Rema Kumar, textile designer based in Delhi, has been working with a large cross-section of weavers and master craftsmen along the length and breadth of India for almost two decades – Balaramapuram, Kanchipuram, Mangalgiri, to Champa, Chhattisgarh, Kota, Murshidabad, Maheshwari, Chanderi, to Uttarakhand, Bhuj in Gujarat, Bhandara, Maharashtra and other weaving centres in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Her focus has always been integrating tradition with novelty, infusing new life into age-old techniques by way of vibrant colours and designs and constantly encouraging weavers to think out of the box to create something different. With an experience of over 20 years in textile design, Rema Kumar’s creations are a reflection of her knowledge of India’s varied weaving techniques. Not restricting herself to one state or region, she has mastered the art of fusion of various weaves in Cotton, Silk, Tussars and Wool with indigenous surface detailing techniques like Kalamkari, Kantha, Patti Ka Kaam, Mukaish, Chikan, Cutwork, Bandini, Batik, Ajrakh, Handblockprints, Ariwork, Soof Embroidery, Mirrorwork to create collections that are truly exclusive and one of a kind. Though her passion lies in designing saris, and trying to keep the interest in the six yards alive among our Indian women, her collection also includes stoles, dupattas and home accents in the form of dhurries and floor-cushions.
The first morning, I woke up to a view of paddy fields from my window and the sounds of Sahu's buffaloes. He borrowed a Nano car from his neighbour for a week, expecting me to drive with him to where the weavers lived, about 3km away.