NICHOLA TAYLORSON - ETHICAL TEXTILES FROM ARTISANAL INDIA
A wonderful warm welcome to the Pad collective this month to London-based textile designer Nichola Taylorson, who creates bespoke graphic, hand-block printed cushions inspired by Indian craftsmanship. She blends traditional block print techniques with mud print, and embroidery (digital and hand), to create designs which are fresh, vibrant and beautifully personal.
Nichola's ideas and inspiration come from an extensive stint living and working in India. After graduating from Leeds College of Art with a degree in Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design, Nichola pursued an opportunity to work for a furnishing fabric manufacturing company in Mumbai, where she worked as their European designer. It was while working here, using new tools and techniques, that her passion and expertise for digital embroidery grew and her ideas and inspiration for her first collection were born.
"Embracing the intense environment, I found myself completely immersed in the rich Indian culture and the vibrancy of the country and the people, " said Nichola. "I found this experience very inspiring and I fell in love with the hand applied craft and traditional Indian processes in making textiles."
Today Nichola designs her collections in London and works closely with ethically-sourced Indian artisans in Jaipur and Bangalore for the printing of all her fabric. She also works with fair trade organisation Jacob's Well that helps women from vulnerable backgrounds, who provide the stitching. "Every cushion stitched helps provide a wonderful group of women with employment and a safe place to work."
Also passionate about Vivienne Westwood's notion: "Buy less, choose well, make it last", Nichola says this is important to her brand and aims to create a product that fit's in with this ethos, of quality over quantity and making something that will be treasured.
Nichola's fusion of traditional English aesthetic with the age-old techniques and vibrant energy of India has resulted in a tactile, contemporary range of fabrics. By working so closely with the artisans in India and by using 100% natural fabrics, Nichola's fabrics retain a real hand finished, unique and luxury feel, transporting a little bit of Indian heritage and energy into the homes of her customers.
The Saavan Pompom cushion is one of our favorites at Pad. The word Saavan in the Hindu language, is the word used for welcoming the first rain after the dry, hot months. Reflecting water is Nichola's inspiration for this design, which is almost like marble in cool tones of grey dyed indigo finished with a border trim of cotton indigo 'pearls' completing the luxe bohemian look.
An embellishment to this design is Nichola's Pale Jasmine cushion. The fabric has been dyed by hand with 100% natural indigo in Jaipur, which creates the beautiful veining like a piece of fine white marble. The design was inspired by the Jasmine flower, a familiar scent in India, conveyed through delicate embroidered white flowers to the front. A subtle yet intricately made piece.
Taraka in Sanskrit means 'star', which is the inspiration behind the Taraka cushion. The bold, geometric pattern has been mud printed by hand and dyed with 100% natural indigo dye. The skill of talented artisans in Jaipur is clearly shown in the hand embroidered pattern. A plain white linen on the reverse side completes the look.
We love Nichola's work and we're sure you will too. We have four of Nichola's cushion designs available to shop online today, and we will have some pieces in store very soon. Come check them out!