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Accent on aesthetics

Amara's latest collection of bed linen captures Nature in its various hues

Pics. by N.Balaji

Amara Linen Gallery's Raj Thiagarajan also has a passion for sculpture.

THE FABRIC has sheen, is rich with imagery, it caresses you and is apt for a grand display in drawing rooms or the office reception area. This is what the latest collection of bed linen at Amara Linen Gallery (Kasturba Nagar, Adyar) is all about.

Is it silk, painted or printed, you wonder. "No," says Raj Thiagarajan, the man behind Amara's unique textile concept. "It is 100 per cent cotton. The artistic imagery is the result of a meticulous play of weft and warp. And the fabric is designed to deck up beds and not meant to be used as upholstery."

But what makes the weave so special? "We import the thread from Egypt, which has the finest long staple cotton," says Thiagarajan.

Silky sheen

Amara's cotton fabrics have a silky sheen as the threads are passed through flame. The singe helps to get rid of the extra threads and rough edges, after which it is mercerised to make it soft and absorbent. Thematic designs are then translated on to the weave. However, they hardly look crafted.For instance, you are almost tempted to pluck that hibiscus off a sheet.

Designer Rajesh Sunkara feeds Thiagarajan's innovative ideas into a computer to get them across clearly to the weavers. Leading you through a colourful ensemble of thin strands of cotton threads strung symmetrically across the boutique, Rajesh says, "They are actually two strands twisted together for strength. We use 200 thread count to premium 600s and with each wash, they shine even more." Every aspect of contemporary lifestyle is driven by designer labels. Though new concepts of design and furnishing are emerging for bedrooms, there is not much variety in the high-end range, says Thiagarajan. "According to a market survey, there seems to be a dearth of luxury bedspreads. This led to Amara coming up with a rich range. Today, our customers include the Oberoi Group, IKEA and the Raj Palace in Jaipur."



A model bedroom.

At the gallery, special attention is taken to showcase the products aesthetically. You can actually visualise the creations, which are displayed in model bedrooms, overlooking an old world courtyard.

The designs and colours are inspired by Nature. "Pleasing greens, bold blues, earthy reds, classy off-whites or traditional mustards... the `Indulgence' range is inspired by the rain-forests of Borneo, the sea around the Maldives and sand dunes of the desert," says Thiagarajan.

The other three ranges are Basic, Comfort and Luxury that come in paisley patterns, stripes and checks. The cost for a set comprising fitted sheet, flat sheet, duvet cover and a pair of pillow cases ranges from Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 15,000. Thiagarajan's passion extends to sculpture and is evident in the several works in stone displayed at the gallery. Amara will offer discounts up to 20 per cent during a ten-day exhibition which will coincide with Valentine's Day.

RANJANI GOVIND

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