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Creating in confinement

At the end of February, I left India to return to Europe. Having passed through International airports, I respected the two weeks distancing advised to make sure I had no symptoms to pass on to others. Fortunately, I managed to squeeze in lunches, dinners and a couple of tea times with friends just before France went into lockdown and social distancing obligatory. India followed two weeks later and all our work there came to a full stop.

In the beginning, I tried pushing against it and was still trying to advance our Wholesale Manufacturing side of the business as we were having returning clients and recurring orders to accomplish. The business was taking a new interesting turn creating fabrics and designs for others. I wanted the webmaster to make us a new site for this but he was in lockdown with an old computer that would not comply with the task. If I was to remain sane I had to let go and go within.

Luckily I was able to receive four of my boxes from India before no more could be sent out from there. In one of them, I had Indian bedsheets I had discovered in an exhibition of hand spun and handwoven cotton from all regions of Gujarat. There I met artisans from Surat making block printed Indian sheets, pillowcases and the widest handwoven ecru cotton fabric I had come across.

I have been dreaming for a while to create a line of hand spun, handwoven bed linens, voile curtains and cushion covers and this was the perfect opportunity to make samples of what I have in mind. Needing basic comfort in these crazy times and wanting to experience the feel of natural hand made linens I started with bed set.

I began dying some of the ecru fabric which would be the backside of the quilt cover and pillowcases with natural dyes I took to experimenting with what I had. The pillowcases I boil washed in Turmeric, twice, to have a bright yellow. The piece for the back of the quilt I boiled with frozen mixed berry fruits and blackcurrant tea to achieve pink. Both the colours were not what I had in mind and will leave the natural dying for a future line to the real experts I work with in India. The fitted sheet I left untouched.

The cool crisp softness of 100% mill made cotton bed linen that I have always loved, is not what I experienced. It was something so much better, a warm, earthly softness that has a cool breath of its own and a natural nurturing feel of simpler times when everything was simply imperfectly perfect.

My next project was the living room, moving the furniture around to find a new perspective and making colourful cushion covers to blend with other handwoven Indian bedsheets. I became creative in using what I had when I ran out of zips I made the crossover pillowcase method for their closings. I even found one piece of velcro for one of them.


My last of these freshened interior creations were curtains for the front door and living room. 

A white finely handwoven cotton voile curtain for the front door. Fine enough to let the light in and dense enough to keep the heat out.

The living room untouched organic cotton hand spun and hand woven check design fabric that dances in the breeze. Light enough to see the colours of my flower pot garden, another COVID confinement creation and to let the setting sun just filter soft light through


Normally my quirky apartment would not be the choice of a show home photoshoot for soft furnishings but this period has had no normal to it. I have come to realise at the end of week eight that I have been busy creating an inner sanctum while strengthening my inner well being. Like most of the collective consciousness, I also was asking for time, space to be, to create a new simpler natural normal and like most was not expecting it to happen in such a way. The positives for the natural environment are far outweighing the negatives of the economy.

I for one prefer the new world emerging and am hopeful for the future.

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