Habitat’s Textiles buyer Gemma Pengilley and Textiles & Pattern Designer Martha Coates travelled to India for their bi-annual buying trip where they spent time collaborating with local artisans to create the amazing products that end up on our shop floor throughout the year.
Where was your destination?
We went to Delhi and surrounding areas, including the specific rug production region outside Delhi called Panipat – a 3 hour drive on a good day!
What was the reason for your trip?
To develop our AW15 Textiles and Rugs collections in addition to catching up on current production.
Can you give our readers a bit of background about the trip?
Rug production utilises skills present for hundreds of years, from spinning of the yarns to weaving the rugs. All take great skill and patience to produce each piece by hand whether woven on a hand loom or hand tufted, no machines involved. On this trip we visited one of Habitat’s oldest suppliers who have previously produced our Coates, Brecan and Agnes rugs and who have a great colour and technique sensibility and can transform our designs from paper into really beautiful pieces. We often try more than one technique and are always pleasantly surprised by the results! It’s a really collaborative approach and always my favourite part of the trip.
We also work with a fantastic supplier who produces our hand-tufted rugs, the approach is really like painting by numbers, and each piece can take from hours to days to complete. The finish and detail is immaculate, each piece really is an investment into the skill and dedication of the maker.
What are you excited to work on next?
We are always thinking ahead and gathering inspiration and techniques for future collections. Scary to think we are thinking about SS16 already. There is always a new way we can apply pattern and colour to what are essentially very traditional techniques.
All images in this post courtesy of Briana Blasko