Suneetha/Bhaavana

A love of all things textile led Suneetha to a degree in textile design at The National Institute of Fashion Technology, India’s premier Fashion Institute. Suneetha’s designs are inspired by strong academic and technical skills, an affinity for traditional Indian patterns, and, after years living in London, the more “on trend” influences of the UK fashion market.

In collaboration with SuKaz, Suneetha has developed a broad range of fiber art techniques and is constantly adding to her repertoire of skills.Her creations include fabric origami in silk, needle felt on silk,embroidered appliqué and traditional and ribbon embroidery. All are embellished with beading, kumihimo braids and tassels handwoven on a Japanese marudai or braiding loom. Suneetha’s handcrafted buttons with accents of needle tatting and embroidery further complement her designs.

What began as an individual enterprise for Suneetha has now grown into a cottage industry. From a long line of textile artists, Suneetha called upon her family, including parents and in-laws on both sides, to join in her endeavor when she returned to India in 2008. Her family enterprise has now grown to include a group of village women, taught by Suneetha in regularly scheduled classes. The sessions are informal, often held on the rooftop of her parents’ home, the assemblage of women circled on the floor around Suneetha to better follow her demonstrations of fiber art techniques. There is laughter among the women with their young children at play nearby, there is gossip, and there is camaraderie. But above all there is an eager determination to learn art techniques which have fallen out of favor in modern times, and in the process gain a self sufficiency otherwise unavailable to them as stay-at-home mothers. And, under Suneetha’s exceptional tutelage,to coax dazzling visions of culture and tradition from simple skeins of ribbon, thread, and wool.

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