Rarely would I travel with a hardcover book. But for our long flight to India, I threw this book in the carry-on bag:
So glad I did! It was a pleasure to flip through the pages, and a nice break from movies like White House Down. So by the time we arrived in India, my eyes were primed for noticing textiles. Here are some from around my husband’s parent’s house in Chennai, India.
This cotton is printed with deep pomegranate red, turmeric color and bluish-grays (saying “shades of gray” is forever ruined!). This fabric covers a cushioned divan facing the main door. Someone is always sitting on that divan, watching for visitors. The main door is always open, and visitors are always stopping by.
This printed cotton covers a bolster pillow:
Here’s a sampling from around the living room:
This shows how fabrics have been layered on chairs:
This is the home of regular folk in South India. They aren’t designers or even interested in home design. In fact, the home is extremely simple and the fabrics are probably the most visual part of its decor, aside from the brightly-colored images of Hindu deities hanging on walls.
But without knowing it, they’ve perfectly captured many ideas shared in the Textile Style book. They’ve made an art of mixing fabrics. They have used some of them for decades. Any frays are okay, they show how much the fabrics have been enjoyed in the home. You can also see they used a mix of opulent embroidered designs paired with more subdued fabrics, so you don’t get overwhelmed visually. I think they did this all naturally, just what looked good to their eyes.
As a parting shot, here’s my favorite little view of textiles in their home. It’s a glimpse of the pillowcase underneath a cushion cover that’s tied over it. I bet nearly everyone overlooks this.
I’ve been to this home during many previous trips to India but didn’t pay much attention to these textiles, until Textile Style suggested I appreciate the simple ways people use them around their homes.