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INKing a new age of hand-embroidered wallpapers

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“It is time that the Indian client recognises the value of the craft and the luxury value of the product that comes out of it,” asserts renowned embroiderer Maximiliano Modesti. He would know, considering his unrivalled expertise and tireless advocacy of India’s deep craft traditions. As the founder of Mumbai-based embroidery and textile development studio, Les Ateliers 2M, Modesti has played a vital role in reviving India’s textile heritage and contemporising it for the international fashion industry. In 2016, he even set up the Lucknow-based Kalhath Institute, a hand-embroidery education and preservation centre for artisans. Now, he’s opened another chapter of its reinvention through an interesting collection for INK, the latest wallcoverings brand by Asian Paints.

Having built a reputation for creating bespoke wallpapers and wallcoverings, Asian Paints has turned the focus on hand embroidery as a vehicle to create distinctive designs for the latter. With the establishment of the Asian Paints atelier in Jaipur dedicated to platforming artisanal crafts, the objective is to work with a community of artisans to hand-make wallcoverings, from painting to printing and embroidery. Overlooking this process is Modesti, whose expertise in this field is indisputable and honed over two decades of artisanal creation and collaboration. 

“INK stands for craft, for innovation and, of course, for design. If you merge these three territories, then you get a new product that INK will offer to its clients,” he says. The debut outcome of this partnership is Wandering Lines, a bespoke collection of intricately rendered, handmade creations.

A collaboration between Modesti’s Les Ateliers 2M and Asian Paints’ Jaipur atelier, the collection INK-Wandering Lines 

Details of the INK wallpaper

INK wallcoverings collection comprise six different patterns.

redefines homegrown craft in a contemporary language that clients can appreciate, understand—and see themselves taking home as covetable decor. Modesti and his team of designers worked with diverse inspirations—from traditional motifs, architecture, nature and abstract concepts—and reimagined them through embroidery. “We managed to recreate the soul and the depth of something as if it has been there for a long while,” says Fridtjof Linde, creative designer, Les Ateliers 2M.

This collection comprises six distinct patterns: ‘La Casa’ is inspired by the images of renowned French photographer François Halard and painter Cy Twombly’s home in Italy with its azulejos tile art. ‘Another Mumbai’ leverages modernist photography to depict the metro’s flora. ‘Wonderland’ is a colourful phantasm of floral imagery while ‘Tribal Nature’ is a highly stylised, contemporary take on nature-focused folk art. Ikat gets a new format and creates a bright visual with striking beadwork and bold colours through ‘Oasis’ and endlessly weaving lines make for fascinating geometry in ‘Fine Lines’.

As Modesti says, INK doesn’t just give hand embroidery a new canvas for creativity. It gives homeowners a decor innovation that invokes contemporary luxury through artisanal craft as old as the world.

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