Text: Brinda Gill
Photographs Courtesy: Pavithra Muddaya
Brinda Gill: Please tell us about the beginnings of Vimor
Pavithra Muddaya: Way back in the 1958, my mother Chimy Nanjappa was the first manager at Cauvery, the Karnataka State Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd emporium that markets the state’s crafts, arts and textiles (under the brand name Cauvery). She was very knowledgeable about local textiles and crafts. She was asked by Mrs Pupul Jayakar, a legend in the field of Indian crafts and culture, to manage the handwoven textile section at the World Fair in New York and Montreal in the late 1960s.
Image: The entrance to the Vimor Museum of Living Textiles. Image above: A spinning wheel at the Vimor Museum of Living Textiles.
After my father unexpectedly passed away in 1974, my mother and I registered a home store by name Vimor - that means `pure’ in Indonesian language- in the same year, as a source of income. I was just sixteen and studying pre-university in Chennai (formerly Madras) in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. I started assisting my mother with having saris block-printed, during the weekends, by artisans, on spun silk sent from her and sent back to Bangalore to sell. This was my first foray into “design”. As they say -necessity is the mother of innovation – and the same was true in my case. Mrs Pupul Jayakar and Mrs Kamaladevi Chattopadyay asked me to train at the Weavers Service Centre and Design Centre in Chennai and this gave me technical knowledge of weaving and shaped my design sensibility. The two of India’s iconic women being part of our journey was a great blessing.
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