3 local designers on the resurgence of the humble cross stitch

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Aggarwal tells us about his fond memories of cross stitch and how he strives to retain its vintage essence.

First memory: My mother introduced me to cross stitch through her hand-embroidered sheets, cushions and tablecloths. I was very young then, probably twelve or thirteen. It made me so happy when my mom would take these things out of her trunk and put them to good use around the house. The grid fabric resembling graph paper intrigued me. All of the shapes and figures almost looked like lego when embroidered onto the unique basket weave fabric. The cross stitch is a very happy memory of my childhood. Very nostalgic.

Renewal : Fast forward to 2020 during lockdown – I was sitting with my mom in her bedroom and coincidentally she had the same bed sheet and cross stitch pillows on the bed. We started discussing it, and mom said, “Why don’t you convert it to a Harago shirt?” This is how the idea of ​​bringing cross stitch to our label was born. The first cross stitch shirt made from my mother’s hand-embroidered bed sheet from 40 years ago was purchased by Harry Styles, and it gave us the confidence to keep going. My mother then inquired locally about the artisans who still practice this craft, and after many successes and trials, we found a female artisan who made the first sample model for us. It was then bought by the world’s biggest retailers and sold like hot cakes. We then worked on other designs, all of which are reproduction of vintage and antique designs that have real charm. Today, more than a dozen craftsmen do cross-stitch embroidery for us under the supervision of my mom. So grateful for his random idea.

Craftsmen: All of our artisans are in Rajasthan. Our process begins by tracing the design on grid paper, then the embroidery is done after counting the weft and warp threads of the basketweave cotton fabric.

Contemporary it: We have done nothing to modernize it. We use old patterns that we reproduce on the very traditional crisscross basket weave, and each piece of clothing is still hand-embroidered in the homes of our artisans.

Take the challenge: Initially, it was difficult to find a point of contact who still practiced this form of craftsmanship, but it became easier as several others were trained to do so. It was more like they had honed their skills – they were used to doing this almost thirty years ago. They felt encouraged by the growing demand for cross stitch.

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Ode to odd

Inspired by the imaginations of sisters Shreya and Priyal Mewara, Ode to Odd’s first cross stitch date dates back to 2018, when the brand debuted at Fashion Week with its collection. Language of flowers. Since then, cross stitch has found its place in their collections, with their last drop reviving the ancestral technique with a fresh and contemporary touch.



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