We have had some bright new cushions in recently that have received a very warm reception. We thought you’d like to know a little bit more about the designer and maker behind them. May we introduce Kangan Arora a talented textile designer and maker from India..
Where is your home town and where are you based now?
I am from a small city in the north of India called Ludhiana and have been settled in London for about eight years now.
What’s on your bedside table?
A few books; Hegarty on Creativity – There are no rules, Murakami – A Wild Sheep Chase, Motherland magazine and a HAY Kaleido tray for jewellery.
What homeware item do you seek to find the perfect version of?
Quilts and throws; you can never have enough! We’ve a chest full of all manner of them, from antique kantha-stitched quilts to the most beautiful woven throws by my friend Eleanor Pritchard. I particularly love the quilts, depicted below, by Meg Callahan.
What have you made that you are you most proud of?
Many moons ago I tailored a mens suit out of heavyweight canvas, that I’d found and rescued from a weatherbeaten desert tent in the Rann of Kutch (Gujarat). I embellished the surface with dozens of metal eyelets and finished it with a beautiful tea dyed damask hemp lining. Totally unique, I’ll probably never make anything like it again!
What is your background? How did you get into textiles?
Textiles really run in my family; my great grandfather was a bit of a pioneer and started a fashion textile business in Punjab over a 100 years ago, so from the age of five that’s all I wanted to be involved in when I grew up. Somewhere along the line the bold, dynamic fashion influence, translated into interior textiles and homewares and that’s what I am doing now.
Describe your design process:
I start with hundreds of photos I have taken of things that inspire me – it could be windows, people, buildings, markets… Then I abstract forms and motifs from one, colour from another and roughly put them together.
A lot of the designing actually happens on the go in the studio; when I have put two or three patterns I’m happy with on silkscreen, I just have a play around to see how they work together and in which colour combinations. This experimentation and happy accidents are really the fun part of the whole process – it’s like unwrapping presents and never knowing what you might receive next.
The house is on fire, what do you grab?
My hand painted wedding signs, photographic archives and a sewing machine. My husband could carry them all and save himself too!
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
Very simple that one: India. More and more I also find myself being influenced by the tumble-dryer of creativity that is London, but it’s to the colour, energy and eclecticism of home that I’ll always be drawn.
What homeware item do you own that is most coveted by your friends?
My Tom Dixon Fluoro Offcut stool
Describe your style in three words:
Graphic, handcrafted, uplifting (I resisted saying colour, hopefully that speaks for itself!)
What is your current obsession?
Risograph printing, the colour mint, brass stationery and the new Metronomy album.
What does the future look like?
It looks rather busy from where I’m standing… In the short term, planning the next collection which will launch at Designjunction in September, featuring more heavyweight winter textiles and a range of rugs. Longer term? I’ll have to get back to my fashion roots at some stage!
We are stocking Kangan’s cushions in our very own exclusive colourways. Have a look online or pop into the shop to bask in their colourful glory.
If you like Kangan’s style we recommend checking out her on Instagram. A cheery pop of colour to brighten your day.