On a bright, sunny but cold day Renu had brought a selection of very colourful pieces to explain her background in Fashion and Embroidery. After her degree from Lancaster University and having been awarded a placement with Woolmark in Mumbai, she worked for them in the Indian fashion industry manufacturing shawls in India.
Using her collection of original Indian pieces, she took us on her journey through various parts of the country, starting in Gugerat with Banjara work which was based on regularly worked patterns and included Shisha mirror work, using recycled Sari fabrics.
Beadwork patterning was also used for very elaborate pieces.
In Kashmir the men worked most of the embroidery - Paisley designs worked on dark backgrounds which were left mostly unworked to show up the stitched design.
In Bengal the use of old Sari fabrics was again the base for Kantha stitch work – a form of darning or running stitch that pulls and distorts the fabrics into blocks or patterns.
In Utah Pradesh – the work is done on lightweight muslin or sheer fabrics using a herringbone stitch worked from the back to form an outline running stitch and shadow work effect on the front.
Mogul work – gold and silver – couched onto silk to form floral designs.
A fascinating journey through textiles by a very talented lady who obviously loves her textile heritage.