Textile Patterns in a South Indian Home

Rarely would I travel with a hardcover book. But for our long flight to India, I threw this book in the carry-on bag:

Textile Style Book

So glad I did! It was a pleasure to flip through the pages, and a nice break from movies like White House Down. So by the time we arrived in India, my eyes were primed for noticing textiles. Here are some from around my husband’s parent’s house in Chennai, India.

This cotton is printed with deep pomegranate red, turmeric color and bluish-grays (saying “shades of gray” is forever ruined!). This fabric covers a cushioned divan facing the main door. Someone is always sitting on that divan, watching for visitors. The main door is always open, and visitors are always stopping by.

Printed Textile in South Indian Home

This printed cotton covers a bolster pillow:

Pillow with India Print

Here’s a sampling from around the living room:

Textiles in South India Home

This shows how fabrics have been layered on chairs:

Fabrics in Living Room of India Home

This is the home of regular folk in South India. They aren’t designers or even interested in home design. In fact, the home is extremely simple and the fabrics are probably the most visual part of its decor, aside from the brightly-colored images of Hindu deities hanging on walls.

But without knowing it, they’ve perfectly captured many ideas shared in the Textile Style book. They’ve made an art of mixing fabrics. They have used some of them for decades. Any frays are okay, they show how much the fabrics have been enjoyed in the home. You can also see they used a mix of opulent embroidered designs paired with more subdued fabrics, so you don’t get overwhelmed visually. I think they did this all naturally, just what looked good to their eyes.

As a parting shot, here’s my favorite little view of textiles in their home. It’s a glimpse of the pillowcase underneath a cushion cover that’s tied over it. I bet nearly everyone overlooks this.

Bolster Pillow on Indian Divan

I’ve been to this home during many previous trips to India but didn’t pay much attention to these textiles, until Textile Style suggested I appreciate the simple ways people use them around their homes.

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Affordable Otomi

If you like the bright colors of India, you might like Mexican Otomi fabrics too. Because of the extensive and time-consuming embroidery handiwork needed to make really good Otomi, these textiles are priced accordingly. As they should be.

But if you want the look for less, there are some options. A large Otomi for a bedspread would cost many hundreds of dollars but all these ideas are available for well under a hundred …

Look for Otomi patterns that are printed on fabric, rather than embroidered. This pillow from MotifPillows on Etsy has a printed pattern:

Otomi Pillow Printed Pattern from MotifPillows on Etsy

If you want embroidered Otomi, you can find pillows with embroidered designs. Pillow-sized fabrics are more friendly to your wallet than the big bedspread-sized Otomi. Here’s an embroidered pillow from Toselli on Etsy:

Embroidered Otomi Pillow from Toselli on Etsy

Or you can find remnant fabrics and sew a pillow yourself, frame the fabric, cover a lampshade or make a handbag or tote – there’s so many ways you can use these. Here’s a 13″ x 18″ piece from Etsy seller ILoveOaxaca:

Multi-Color Embroidered Otomi from Etsy Seller ILoveOaxaca

This looks embroidered, but it’s a digital print from a photograph of embroidered Otomi found in Mexico. Yet another technique to make these fun folk patterns on fabrics. From PeakLane on Etsy:

Digital Printed Otomi from PeakLane

If you want just a wee bit of Otomi, here’s a little silk-screened art. But its neon color more than makes up for its size! From ScoutandLilly on Etsy:

Silk-Screened Otomi from ScoutandLilly on Etsy

From CasaOtomi on Etsy, I really like this long lumbar pillow with embroidered pattern. A really impactful pillow shape for a bed or a bench as shown here:

Otomi Lumbar Pillow via CasaOtomi

Okay, by now I know you’ve figured out that to find affordable Otomi, just go to Etsy and search “Otomi.” I’ve done my job!

To see how Otomi can be used as accessories and as furniture upholstery, visit Houzz, and of course Pinterest. Oh boy, if you like Otomi, definitely click that Pinterest link! So much inspiration there.

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Schumacher Katsugi

Some Schumacher Katsugi fabric that I scored at a great price is working its way across the country to our home right now. So excited. I’ve loved this fabric, and now, to get to play with it! I got it in the Link & Sepia colorway and it’s going in the master bedroom:

Schumacher Katsugi in Link and Sepia Colorway

It’s going to be on the wall and paired with a cabinet that I’ll makeover into an “antique” Chinese sideboard, like I did for our dining room here.

The UPS guy brought a pet food shipment from PetFlow today but no Katsugi. I got impatient and started playing around in Olioboard:

Schumacher Katsugi Moodboard on Olioboard

The plan is to put Katsugi on the wall behind the cabinet/sideboard to make it a focal point, similar to this. The room needs more lighting so I’ll likely add two lamps like this too. That chair is awesome but it’s over $600 so … no …

Katsugi is good in moderation. Too much Katsugi is like eating the whole container of Breyers Cookies n’ Cream in one sitting. Like I would know. ;)

If you’d like just a dash of Katsugi for yourself, you can get pillows from Etsy shop pillowflightpdx. Here’s a few:

Schumacher Katsugi Pillows at pillowflightpdx Esty Shop

Here’s how this fabric has been used in rooms …

It’s on dining chairs in this room in Traditional Home:

Katsugi on Dining Chairs via Traditional Home

Via The World of Interiors, here it is on Anna Wintour’s sofa:

Katsugi on Sofa in Anna Wintour's House

I am surprised. I guess I expected a look more severe, like her hair.

It’s used as skirting and pillows in this bedroom by Tom Scheerer:

Schumacher Katsugi in Bedroom by Tom Scheerer

Here it covers a duvet in a bedroom by Jan Showers:

Schumacher Katsugi in Bedroom by Jan Showers

I love it with that antelope animal print rug.

From Elle Décor, here’s another room with Katsugi but this is a bit much for me:

Schumacher Katsugi All Over the Wall Via Elle Decor

You’ll see at some point what we do with this fabric!

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