National Award Winning Star Takes Folk Art Kasuti Far and Wide
Tara Ashok Hulamani, 58, is an accomplished artisan from Hubli, Karnataka, who has been perfecting the Kasuti art form for 25 years. She, along with her team of 15 women artisans, have been associated with Myntra for almost a year where their handiwork on clothes are used for the company’s multi-cultural lifestyle brand, Taavi.
Kasuti is an exquisite form of folk embroidery from Karnataka, dating back to the Chalukya period. The art form is characterized by intricate designs which sometimes requires putting up to 5,000 stitches by hand. These designs are influenced by rangoli patterns and folk motifs such as gopura, chariot, palanquin, lamps and conch shells. Embroidery, using mirrors, and silver and golden threads, are created for special occasions and weddings.
For Tara, the journey with Kasuti has been an emotional one. She believes that the world should appreciate this painstaking and intricate work. This is a dream that she has been pursuing for the past 25 years. Through Taavi, she is hoping to reinvent the existing designs while also improving the standard of living of her artisans, as not all of them come from well-to-do families.
Today, with projects flowing in from Myntra, she couldn’t be happier.
Championing the art form
Tara became a household name when she won the Master Craftsman National Award back in 2002. “My family and I were delighted when we found out about the award. I wasn’t expecting it,” said Tara. Word spread across her region and her work became more known and popular. This gave Tara great encouragement as she believes that more people should take interest in this beautiful art form. Today, Tara is happy and remains motivated as there are still many people who want to learn and promote this intricate trade.
Tara’s love for the art and her natural dexterity with the needle and thread were enough for her to become an entrepreneur 25 years back. With the support she gets from her husband and four daughters, Tara continues to strive and show the world the art that made her who she is.
Tara’s dream to preserve this art form is also in line with Taavi’s vision to uplift traditional Indian textile crafts and blend them into contemporary fashion. The brand aims to rejuvenate Indian fabric design by giving it a modern twist and taking it to a new and wider market, through Myntra’s unparalleled reach.