KOCHI: Febin George was in Goa doing research for her postgraduate course in Marine Biology when she came across a macrame exhibition. The way natural threads can be twined together to form beautiful crafts caught her attention. But, then, she touched a macrame thread only during the first Covid-induced lockdown in 2020, when she felt like she needed a creative outlet. Fast forward to now, Febin is all set to introduce macrame fashion to Malayalis through her boho-chic brand.
“I got my first order for decorative items while I was trying to purchase macrame threads from a craft shop in Irinjalakuda. This was in 2020, and I hadn’t even started learning macrame. But the shop introduced to me a client who provided me with macrame threads,” she says. “I promised to return the threads if my attempt didn’t pan out,” she quips.
Febin didn’t know then that she will fall in love with the craft enough to start her own studio, Mac Studio. Her first order was a set of macrame pockets to hold plant pots and a few wall hangings. She started her Instagram page in March 2020.
“Now, the studio is my life. My PhD plans are on hold. My priority is developing the studio and popularising macrame attires in Kerala. Outside India, macrame fashion is already a hit. When I started doing intricate designs, naturally my interest fell to fashion. You can create beautiful and delicate beach wears, dresses and crop tops using macrame,” Febin says.
In January 2021, she started looking for models to do a photoshoot, even before completing her first design, an off-white crop top and skirt set. The short skirt had long flowy threads. The top was airy and had a certain aesthetics that conventional stitching cannot achieve.
Febin is adamant about not compromising on her designs to suit the sensibilities of conservative people. There’s an aesthetical value to her designs, a delicate beauty. Her bikini designs prove this point. “Right now, my designs are for the shelves. The common public is reluctant to adopt them. Right now, I am designing crop tops, bags and accessories using macrame for an Onam release. I hope to find a fan base for my collection by then,” says Febin.
Though she handles everything alone — designing, purchases, marketing — her love for the craft keeps her going. “It takes a long time to create intricate macrame works, especially garments. But it is a huge stress buster,” says Febin. Her sister Merin George helps out often.