For wearing a colourful look
Catering to the needs of these middle class girls, she has struck upon the idea of using different colours while painting on the fabric so that the students can `mix-match' their dresses
FABRIC PAINTING is not alien to the people of Madurai as the city has a great history in the making of `Sungudi' sarees. This `art of knotting' had later developed into fabric painting and there are people who are capable of producing brilliant pieces of art on the sarees.
But what Chitra Moorthy has in store is a new variety of fabric painting. If you get bored with wearing the garments with the same old designs, then Mrs. Chitra Moorthy has got the best medicine to offer. Sari, kameez, T-shirts, window curtains and what not all have a stamp of quality with exotic colours and designs.
She has targeted the upper middle class college girls for her work. "As most of these girls would like to look different in their attire, they spend most of their money on the latest designer wear, but they cannot wear the same dress on the next day, so most of them are always in search of a new piece which looks different. Though the designer wear is available in the market in large numbers they are sold at exorbitant prices, which is quite unaffordable for the middle class," says Mrs Chitra.
Catering to the needs of these middle class girls, she has struck upon the idea of using different colours while painting on the fabric so that the students can `mix-match' their dresses. "At present, I am concentrating on `kameez', where I use three colours so that the customer may choose the apt `salwar and duppatta', so, it becomes three-in-one," she says.
Fabric painting requires an immense concentration and it may also consume a lot of time. If the person happens to be a housewife, then it becomes all the more difficult.
But for Mrs Chitra Moorthy, wife of a bank official, with the kind of support she gets from her family members, painting has almost become inseparable to her. It has become a passion for this unassuming woman.
She had it in her right from her childhood in Bellary (Karnataka). Her penchant for painting is irresistible. It all started when her mother urged her to reproduce the pictures appeared in the magazines. What started as a favourite pastime, turned out to be her hobby and now she aspires to become a professional designer.Though throughout her school days, she was thinking of the hobby, it could not effectively materialise. But soon after marriage, things turned rosy for her. Encouraged by her husband's support, she went on to obtain a diploma in drawing from the Shantanu Arts College.
Later, a brief stint with the students at the National Institute of Fashion Technology helped her hone her skills.
"I use fevicryl and camlin colours. Mostly, I prefer `0'-numbered brush as my designs are intricate in character. The colours neither fade nor give away, but the users have to handle the product carefully. I advocate reverse ironing, otherwise the painting may get peeled off the cloth. Besides, hand wash is always better and the customers should adopt drip-and-dry method and should not squeeze the material in an attempt to dry it," says Mrs.Chitra Moorthy.
"Usually I prefer free hand drawing rather than going for design making and then mounting those designs on the cloth. Even for free hand painting the minimum required time is three to four hours. Mounting is another tough job as it may take hours together ironically more than the time taken to design the work," she says.
It does not end here, as she has also done some good work on silk sarees. "My product does not cost that much and also facilitates the customers to have their own designs on the dresses," she says.
Her forte is execution of Moghul, Sindhi and Tanjore designs. She had also painted on glassware using spray-painting techniques, besides using the Worli designs.
She is also planning to organise a sale of her products likely by next month.
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