The Era of Heirloom Silks – A Small, Big Wedding (Part 4)

I’ve been missing in action for a while, thanks to a bout of Chikangunya and some pretty hectic weeks making up for the slow-waddle time that followed. There’s been no dearth of activity on the small, big wedding front though! So with just about three weeks to go, I’m going to work extra hard to share as much of the exciting art being created around here as I possibly can!

South Indian silks are my absolute favorite thing to wear. They make up about three-quarters of my nani and ma’s wardrobes, and I spent years admiring them like an awe-struck child on a museum tour. I’ve been borrowing them since I found my comfort in a saree, and some of these vintage beauties have now been passed on to me! 🙂

The really old ones have lost weight. They’ve thinned down (and become super soft!) from all the adventures they’ve been on over the decades, and that makes them all the more special. A few of them, however, have lived beyond their years and are too delicate to wear. Finding it hard to part with our precious heirlooms, we generally end up tucking them deep into our bed boxes.

This time around we wanted them to be a part of the celebrations, so Ma gave the frail ones a new lease of life.  As a result, we’ve now got little pieces of furniture all dressed up in heirloom silks! Every room in our house feels like a big warm hug, and all these little things resemble dressed up relatives waiting to break into a celebratory dance. Here are a few of them, styled and photographed with the help of my partner-in-DIY experiments, Diti Mistry.

The Ottomans Arrive

We had a couple of old, broken cane ottomans which had been lying in storage for years. Foam from an old couch was used for a cushiony seat, and they were finished with a pretty crimson skirt. Diti and I tested them out over a cup of coffee, and they’re very comfy too. These little seats are now the stars of our living room seating.



Framed Trays 

Old photo frames and scraps of fabric have transformed into vibrant, festive trays. Ma also used a batik fish I made in school, and an indigo shibori piece I made in a workshop with shibori artist Pallav Chaudhary more recently. All the trays have a soft felt lining at the bottom to keep our tabletops scratch-free!



Pallu Tabletop

The pallu of one of my favorite sarees is now sitting pretty on a small tabletop. It adds so much color to the room, and it’s really easy to change the look and feel of the whole thing just by changing a piece of fabric placed under the glass top.



Up-cycling has opened up a whole new world of possibilities, so much so that sifting through a pile of junk is really just a search for raw materials. Do you have any up-cycling ideas for us? Ma and I are all ears. 🙂


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