Kufri’s dreamy new collaboration is full of nice surprises

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MIli Sulemanthe new textile collection from LA with the creative power of LA Municipality design started out as a daydream. “The aesthetic of Commune is so similar to mine, and I kind of said in the universe that we would do something together,” says Dallas-based Suleman, whose Kufri heritage textiles are hand-woven in India, where she was born. When a sample of one of Kufri’s fabrics was sent to Commune in 2020, a designer requested a collaboration on a collection. “Commune enjoys working with artisans and is very passionate about craftsmanship and the preservation of handweaving, just like me,” adds Suleman.

The Commune team provided an initial brief, and Suleman and his resident weaver at Studio Kufri in Dallas refined the designs on a hand loom. “The fabric comes to life as the warp and weft come together on the loom,” says Suleman. “What is initially envisioned doesn’t always happen, and sometimes there are nice surprises – that’s what I love about the weaving process. The designs are developing before our eyes.

Commune Design joins forces with Dallas’ Kufri Fabrics for a new collection. (Photo by Laure Joliet)

The 26-piece Utopia collection is woven from natural yarns such as silk, linen, cotton and jute, and is inspired by the craftsmanship of hand-weaving, seen through a modernist California lens. Colors are earthy variations of ocher, sage, cloud, clay, sky and other luscious hues. Collaboration with Commune is just the start for Suleman, who works with an artist in Japan on block-printed textile artwork. “I really want to put artists first,” she says.

Utopia by Commune for Kufri at the Kufri Studio, 1152 Mississippi Ave., kufrilifefabrics.com.

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