By Sandra Walker

Nova India is a local company started by myself 10 years ago when our family had the opportunity to live in India for a while. I have always been involved in fashion design and was very excited to be able to explore first hand the different techniques used to create the beautiful textiles of India.

I felt that by commissioning ‘Limited Editions’ of shawls and stoles in rural areas it would help keep traditional skills alive in a world where people are moving to the cities for better paid work.

We now work with families of embroiderers, weavers, dyers and printers using skills passed down through the generations.

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Large communities of printers traditionally settled in areas of flowing water so their fabric could be washed. But with climate change, rivers can change course or be diverted for agriculture so these river beds dry up, creating problems for the artisans. We work with them combining their skills to create goods that appeal to the customer of today, with quality fabrics and relevant colours.

I also design, with a small team of master tailors in India who make our clothing range. I purchase fabric on my trips and we discuss ideas until we have perfected the look and fit. The shapes evolve over time into new styles, but our best selling cotton ‘pin tucked ’ top is the same as the day it was first made. In this way our clothes have a Universal appeal and are Timeless. www.novaindia.co.uk

Nova India also supports a children’s educational charity, Project Sunshine.

Whilst in India I used to attend to read English books with them. Children know they have this safe haven before and after school whilst their parents are at work. They can do homework with help from teachers and older children, have a meal and make friends. Children come from the local village and from families passing through the city for casual work. This week with the closure of the schools in Delhi the older children have been handing out food parcels to their community. www.projectsunshineIndia.org

I am always happy to answer questions about our products and can be reached by email on Sandra@novaindia.co.uk.

Stockists of Nova India are The British Museum shop, Glyndebourne opera house, Charleston, home of the Bloomsbury group, and The Horniman Museum.

Sandra Walker

Founder, Director Nova India Ltd

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