly skilled printers work quickly, with firm, decisive touches of the block, producing regular patterning with speed and grace.
The famous, traditional patterns of Sanganeri printing are often intricately detailed florals. These first designs of Kate’s are something different.
‘People are always looking for prints with small motifs, things with character that don’t take over a room all the same. Sometimes we call them ‘no-print prints’ in the trade – up close, there’s a wonderful pattern of small marks; step back a few paces, and the pattern is more like a texture. Tiger Tiger is like this and I love it! It’s my favorite of the new prints. It’s so adaptable, so warm. I’ve put it on the headboard on my bed and it’s going on the curtains next
‘I was thinking of the stripes on the beautiful tigers in traditional Tibetan rugs when I make this motif, but it does look quite like a little mustache too. It works beautifully both horizontally and vertically, and the colorways have presence and depth but they’ll go with almost any color scheme too.’
‘Designers often say to me they’re always on the lookout for a new stripe. This one is a showstopper. If you want to really make an impact in a room, have one beautiful piece of furniture stand out, or to draw a guest to a beautiful view with eye-catching drapes, Dekka’s your answer. And as always the beauty of the block prints is that close-up they just get more and more interested to see and feel. I love these beautiful blue and grey dyes, I’m not sure you could get those beautiful blues anywhere outside of India, maybe even outside of Jaipur.’