SELVEDGE TALKS TO... CHAKRA DESIGN STUDIOby Niamh McCooey
Here at Selvedge we're getting excited about all of the wonderful artisans joining us at the Selvedge Fair in Edinburgh this August. One of our exhibitors is Chakra Design Studio, and we recently caught up with them with a quick Q&A in advance of the show...
What made you start working with textiles?
The birth of my daughter in 2006 changed the way I looked at things. I wanted to make things safe for her environment. Design education and work experience made it easy and paved a path for me to start Chakra Design Studio.
What is it about your craft that captured your attention?
The process of making the blocks and repeat patterns by hand, the age-old techniques of printing and dyeing naturally in the Kalamkari style is fascinating, which inspired me to pursue it further. Inspiration comes from everywhere, like the songs we listen to as a family. Our last collection was made around a few of our favourite Beatles songs that we used to sing together in the car.
Who inspires you?
My idol is my uncle who was a Doctor, philanthropist and artist. He helped everybody who came across his path. He has always been my inspiration and my goal is to emulate him as much as I can.
What is your favourite part of the process?
I enjoy sourcing the fabrics, and seeing the techniques used to make them. Travelling to different countries and meeting people who are masters in their field keep me in awe. We share a common language of textiles and that makes it the best part of my job.
What’s the hardest part?
Where do you live and why have you chosen to be here?
I have lived in many parts of the world but currently my studio is based in India, where I was born. The crafts, fabrics and people that I meet in India are key to creating wonderful products.
What’s your ideal Sunday?
My ideal Sunday would be watching food and travel documentaries. I love to cook and enjoy baking with my ten year-old who has been creating her own recipes lately.
If you could fly anywhere in the world tomorrow where would you go and why?
Morocco. The food, the landscape and the crafts make it my next travel destination.
What’s your favourite colour?
Indigo. I even named my daughter NEELA that translates to Indigo in Sanskrit and a few other Indian languages.
What are you reading at the moment?
Elif Shafak’s Three daughters of Eve.