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Drape your home in beautiful fabric

A NEW wave is sweeping the interior home design scene, with everyone trying for a different look. Kochi has its limitations in textile range, but choice fabrics to drape doors and windows have arrived.

There is a glint in Gayatri's eyes. You spend ten minutes with her and come to the conclusion that she is a romantic. She talks with great passion about the love of her life. And no, her affaire d'amour is not with a man. Gayatri is in love with her craft. A textile designer who trained at the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Mumbai, it was marriage that took her to Bangalore , the hub of silk trade. Having worked for three years with a premier home textile export company, it was here that she realized it was soft furnishings that gave her the gooseflesh. She decided, it was homes she wanted to dress with her textiles, and not human bodies. In the beginning of this year, she took the plunge and floated her own company, which she very lovingly calls `Mihika', in sanskrit meaning - "the freshness of morning dew".

True to the name, her oeuvres are reflective of a calm quiver that is trapped inside that drop of morning dew poised on the brink of a leaf. There is silk organza, textured on the surface with dense aari (chain stitch) embroidery creating abstract motifs, which she then hand paints with watery strokes to give it an aged look. In some, she does the aari with metallic zari thread, which is then treated with the process of oxidization, again, to give it the antique finish. She conjoins two different colours of organza together by a weaving method called `Mirl' and naughtily slips a sheaf of silvery lurex thread loosely bunched up in a roll, in between the two. The effect, she deliciously calls - `phirni'. In another, she sews two layers of organza together in a check pattern and, as if by accident, leaves a splatter of sequins loose inside the check, which when rolled up and down a window blind, have a merry dance of their own. Inspiration strikes in everyday things of life - an electricity fuse box is rendered in a criss-crossing embroidery motif laced with square sequins randomly. Or, opaque spirals of viscose yarn are woven onto sheer organza, which, instantly remind one of `Jalebis'.

Creating the textile is but the first step in the absolute picture. Gayatri's tour de force is fashioning these fabrics into made-ups - cushion covers, drapes, blinds, throws, bedspreads, etc. She teams up with Interior designers and Architects, and takes up complete projects for furnishing homes. One of her important and most thrilling assignment was the honeymoon suite that she did for mega star Hrithik Roshan's wedding, in Bangalore. Her desire to reach a wider audience is what brought her recently to Cochin. Not only to promote her textiles among the architect and interior design fraternity here but also to address the discerning elite of the city who believe in good living.

Here, she opines, are a people who are increasingly aware of design and wish to absorb it in their every-day aspect of living.

So, whether, it is your dream home that you want to decorate or simply just the windows that need fashionable drapes, this young woman may just have the style mantra.

ARCHANA NANDAL

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