“Sparsh is such a beautiful word, isn't it?” muses Beena Faizal as her friends and business partners Latha Kurian, Shiba Jayan, Sunu Mathew and Latha Kurien Rajeev nod their heads in agreement. “It literally means to touch and we mean to touch the lives of women across Kerala with our ‘Sparsh' brand of hand-crafted handlooms,” she explains as the five display items from their extensive collection of home furnishings, linen and clothes, which were made “for women, by women.” Sparsh will debut a part of its collection with an exhibition-cum-sale on February 4 and February 5, at Women's Club, Kowdiar, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“Each item of the collection has been designed by one of us and hand-crafted by women in the city – some working out of their homes and some working as a collective such as the members of Thanal's Zero Waste Centre at Kovalam,” says Sunu.

And the material, mostly varieties of cotton and silk, has been sourced directly from weavers across the country. The five women have no plans to open a retail outlet for their products, but will hold regular exhibitions across Kerala, each featuring a specific line from their collection.

For instance, for this particular exhibition they will present their collection for the home. It will feature a range of home furnishings and home linen such as towels, doilies, curtains, bed sheets, coverlets and so on, in a variety of hues and styles, “each given a bit of TLC with embroidery.”

Well-placed embroidery

Each piece has been given a personal touch with well-placed hand-embroidery of various kinds such as shadow work, cross stitch, tissue work, kanta work, chikankari, embossed work and so on. There are a few machine-embroidered items too. Particularly interesting in this collection are the towels and bed sheets, each with embroidery that goes well with the colours, some in rather contrasting shades.

For instance, there is an aubergine-coloured kitchen towel with kanta work in a bright yellow. For those not wanting to experiment with colours, you have white towels with red flowers in cross-stitch, pink sheets with graceful vines in white, dusky blue bed sheet with grey and green shadow work and so on.

Sparsh's range of curtains are dreamy affairs in cotton and silk, in white, pale green and a host of other pastel shades. Lace has been added to some for that elegant effect, to others embossed prints, block prints, gold tissue borders and the like. Sparsh's collection of handloom kaftans with Gurjari and kalamkari prints will be available at the fete. Contact: 9447747697