Sister-in-law team, Kristine Gupta and Manisha Mohunta have created Loom & Stars, an online shop where home dressmakers can buy a curated selection of natural-fibre textiles from India.
US-based Kristine, who learned to sew as a child, makes most of her own clothes. The idea for Loom & Stars arose because she struggled to find fabrics at home as interesting those she could buy while visiting her sister-in-law Manisha, in India. Kristine thought that other home sewists would also appreciate these textiles and wanted to make them easily accessible.
Kristine has decades of sewing experience, and a degree in the history of textiles and material culture, while Manisha has vast experience in design, and a wide knowledge of traditional Indian arts and crafts. Together, they feel they can bridge across cultures to bring these fabrics to a wider audience.
Since Manisha lives in West Bengal, an Indian state with a long history of producing fine textiles, they decided to specialise in the handwoven cottons and jamdani fabrics unique to that region. Most of the skilled artisans making fabrics for Loom & Stars live in villages and make the cloth entirely by hand on non-electrified looms. Jamdani handloom weaving is considered by UNESCO to be an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.
Loom & Stars also stocks some non-handloom fabrics that are hand-dyed or hand printed, often using indigo and other natural dyes. The company’s philosophy is that sustainability is not only about the fibre or the fabric, but also, about sustaining traditional lifestyles by providing employment in artisanal crafts.
As more home sewers consider the ethical implications of their fabric choices, Loom & Stars provides them with a range of eco-conscious, thoughtful fabrics for a more mindful wardrobe — what Kristine and Manisha call “slow fashion sewing”.
Visit Loom & Stars to view their collection.