Fifty shades of Indigo from online brand, House of Ekam

House of Ekam has its design inspiration rooted in nature and tradition. Expect a fusion of modern sensibilities with indigenous indian craft techniques.

Showcasing moody hues of blues, the new line of home décor linen by the online brand, House of Ekam is aptly called ‘the Indigo Collection’. We catch up with Delhi-based Tanvi Agarwal, the founder and creative head of House Of Ekam, who started the brand in the year 2017. A self-taught designer, she is a graduate and post graduate in Mathematics and has worked in mergers and acquisitions in Ernst & Young. After her stint at E&Y, she started working at which was one of the largest furniture and home decor marketplaces in the country then and that’s where her love for textiles and design bloomed. Soon she realised the dearth of well designed handmade products in the online space and that's how the brand House Of Ekam was born. We talk to the entrepreneur about her new collection and how her brand is championing for sustainability.

Tell us about your new collection.

Our indigo collection is a small testament of our love for the colour. I have personally been fascinated with natural colours and its usage in home furnishings and apparel. We have been experimenting with Indigo and Dabu (a form of mud resist printing) for over 3 years and we wanted to include this beautiful colour in all our categories ie. curtains, bed linen, tableware, textiles etc. Our collection features traditional sanganeri motifs to unique abstract prints to some modern florals. Each yard of fabric is block printed by hand without a trace of chemical using only natural indigo

Tell us about your sourcing of material. How sustainable is your brand?

Our fabrics are sourced from all over the country and then hand block printed by talented artisans at our workshop in and around Jaipur. Being in an industry where fabric wastes and digitization are the norm, we try very hard to reduce this. Right from producing 100 per cent handmade fabric in small batches to re-using all our fabric wastes in the form of our zero waste collection, we try to be as sustainable as we can.

Do tell us more about the craft involved and about the artisans.

The dabu process begins with the collection and storage of mud from the local pond.; prior to its usage the mud is wet and sieved until it becomes a fine paste. It is then mixed with lime, gum either fenugreek or alum and jaggery. The fabric to be printed is washed thoroughly to remove all starch and then dried; the entire yardage is treated with harda or the mordant. The resist printing is executed by applying our wooden blocks dipped in the dabu paste. The fabric is then dyed in natural indigo and depending upon the design of the fabric, it goes a second round of resist printing or washing which removes the mud paste and imparts the final neela colour to the resisted areas. Our artisans are experts in the field and have been practising this craft for many years. They live and breathe the colour and majority of them work from their homes itself allowing women to be included as well.

What is your personal favourite from this collection?

It's tough to choose a favourite but I particularly love the indigo mughal curtains (it’s our bestseller too) and our indigo patchwork design featuring curtains, quilts, table linen etc.

From INR 500 onward.

Available online.

- Sabrina Rajan

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