Retail Trend Watch: Indian Inspiration for Fall

Retail Trend Watch: Indian Inspiration for Fall

Catrin Morris
Jul 21, 2011

We shared our favorite sources for Indian decor and furnishings in Passage to India: Resources for South Asian Home Accents but now we turn our attention to Indian wares available through shops that are not exclusively dedicated to South Asian imports. It seems Indian-inspired and Indian-made decor has been popping up all over, from Pottery Barn and World Market to Anthropologie to ABC Carpet & Home. In many cases, the retailers emphasize that the items are handmade by local artisans, not churned out in factories.

When she visited the new Pop-Up West Elm in Georgetown, Apartment Therapy's Leah Moss learned that the chain's "hand-blocked" and "handmade" items are the real deal. Moreover, West Elm has collaborated with several global artisan cooperatives in various countries, including Aid to Artisans and Craftmark. So I wasn't surprised to open my new catalog today and find the first 10 pages full of hand-crafted products imported from India. Anthropologie and World Market are known for their international eclectic furnishings but this is quite a departure for West Elm!

1. Essex Dhurrie Ottoman from West Elm. The store's Essex Ottoman upholstered with traditional dhurries handwoven by rug weavers in Agra, India. Solid wood frame with cotton dhurrie upholstery; solid wood legs with chocolate-stained finish. Limited edition; no two patterns are exactly alike. $599.
2. Hand-Blocked Medallion Quilt from West Elm. Certified by the Indian nonprofit Craftmark as authentically hand block-printed and hand-quilted in north India's Rajasthan. Handwoven paisley medallion print pattern on one side; reverses to mosaic motif. $19-$119.
3. Shanti paisley rug from Anthropologie, $78- $1,098.
4. Carved Wood Coffee Table from West Elm. Solid mango wood table hand carved in Jaipur, India. A Limited Edition; no two pieces are exactly alike. $299.
5. Block-print bed linens in "blush flight" from ABC Carpet & Home. Vegetable dyed, hand block printed organic cotton linens made by women in Rajasthan, India who are "self employed through the nobel peace prize winning Grameen banking system of micro-loans for women below the poverty line."

6. Kantha throw from Pottery Barn, $99. Made in India from recycled saris.
7. Kantha Quilted Throw from West Elm. Hand-embroidered by female artisans in and around Calcutta, India, who cut and stitch recycled vintage cotton saris by hand, using a traditional embroidery technique called kantha. One-of-a-kind; no two are alike and will vary slightly in size. $99.
8. Indian frame from ABC Carpet & Home, $65.
9. Kilim Sofa from West Elm. Low-profile, solid mango wood-frame sofa upholstered in a handwoven kilim. Limited edition; no two are exaclty alike. Made in India. $1,299.
10. Hammered stainless steel kadhai from World Market, $3.99-$12.99. A kadhai is an essential cooking tool in Indian kitchens. Imported directly from India, the kadhai is ideal for shallow or deep frying, simmering soups and stews, or for use as a fruit bowl.

Images: As credited above.

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