Image: Ori nui shibori in eco friendly dyes. Image courtesy of 2Up2Down
Written by Brinda Gill
“Our handcrafted textiles are inspired by nature that surrounds us as our studio and workshop are located on a farm. Our artisans are women who join us without a particular skill set; however, they are open to learning new skills and are inspired by the lush surroundings of the farm. Our ethos is rooted in sustainability and our processes are eco-friendly”, says designer Namrata Shah, founder, 2Up2Down, a craft design brand, whose work unit is located at the outskirts of Bangalore city, Karnataka state, India.
2Up2Down, founded in 2009, specialises in creating handmade artisanal yardage, saris, stoles, throws and pocket squares, of hand-woven natural fibre cloth, for clients in India and abroad. The textiles stand out for their contemporary and innovative surface designs created by traditional textile techniques.
Image: Itajime shibori with natural dyes and ecoprint 2. Image courtesy of 2Up2Down
Over the years the studio has created beautiful textiles of shibori patterns with natural and eco-friendly dyes combined with other textile techniques such as embroidery and block prints as a collaborative effort between different artisans and craft techniques. The textiles have an organic look and feel, and their motifs, patterns and colour palette have an international appeal.
“While we are familiar with the usual shibori patterns, our attempt is to bring in a new perspective by exploring different aspects and possibilities. Carrying forward the basic shibori technique and being inspired by nature around us, our patterns transform to embrace intricate florals and bold geometric shapes. Some of the patterns are evocative of the five elements of nature, namely, earth, water, fire, air, and space that are represented by forms of a square, triangle, circle, hexagon and octagon respectively on the textiles".
Image: Itajime shibori in natural dyes. Image courtesy of 2Up2Down
Post pandemic, the studio has focused on combining shibori with eco-prints with leaves and flowers from the farm to create signature, one-of-a-kind 100% natural designs of attractive rhythmic patterns. The combination meshes bold patterns of Itajime shibori (where cloth is folded and clamp dyed) and the softness of motifs of flowers or leaves eco-printed within the squares or circles formed by the shibori; the structure of shibori and the spontaneity of an imprint of a leaf or flower; the skill of artisans and a touch of nature. The versatility and global appeal of the textiles makes them appealing for garments as well as home furnishings worldwide.
Find out more at 2Up2Down