Spicing it uphttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/spicing-it-up/

Spicing it up

Delhi-based designer Rema Kumar displays her ‘Winter Spice’ collection that has a spurt of colours and a mix of fibres

Winter,when the nights stretch longer,the flowers droop and the dropping mercury makes things grim. This is enough reason for Delhi-based textile designer Rema Kumar,to spice things up. With her latest collection titled “Winter Spice”,which includes saris,dupattas and stoles,exhibited at Either Or,Sohrab Hall,Kumar leaps into a rainbow of colours. “Because I think it is quite apt for the season,” says Kumar. She also brings out her love for fibres by blending different kinds of handlooms to innovate. Dominating her collection is the tussar-wool blend. “My fabrics are not thick and wooly. They are comfortable and cozy because I want my clients to be able to use my pieces throughout the year,” says Kumar.

It is this passion for blending fabrics which requires Kumar to travel across the country in search of enthusiastic weavers willing to indulge in her experiments. “Whenever I work with weavers,I try to ensure that their inherent technique of weaving is not taken away. For example,I found a group of weavers in Uttarakhand who are open to experimenting with kalamkari. I asked them to weave floral motifs which bring a contemporary feel to the fabric,” says Kumar,who has also worked with weavers in Chattishgarh and Andhra Pradesh.

“How long can we keep working with georgette and crepe? I only work with these fabrics when a client has specific requirements. International designers are sourcing natural fabric from India,which has helped us also realise the treasure we are sitting on,” says Kumar.

The fabric,once weaved,is taken to different states for the desired surface detailing. The patti ka kaam is done in Aligarh,where Kumar has introduced geometric designs. “The patti ka kaam is usually done with floral patterns,but I have a weakness for geometrics,” she says. She has also introduced block kantha work in her collection. “After two or three techniques of surface detailing is performed on the fabric,it is brought to my studio in Delhi,where I do the final touches with contrast piping,embroidery or hand printing until I feel that the piece is complete,” says Kumar.

The collection will be on display till December 1 at Either Or,Sohrab Hall