They say you eat with your eyes. Anuj Kothari, founder of No-Mad, shares a fond memory of his father based on this old saying... "As a child, I remember sometimes getting frustrated by how tediously my dad worked to make a meal look perfect. He could never just put food down in front of you. Instead, he arranged it beautifully, often wiping the edges of the plate while you stood there eagerly waiting for him to hand it back to you so you could take it to the table to devour."
"One day, I impatiently asked him why it mattered, pointing out that it was just me eating the food and that I was no fancy guest. He replied,‘because first, you taste with your eyes.’ It took me a minute, but I then understood and appreciated what he meant by this. It communicated to me that every meal I eat should be fully valued; from how delicious it tastes to how delicious it looks on the plate. And he is completely right: a beautiful meal just tastes better. I loved that he took pride in each meal he served, even just for his young and sometimes unappreciative children. He showed me how much of a gift mealtime can be: an important way to nourish both your body and your soul." Anuj Kothari.
What does the ritual of laying the table add to a meal? Whether you opt for placemats and napkins, or a tablecloth and a runner, perhaps it is the idea of serenity before the feast — or maybe just the piece of mind that the table at least will be protected from the festivities to come... From an island of snowy white linen to bright textiles fit for a carnival, as the festive season approaches we’re here to give you our top picks of textiles and table themes for your home.
The geometric layout of the 'parcheesi' table cover is inspired by the ancient Indian board game of Parcheesi which was played by royalty and commonfolk alike. Created by a single craftsperson using old basic striped blocks that are manipulated to create depth with overlay, the two ends meld together at the centre to create a complex checkered pattern. Why not pair with some of Shaivyya Gupta's other products for a riot of colour.
Merry and Bright
Barefoot, Sri Lanka, tries to use every bit of material in their products. Created from off-cuts, the “Redi Patti” (රෙදිපටි) mat in Sinhalese translates to “strips of fabric”. The composition of these mats is decided by the weaver which makes each one unique. Strips of cloth left over from secondary production are trimmed of excessive thread and then gently rolled and twisted before being used in the weft. Pair with golden accents and their beautiful sunset tablecloth (pictured above) for a riot of sumptuous colour fit for a celebration.
The Mühlviertel region in northern Upper Austria has always been associated with linen and the complex and time-consuming technique of blueprinting. The work of Karl and Maria Wagner and Blaudruck is still partly based on the travelling book written by the ancestor Karl during his journeyman years, and their collection of up to 250-year-old handmade wooden blocks and patterns presents a unique and extensive variety of local designs. Their beautiful blue and white patterned textiles would be perfect for a midwinter-themed table.
Three French Hens
Handmade and hand painted by Zambia and France cross-cultural collaboration team Tribal Textiles, this tablecloth is inspired by the gentle feathers left behind by one of the most common birds in the South Luangwa National Park, the Guinea fowl. Handdrawn and handpainted on durable cotton with vibrant red hues, this tablecloth is perfect for those looking for a subtle addition to their dining room table that illustrates the true beauty of African wildlife. Now we just need a partridge in a pear tree...
A Blanket of Snow
According to writer René Cazelles a white table cloth is like 'some island refuge amid a sea of daily worries'. If you're looking for classic clean and snowy linen, look no further than Zsuzsa Zsigmond's white linen tablecloth made in Sárköz region, Hungary. Alternatively, try this Bhuttis tablelcloth and napkin set from Sufiyan Ismail Khatri which features rows of gorgeous tiny bhuttis blooming over the white expanse.
Using the trademark crackle effect that is Tribal Textiles' signature (from the starch resist technique), this table runner is decorated with linear geometric repeat patterns inspired by Mali mud-cloth. From the Tribal Textiles 'Matika' collection, each piece is unique and would look fabulous paired with bold red and white table settings.
Did you know that our newsletter and magazine subscribers can enter our exclusive 12 Days of Christmas prize giveaway, one of which is a set of Lapuan Kankarit Linen? Simply find your entry code in our weekly newsletter or in your magazine subscription confirmation email.
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