Tulips Atelier: The human side of our brand

January 20, 2018

It all started with a meditative activity that would engross our founder Raajkumarri as a little girl for hours on the trot. The said activity was her mother’s sewing. She was enthralled by the machine’s energetic hum, the vigorous movements of the needle and the way it impregnated the fabric with threads. Today, almost after 60 years, the sound of the machine is still music to her ears; the difference, however, lies in the beat – the gentle whir of her mother’s sewing machine is now supplanted by a well-rounded orchestra of 35 sewing machines used by skilled tailors.


 Tailors in the swim of things


 Spools of thread primed up for creating beautiful stories on fabrics


  Karigar at his workstation

The thumping cadence of the machine crescendos as one nears the atelier. Forever effervescing with hustle and bustle – the atelier is a place where tailors, karigars, and designers huddle up, brainstorm, and fling into action once they have the details of a project hashed over and down pat.


 Design team in action


The pulsing clickety-clack goes silent at 1 when everyone disperses for lunch. On the stroke of 2, the music starts again, gaining momentum and gathering force as the day segues into afternoon – a crucial time for the design team as the dispatch team bursts onto the scene.


 Tailor working his magic on a fabric manipulation sample


In the world of mass-production and fast-fashion, Raajkumarri felt the need to take it slowly and steadily because she knew that doing a job properly takes the time it takes. Well, that’s not to say that deadlines don’t loom large, but when the involvement of the craftsmen is deep and unwavering, the process of creation becomes deft and automatic.


 Pinning process in progress


 Karigar plying the needle at his adda


 Draftsman tracing the artwork on a khaka paper


The craft of curtain-making is meticulous and exacting – right from fabric selection to envisaging its fall to the hardware, every aspect of needs to be discussed, pored over, and examined down to the last detail, so that there are no last gasp snags or complications at the time of installation.


 Intricate hand-embroidery  in process


Craftsmanship is at the heart of Tulips. It isn’t just about complex needlework and fine fabrics but about taking the time to learn and appreciate time-honored crafts, their provenance, their people, and their folklore. “It’s an exciting time for artisanal workmanship. We are embracing and cherishing our crafts and thinking about unique ways in terms of contextualizing them in the modern narrative. It’s a welcome shift in perception which was unheard of, about a decade ago,” remarks our founder.


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