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A Thing of Beauty by Kale Nele
Cushions and Table Linen from Guledgudda, Karnataka




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THE STORY
Kale Nele, meaning a shelter for all forms of art and crafts in Kannada, adopts traditional crafts and interprets them to provide lifestyle products that can become a part of our day-to-day lives. For this collection of cushion covers, table runners, mats and napkins, the Khun fabric from weavers in Guledgudda is combined with patchwork, kasuti embroidery, appliqué and Gubbies (little sparrows used as charms for baby cots) by artisans in rural Karnataka.

The Khun fabric is so resplendent in both its form and color, with its unmistakable grandeur, that its intricate weaving is truly an art to be treasured. This fabric was traditionally used to make cholis of women in North Karnataka and Maharashtra. With few takers for the fabric today, the sad reality is that traditional looms are shutting down.

Patch work is a form of needlework that involves sewing together individual little pieces of fabrics to create one larger design. Geometric shapes including Hexagons, Triangles, Squares and Rectangles can all come together. In India, this is particularly popular in Karnataka to make blankets that are called as ‘Kaudhi’. The Lambani tribe also wear a lot of apparel created with this art.

Kasuti embroidery is a very intricate form of embroidery from the heart of Karnataka - Dharwad. This form of art is so delicate that it can involve putting upto 5000 stitches to produce a pattern. In this collection, panels of Kasuti are worked into the cushion designs.

The ‘Gubbi Play’ cushions are created by re-interpreting Gubbies or little sparrows, which were made of fabric and grouped together to make charms for babies. These adorned the cribs as dangling playthings. The colorful Gubbies, transported the babies to the world of little birds keeping the baby entertained, and allowing the mother to cook the meal for the day!