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Luxury linens

A tour of a home nowadays doesn’t just involve ‘oohing and aahing’ over the imported sofa set or the custom-made dining table. More important is the embellished cushions and the handmade, lace-edged dining table cloth with matching napkins  

A friend who is setting up home is showing me around her new apartment. She leads me to the master bedroom and we both stand in front of the bed reverentially; it is a lovely four-poster bed, beautifully done up in dove-grey bed linen and decorated with elegant cushions. “Isn’t it beautiful?” she says almost breathlessly. “Feel the bed cover.” I obey quickly; it is incredibly soft. “We got it on our honeymoon in Italy, it is like sleeping on a cloud,” she says. The whole tour of the house involves more of me being asked to feel and touch things. By the end of the visit, I have stroked silk cushion covers, felt the weight of every curtain and run my fingers down enough fluffy bath towels to last me a lifetime.

A tour of a home nowadays doesn’t just involve ‘oohing and aahing’ over the imported sofa set or the custom-made dining table. More important is the embellished cushions and the handmade, lace-edged dining table cloth with matching napkins. “Linens are a great way to give your home a touch of class,” says Parushni Aggarwal Gupta, Owner and Creative Director, Studio Creo. “Home linens add colour, definition and style. They transform spaces and add a personal touch to every room.”

When it comes to luxury home linens, quality is as important as design. Bandit Queen is an India-based venture that deals with superior quality bed, bath and table linen. “We only work with natural fibres like cotton, linen and silk,” says Yamini Namjoshi, brand director of Bandit Queen. “We weave all our own fabrics, as we need them to be of a certain construction and quality that works for our standards; the collections are designed and hand-crafted in our private artisan studios located in the South of India.”

Sarita Handa, founder and creator of the eponymous brand, says one should go for absolutely pure fabrics. “Breathable and soft fabrics are a must,” she says. “100 per cent cotton and 100 per cent linen are good choices for the home; they are machine washable and provide comfort.” At Sarita Handa, the home linen products are designed and manufactured in their own factories. This is so that there is no compromise when it comes to quality and design. Especially since luxury home linens aren’t always easy on the pocket.

A printed bedsheet with two rectangular pillow cases would cost you Rs.15,000 at Bandit Queen. “All our products are made from custom woven materials and involve a great amount of design detailing,” says Yamini. The bedding at Sarita Handa starts at Rs.12,000 and goes up to Rs.24,000; cushions range from Rs.2,000 to 6,500 and fabrics from Rs.1,500 to 6,000. Though the prices are steep, there are plenty of willing customers. A plethora of stores dedicated to luxury home linens are found across the country — Atmosphere, Good Earth and Address Home, to name a few.

At Address Home, the cushion covers start from Rs.1,500 and the bed covers from Rs.10,000. “Besides our exclusive stores, we are also online at www.addresshome.com,” says Rajat Singhi, the founder and creative director. “We will soon be opening stores in Surat, Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Kolkata.”

Another testament to the growing market for luxury home linens in India is the foreign brands that are setting up shop. Frette, the renowned Italian bed and bath linen manufacturers, has a store in Mumbai. Fendi Casa, the furnishing and furniture line of Fendi, has also been brought to India. InV Home houses niche luxury home linen brands like Chacha by Iris and Mimi’lou from France, Chilewich from New York and Home Concept from Portugal. “We look for exclusivity, comfort and luxury in the brands we source,” says Nitin Jain, managing director and co-founder, InV Home. “We also offer customisation options of the products for our customers.” Sheets and cushion covers can be made to size.

At Bandit Queen, your home linen can be tastefully monogrammed, adding that extra touch of class. With customisation options, it can take about two weeks for the final product to be delivered, but that is worth the wait for that unparalleled fit and workmanship.

Luxury home-linens are an investment. “The fabrics need to be carefully picked so they can bear regular wear and tear,” says Parushni Aggarwal. “While the comfort factor is important, keep an eye on the stitches and seams to be sure that craftsmanship is top quality.” Also it is better to go for classic colours and designs, if you want to buy something that will stand the test of time.

“New colours will come every season, but classics like white, ivory, natural and grey hues will always be in style,” says Handa. Keep the base simple and add on textures and prints by way of bright coloured, interesting printed pieces.

Count counts

When picking luxury bed linens, thread count is important. This is the number of threads (warp and weft) found in one square inch of the fabric. The higher the number of threads the softer and finer the material will be. Make sure you also feel the fabric; the softness will change after a couple of washes.

For bath linens, thread count doesn’t matter. It is about GSM, grams per square metre. The higher the GSM (between 400-600), the better the absorbency and quality. Make sure the fabric is pure and 100 per cent cotton.

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Printable version | Apr 12, 2021 1:48:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/magazine/suvasini-sridharan-on-fine-linens-becominga-new-lifestyle-trend/article7664554.ece

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