Discover the new world of Evolved Indic Craft at Caravan

Discover the new world of Evolved Indic Craft at Caravan

Last weekend, Bengal cast a spell over Bengaluru through a mesmerising Jugalbandi. Caravan hosted an enchanted evening as two skilled weavers from Bengal spun magic–fine Jamdani Muslin scarves–while the air was rent by the bold yet lilting voices of three Bauls {wandering minstrels from Bengal}. The mystic music of the Bauls stirred hearts while the skill of the weavers as they spun intricate Jamdani patterns on fine Muslin cloth elicited gasps. It was an evening that will be remembered.

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Brand Caravan

Committed to the revival and promotion of Indian craft, Caravan makes magic happen every day. It attempts to bridge the gap between the rich reservoir of Indian craftsmanship and the evolving needs of contemporary living. In so doing, it seeks to revive a diverse and glorious artistic heritage and protect the livelihood of artisans.

What makes Caravan unique? The brand does not merely restore ancient crafts, but revisits them through the lens of modernity. Caravan celebrates the beauty of ancient craftsmanship, but refines it with a sophisticated sensibility that makes its elegant products relevant in today’s times. Caravan is perhaps the only contemporary craft brand in India that designs and creates products that are both timeless and timely. The products revive a wide range of crafts from different regions. Take the instance of Bidri, a craft from North Karnataka, traditionally used to create decorative pieces, e.g. boxes, animal figures, vases. Caravan now uses Bidri to make jewellery and, even corporate accessories like USB drives and Bluetooth speakers.

164c Prajnaa Collection

Prajnaa Collection

Caravan works with more than 25 crafts from clusters across India: fine Muslin woven in Bengal, intricate Aari embroidery of Rajasthan, vibrant lacquered woodwork of Channapatna, soft chambrays of Mangalagiri, are just a few of these. Its intent is as much to reinvent as it is to restore the respect and livelihood of the incredibly talented artisans. The innovative products–an elegant confluence of silhouettes, motifs and colour palettes–are aligned to international trends. While the products make one marvel over the skills of the crafts persons preserved over generations, they speak a refreshing new language of minimalism and the luxury of simplicity. Thus, they stand apart from the conventional kitsch associated with Indian crafts.

164d Whiff of Wildflowers

Whiff of Wildflowers Collection

Caravan represents the journey from handicraft to hand crafted. The transition involves intensive design and process interventions that combine modern functionality and aesthetics with traditional craft practices. The process enables the creation of fashion and lifestyle products {apparel, jewellery, home decor, accessories, toys} that find discerning customers around the world.

164e Prajnaa Collection

Prajnaa Collection

 

Celebrating Craft

For aeons, Muslin has been regarded as the finest fabric. Extremely skilled artisans create this refined hand-spun yarn, woven in counts of upto 350 threads per inch.

Jamdani, figured or flowered, is the technique of making motifs on the fabric with an extra weft thread while weaving. Traditionally done using silk thread on fine Muslin fabric, Jamdani holds special relevance in the rich and diverse culture of Bengal.

164f Lyn Collection

The Lyn Collection – Murmurs of a Cascade: Handcrafted in sterling silver with rare clear Blue Onyx

The ethereal Muslin and the intricate motifs of Jamdani had patrons not just among the Indian aristocrats of the Mughal and the Colonial eras, but was prized in many other parts of the world. Legend has it that an ounce of Muslin used to sell in Rome for an ounce of gold! Jamdani fabric gained popularity across Europe during the days of the British Raj. Interestingly, today, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London displays the rich heritage of traditional Jamdani work.

 

Caravan Intervention

Working closely with Bengal artisans, Caravan has been instrumental in developing a variety of sophisticated, re-engineered weaves that add strength to the gentle caress of this legendary textile form.

164g Lyn Collection

The Lyn Collection – Murmurs of a Cascade: Handcrafted in sterling silver with rare clear Blue Onyx

Through intensive training programs in many districts of Bengal, Caravan has introduced new design techniques that allow greater pattern explorations and increased durability while maintaining the essence of the craft. Contemporary design specifications and structured draft plans aid the weavers in meticulously creating fabric that retains the finesse and feel of Muslin, while accessing a wider range of product possibilities.

Traditionally, Muslin was used for free-flowing gowns and saris–clothes that could be draped around one. The loosely-woven fabric does not lend itself to being stitched. But the re-engineered fabrics created by Caravan can be stitched to create fitted trousers {this special weave allows a stretch without the use of Lycra}, shirts and tunics.

164h Filigree - Sava Collection

The Filigree Sava Collection – The Alluring Essence of Petals: Handcrafted in sterling silver with beautiful Pink Agate

That’s the magic of Caravan and you could feel it in the air last weekend. But even if you missed the program, the show goes on… Step into any of the Caravan stores and get ready to be enchanted!

Caravan’s collections are available at their flagship stores in Phoenix Market City, Bengaluru; Inorbit Malad, Mumbai; and Bergamo, Khader Nawaz Khan Road, Chennai. People from Bengaluru can also find a part of their collection at 100 Ft Boutique and Restaurant, Indiranagar; and, at Basava Ambara, Basavangudi. The tech savvy and traffic wary could shop online on their web store here.

Drop in and discover the new world of Evolved Indic Craft

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

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