Fifty shades of Indigo from the online brand House of Ekam

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Online brand House of Ekam’s new line of home decor linens, featuring moody shades of blue, is aptly called ‘the Indigo Collection’. We catch up with Delhi-based Tanvi Agarwal, the founder and creative head of House Of Ekam, which started the brand in the year 2017. She is a self-taught designer, graduate and postgraduate in Mathematics and has worked in mergers and acquisitions at Ernst & Young. After her stint at E&Y, she started working at Fabfurnish.com, then one of the largest furniture and home decor markets in the country, where her love for textiles and design blossomed. She soon realized the lack of well-designed handmade products in the online space and so the House Of Ekam brand was born. We talk to the entrepreneur about her new collection and how her brand stands up for sustainability.

Tell us about your new collection.

Our indigo collection is a small testament to our love for color. I have been personally fascinated by natural colors and their use in home furnishings and clothing. We have been experimenting with Indigo and Dabu (a form of mud resistant printing) for over 3 years and we wanted to include this beautiful color in all our categories ie. curtains, bedding, crockery, textiles etc. Our collection includes traditional sanganeri motifs to unique abstract prints to some modern flowers. Every meter of fabric is hand printed without a trace of chemicals using only natural indigo

Tell us about your material procurement. How sustainable is your brand?

Our fabrics are sourced from all over the country and then hand printed by talented artisans in our workshop in and around Jaipur. Because we are in an industry where textile waste and digitization are the norm, we do everything we can to reduce this. From producing 100 percent handmade fabric in small batches to reusing all our fabric waste in the form of our zero waste collection, we try to be as sustainable as possible.

Tell us more about the craft involved and about the craftsmen.

The dabu process starts with collecting and storing mud from the local pond.; before use, 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 thoroughly washed to remove all starch and then dried; the whole yardage is treated with harda or the mordant. The resist printing is done by applying our wooden blocks dipped in the dabu paste. The fabric is then dyed in natural indigo and depending on the design of the fabric, it goes through a second round of resist printing or washing where the mud paste is removed and the final neela color is given to the areas of resistance. Our craftsmen are experts in the field and have been practicing this craft for many years. They live and breathe the color and the majority of them work from their own homes, which also allows women to be included.

What is your personal favorite from this collection?

It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I especially love the indigo mughal curtains (it’s also our best seller) and our indigo patchwork design with curtains, quilts, table linens, etc.

From INR 500.

Available online.

– Sabrina Rajan

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