Yet another exciting find from the recent Milan Furniture Fair 2014, were the rugs from the The Rabari collection, a collaboration between the Spanish brand nanimarquina and London based designers Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levien.
The collection evokes “the sensual and shiny world of tribal folk embroidery of India,” influenced by the craft of the once-nomadic Rabaris in the Kutch region.”
Beyond the exceptional beauty that gives the bright colour of the wool curl, the Rabari are three rugs (two in beige and one in black) with an outstanding design, a canvas on which Doshi Levien have designed a refined combination of rhythms with a unique graphic sensuality.
The rugs reflect the visual culture of a pastoral community from India on one hand yet defy belonging to any vernacular roots at all. Doshi Levien’s work often walks this tightrope, balancing traditional craft with contemporary design.
“At the very beginning of the project, we decided to create a series of rugs that evoke the sensual and shiny world of tribal folk embroidery of India. We already had in mind intricately hand crafted embroideries made by the Nomadic community of the Rabaris from Kutch region. Nipa’s aunt had an amazing embroidery workshop in Ahmedabad, with 25 highly skilled craftswomen, who were all experts in hand embroidery, working with glistening mirrors, silk and cotton thread and metallic sequins amongst other non-precious materials. The women sat together on rugs on the floor, surrounded by these jewel like elements scattered around them as they worked. Often collaborating in groups, the intricate embroideries took several days to complete.
We wanted our collection for Nani Marquina to reference the unfinished embroideries like studies of different techniques in progress, as they gradually emerge over time. The spontaneous compositions of the rugs embody the serendipity and freedom to improvise inherent in each step of a handmade piece; Joyful, irreverent and unique.” Doshi Levien
Nipa Dosh and the Rabari collection
Photos © Nanimarquina, Doshi Levien, Albert Font