Mogul floral motifs, paisley, ikat, block print and tie and dye are art textile traditions we are all familiar with but when these get transferred on to tiles, the result is a creative masterstroke. Aptly called TexTiles, this is a collection of decorative wall and floor tiles inspired by a love of traditional and antique textiles and carpets from around the world, especially India.
As Julia Moore, the brain behind this UK-based brand says on her website, she researched old textile and carpet traditions around the world before zeroing in on about 40 designs. So you have patterns such as Suzani, Damask, Amish, Ionic Embroidery, Toile, Chinoiserie, Chintz, Ottoman and Artois all having been painstakingly handcrafted on to porcelain tiles.
The Indian accents come from Chola, Ikat, Tie and Dye, Orissa, Sari Blockprint and Mogul. Chola is panel of tiles adapted from an 18th century chintz wall hanging. Each tile tessellates with its neighbour and the panel repeats like a wallpaper with a pretty border to fit around any sized panel.
Ikat is one of the most complicated and intricate fabrics to make. The threads are dyed before the fabric is woven and the design then emerges giving it its individual style. Here, the Ikat tile was adapted from a Pochampalli pattern in Andhra Pradesh. The Orissa tile’s design was taken from a blockprinted khadi silk Oriya shawl while the Sari tile was inspired by an early 20th century ceremonial cloth (rumal) from Sanganer, Rajasthan. The Tie and Dye tile gets its motif from a Kutchchi sari from Gujarat. It is made up of three main tiles with borders and corners.
The piece de resistance of this range has got to be the Moghul tile panel which is inspired by the miniature flowers made popular in that era and seen in paintings, stone inlay work as well as textiles. Here, six flowers have been delicately etched on single tiles and borders.
The tiles come in four sizes and can be assembled in panels with each tile being a repeat or complementary pattern. Panels can vary in size to fit into any space, from a basin backsplash to a large panel on a bathroom wall.
Sadly, these tiles are available only in the UK for now. All we can do is to wait for our local tile companies to wake up to tradition and home in on heritage to come up with similar offerings.