A Study in Pastels

Cananor Guild brings floral motifs, pastel hues and embroidered notes through its eclectic range of home textiles
A Study in Pastels

A green stalk with a yellow tulip bud and another stalk of a pink daisy with leaves and smaller flowers, along with a bee and butterfly for company—if this visual reminds you of your childhood sketchbook, it’s time to turn the nostalgia into nimbly crafted home linen. For more such embroidered offerings, delve into the resplendent world of Cananor Guild from Kannur, Kerala.

Started by husband and wife Manjul Jayakumar and Vandhana Kollara Sunil in 2021, the Guild resulted from their passion to celebrate and champion the rich textile traditions of Kannur. “There is a little story behind it. Manjul and I observed our friends cherishing high-quality products, originally crafted in India, but ironically procured from European and American brands. Thus, began an endeavour to not only sustain the region’s identity, history and craftsmanship, but also provide textiles imbued with the meticulous touch of skilled artisans to the global market,” says Sunil. This is being done by merging traditional techniques like the vat dyeing method to give fabrics a distinct vibrancy.

Collaborating with local artisans has ensured authenticity. “We have partnered with Kudumbashree (Kerala’s women empowerment and poverty eradication programme) units for our stitching requirements, furthering our commitment to local empowerment,” says Sunil.

The product profile comprises home textiles such as beddings with high thread counts like 500TC and 300TC, tableware, and kitchen linens. “The authentic Kerala thorthu and the waffle bath towels stand as a testament to our allegiance to regional craftsmanship. While we predominantly utilise natural materials such as cotton and linen, it is the delicate embroideries that truly set our products apart. Each stitch tells a story,” says Sunil. Recently, they have started offering customisation options.

Collaborating with artisans who work on partly mechanised looms, helped them to keep the product pricing affordable. Practises such as employing about 95 percent of women as staff affirms their dedication to social responsibility. They want to tap into newer markets globally, and strengthen their online presence.

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The New Indian Express