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Introducing Rema Kumar
Rema Kumar, a Delhi based textile designer has been working with weavers and master craftsmen all over India for the last 20 years. She specializes in integrating tradition with novelty using vibrant colours & designs. Rema was invited to represent India at the Asian fair in Tokyo in 2009 as a part of the Indo-Japanese friendship year celebrations.
Champa Chronicles - The story of the inspiration behind her Champa Collection... In her own words
"My last visit to Champa was during the Navratri days. A great time to be there what with the whole village coming alive in a festive mood with kirtans and all-night jagarans happening at the main village square with evergreen paddy fields all around.. The mobile Suhaag Bhandaars were surrounded by enthusiastic women shopping for their bangles, bindis and other accessories, in order to look their finest best during the gatherings. Come evening and children ran around with their little pouches of colors to make lovely rangolis to welcome the Goddess Lakshmi into their households. With all the yarns, weaving and dyeing happening in the village, it came as no surprise then to watch some of the most interesting color combinations come alive in these rangolis by kids, sometimes under the watchful eyes of the women around. They would remark that this was the best way to take the tradition forward.
This time I had planned on working on different textures – self stripes, twills and dupion blends with tied and dyed yarns and multi colored pallas with woolen yarns. The weavers I worked with lived on either side of the railway tracks. Trains, of every kind chugged past all day, fleeting visions of green, blue, maroon coaches, with people, sometimes laden with coal or sometimes even empty was a permanent part of the village scape. One could hear the steady khut-khut of the looms, uninterrupted by the sound of the fast moving trains accompanied by their loud horns, blaring music from the radio and television…
A typical day in one of the weaver’s household begins like this. The college-going daughter pitches in by filling the bobbins before and after studies. Her friends, all covered with scarves, with just their eyes showing (to prevent dust from hitting their faces while cycling), patiently wait for her to join them. And after getting back home, she quickly finishes her notes and studies before it gets dark. The weaver’s wife finishes her chores in the kitchen early, so that she is able to help with the spinning, disentangling the yarns and filling the bobbins with the requisite colors. And when new designs are being tried out, her work doubles up as we always run out of colors and we do not want to waste much time.. Morning turns into long, balmy afternoons and then its suddenly dark.. Just watching the designs come alive is so therapeutic and one loses track of time…"