Swatching: Hand Crafted Textiles by Seema Krish

A few months ago I interviewed Boston-based textile designer Seema Krish for “Designing Women” in Stuff Magazine. Seema has worked in the textile industry for 15 years in various roles, from swatch cutter to design director. She recently launched Seema Krish Collection. All the photos shown here are examples from her current collection.


[ WORLI a multi-textural graphic pattnern that combes block print, embroidery and silk appliqué. CHOWPATTY a modern herringbone pattern that combines block print and embroidery. ]

Seema grew up in Bombay, and studied textiles at F.I.T., before taking a job with a mill designing commercial grade fabrics. After seeing a textile exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Museum, she was inspired to take a position as a swatch cutter for NUNO, a high end Japanese textile firm with offices at the D&D Building. The firm’s clients included Bill Gates and Yoko Ono, as well as fashion houses Issey Miyake and Comme des Garçons.

BOMBAY BLISS 3 [ MAHALAXMI a geometric flower pattern that combines block print, embroidery and mirrors. MALABAR HILL a simple flowing pattern that combines block print and embroidery. ] WORLI

After five years there, Krish returned to India, this time to Bangalore, where she founded a design and weave studio called Azure. She worked with local craftspeople, creating fabrics for a roster of well-known companies, including Calvin Klein Home and Donghia. After meeting her husband,they moved to Boston where she was design director for Robert Allen, and learned a lot about the business side of things. Seema says, “I got to know mills in Turkey, China, Italy, and France. It was a more realistic approach to textile making.”



Seena’s since had a child and done some consulting, but as she approaches 40, she’s become interested in doing something new, and something creative again. Launching her own line seemed the logical next step. Seema’s motivation came from a desire to revive the textile arts found in villages in India, where such crafts are becoming extinct in favor of more lucrative jobs in technology-driven fields. Her first collection of fabrics, all of which are handmade using natural fibers and low-impact dyes, combines hand-blocked prints with embroidery. The designs are inspired by childhood memories of Bombay. She says, “They reflect the energetic potpourri of cultures in Bombay and are named after streets there.”

BREACH CANDY[ BREACH CANDY a contemporary interpretation of suzanis that combines
block print and embroidery
. ]

Seema uses a specific craft as starting point, in this case hand-blocking and embroidery, and then dreams up patterns that can be created with those methods. Future collections will build on another technique, perhaps incorporating a different type of weaving or embroidery that hails from another region of India. As for how she will market them, by the yard to the design trade or as a line of products for retail sale, that’s still a work in progress. Though she has created an array of gorgeous pillows.


For more on Seema and her world of textiles,

check out her blog, Textile Swatches.

Pattern Mahalakshmi- hathi gray-ranigreenbig