Karomi, The Handloom Tree's new Bauhaus collection combines Khadi-Jamdani weaves in colour block prints
HOW often have you wondered that the clothes you wear can have a story behind them? When we spotted the Bauhaus collection by Karomi — The Handloom Tree at a recent exhibition, it led us to discover the arduous and inspiring journey of Sarita Ganeriwala, the founder and creative head of the label. An NIFT graduate, Sarita has been in the textile industry since 1999 but started Karomi in the year 2007.
“Our main aim while starting Karomi was to sustain the indigenous fabrics and bring in some form of innovation in how we use the handwoven fabrics. There are people who do not want their khadi crushed or starched or clinging to the body,” explains the textile designer, Sarita. “Karomi saris are especially known for their drapes. Only those who have been wearing our collections can tell the difference,” she notes.
Sarita’s sister, Sarika Ginodia, a former chartered accountant by profession, takes care of the financial responsibilities -- and together, they established Karomi as a multi-faceted brand that offers plenty of options, including handwoven and handspun fabrics like silk, khadi, linen and wool.
Their most recent work, especially in khadi, experiments with different varieties of the fabric, mixed together to create a new texture altogether. “After working with muslin for so many years, we have now shifted our focus on khadi. We are trying to create a new genre altogether, by engaging in various experiments with the warp and weft of the weave,” says Sarita.
Khaddar Feraaya, as they call it, is made up of two different coloured yarns of 80s khadi, which is meticulously twisted into a two-ply yarn, to give a soft and supple base texture. There is an addition of jamdani weave too, in geometric patterns of different colours. This pattern, which started out in the form of stoles, is now available in saris too.
“The initial years were quite maddening, as we kept experimenting with the warps and wefts, till we got the desired result. We started with just one weaver who had no clue about what we were asking him to do. But we remained patient and eventually managed to get the job done, of a 12 shaft loom on a two-shaft loom, that too manually,” reveals Sarita.
But that is not all. they have some other patterns too, made with 150s khadi in the weft, resembling triangles and quadrangles called Khaddar Kona. ‘Kona’ means angled, and retains a likeness to the medieval monuments of India, in bold lines and angles.
A circled pattern, called Khaddar Bindu in 100s Khadi and Khaddar Aranya or Tree of Life, in high count 150s khadi, are some of the other popular weaves, found in their saris and stoles.
Recently, they also launched a new range of Indo-Western garments, made of fine handspun khadi, including dresses, kurtas, tops, and palazzos.
Starting price: Stole Rs 2,000, saris Rs 8,500 and IndoWestern wear Rs 3,000 onwards