Perhaps the most celebrated of traditional Kashmiri handicrafts is embroidery. Crewel work is a traditional hand embroidery technique that is a signature craft in this area of Northern India. First introduced by the Persians. Working by hand, and using a crewel hook, our artisans work together stitching the wool in intricate chain stitch, transforming the cotton or linen fabric into a swirling textured pattern. Kashmiris are known as master embroidery artisans. Their skills have been passed from generation to generation over many centuries and continues to create much skilled employment for the area.
Our decorative cushion cover collection has become synonymous with this crewel embroidery technique. With a love of traditional textile techniques, Niki seeks out the best in traditional artisan skills, updating these with her distinctive use of pattern and colour.
On her recent visit to Kashmir, where our crewel embroidered products are made, she followed our manufacturing process from beginning to end, starting with the stencilling process to interpret our designs right threw to our finished product. Each stage conducted entirely by hand with great skill and accuracy. First our designs are transferred on to tracing paper, then the design is out lined in tiny pin prick sized holes to allow a pigment to pass through and create a stencilled pattern for the embroiderers to follow.
Then our specified colour palette is created at the dye house, hand dyeing hanks of wool yarn. The yarns, patterns and fabrics are then distributed through out the communities that embroider and the work begins. Working by hand, and using a crewel hook, our artisans work together stitching the wool in intricate chain stitch, transforming the cotton or linen fabric into a swirling textured pattern.
Once the embroidered panels are finished and collected from the villages they are taken to a wash house, where they are washed by hand and dried in the warmth of the sun. Our fabrics are then brought in-house to our stitchers in Delhi, where they are carefully constructed into our cushions, throws and rugs.
Our decorative crewel embroidered cushion collection approaches this ancient craft technique with a modern approach. Our geometric motifs are embroidered to enhance the shapes with in the designs and are often contrasted against a natural linen ground. Patterns such as our Harlequin, Lattice, Escher and Medina are designed to optimise the quality of this embroidery technique and bring this ancient craft to a contemporary customer.