Ten-Second Takeaway

We stumbled upon this tiny fabric store called Gamthi as we set about exploring Shankar Market. What we saw made us never want to leave.

Cut To Kalamkari

131016_Gamthi_Kalamkari1 We Died And Went To Handloom Heaven At This Shop In Shankar MarketUpon entering the store, our eyes first landed on the pile of Kalamkari fabric—the designs were big, bold, and beautiful. There was nothing generic about the prints and the colour palette moved refreshingly away from the deep maroon, brown, and mustard-yellow base, which is usually the norm.

We found this fabric in pretty pinks, greens, oranges, and blues {priced at INR 1,250 per metre}, which made us a little too happy. We even learnt that an authentic Kalamkari fabric is first dipped in milk and then coloured with vegetable dye!

If these Kalamkari designs weren’t unique enough already, they even sell Kalamkari borders with stunning prints that you can add to a plain dupatta or saree. These come for INR 450 per metre, and if you manage to have a little piece of the border leftover afterwards, you can use the motif as an interesting patch at the back of your blouse or kurta.

Ikat Love

131016_Gamthi_Ikat We Died And Went To Handloom Heaven At This Shop In Shankar MarketThe many rolls of Pochampally ikat fabric right behind the counter left us in a tizzy. While we do nurse a special spot in our hearts for ikat in general, the colours and designs used in their collection made them no less than picture perfect.

Aside from ikat, they have gorgeous shibori, dabu {indigo block print}, gajji silk {great for getting jackets stitched}, south cotton border {INR 250 per metre}, ajrakh, batik and khadi fabric {INR 200 – 225 per metre}, too.

Dream Team

Run by husband-wife duo Tribhuvan {who studied pattern design at NIFT} and Monica {who also has a background in fashion}, Gamthi has a whole lot of other handloom fabrics to offer.

The great thing about them is that they, while taking care to not tamper around with the integrity of the art form, don’t necessarily go by the book when it comes to their design. They aren’t cookie-cutter obvious, so you won’t find similar kind of fabric in a state emporium, for instance. We love that.

Photos: Poulomi Dey/LBB


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