Reviving traditional Indian crafts is the mood of the moment, but it’s something designer Alka Sharma has been passionate about ever since she graduated from the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Jaipur with a specialisation in textile studies in 2003. After spending the next few years laying a strong foundation, she launched Aavaran in 2011. The label takes Mewar’s dabu mud-resist, hand-dyed and hand block prints and makes them contemporary with its signature range of clothing, home furnishings and accessories. The Udaipur-based brand now forays out its home state with a 1,000sqft store in Bengaluru’s heritage art deco building, Ambara, overlooking the picturesque Ulsoor Lake.
“I launched Aavaran not just to sustain and revive this traditional textile craft but also to provide economic empowerment to the indigenous craftsmen of the region. We give this heritage craft a modern spin with our intricate dabu printing, use of handwoven fabrics, and indigo and natural dye-based collections. All our patterns and motifs are extremely well-researched,” explains Sharma.
The Bengaluru store will house silk and cotton saris, kurtas, dupattas, menswear and kidswear. Patrons can also shop for Aavaran’s popular bed linen, tableware, cushion covers, quilts and kitchen accessories. The brand’s zero waste policy has led to the creation of a special range of décor accents like durries, coin bags, quilts, poltis, jewellery, juttis and gift items, that Sharma points out have become extremely sought-after.
Also on offer will be Aavaran’s festive collection ‘Neem e Jaal’, their very first embroidered line. “We have also developed a range called Ayurvastra, which is steeped in Ayurvedic teachings on medicines, health and healing. We use organic cotton treated with a precise combination of herbs and oil to promote health and help cure ailments. It’s just what one needs to relieve their body of stress in today’s fast-paced times,” signs off Sharma.
Aavaran, 22, Annaswamy Mudaliar Road, Bengaluru
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