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Punjab is not just a state in the North of India. It is a living thing, with green-yellow farms often abundant in cotton and wool, vibrant weaves, and songs for all occasions. Guni Brar grew up in a strictly Punjabi household, soaked in the idea that we are sustained by things that grow out of the earth and must return our fortunes to it. Somewhere, her mother’s instinct for art and crafts must have rubbed off on her but she only discovered that years later, after spending 15 years in different parts of the world working in tech and finance. Personal circumstances brought her to London, where she continued to work in a big customer-facing corporation. Her trips to Punjab became few and far in between, but whenever she was home at her ancestral village in Punjab, she spent a lot of time interacting with women from the village. In time, she discovered that some long-held crafts belonging to the local community were dying a quick death. For example, handwoven Khes blankets ( characterized by traditional motifs such as geometric shapes, floral designs, and depictions of animals, reflecting the cultural heritage of Punjab) and phulkaris (heavily hand embroidered ceremonious cloth), which used to be an everyday sight in her childhood were nowhere to be found. Even small towns and villages were inundated with machine-made cheap cloth. Women had stored their pit looms in the far corners of their houses and forgotten about them. The situation was tragic and required immediate intervention.

Guni parted ways with the big corporate and spent a few months at home, figuring out with her mother if there was any way to restore some looms. Her mom, Anupinder, was finally able to restore one loom. They started with only one.

Loom & Things was founded in 2020 with the idea of preserving remote crafts in India. It had one loom. The material that the loom spun easily with the basic craftsmanship of some village women and their traditional knowledge, was the khes pattern. The question still to be answered was, how can a khes be plugged into modern life? That’s where the idea of our signature khes jacket was born, and from it, the idea of turning traditional, hand-spun, hand-woven fabric from the looms into modern-day clothing and upholstery.

Today, the enterprise has grown and continues to attract house-wives from Guni’s ancestral village, Talwandi Sabo, as also from some neighboring villages. Master artisans have also attached themselves to the brand. Guni is the Creative Head and Designer whilst also managing sales and partnerships in London. She spends her time between London and India, researching, visiting remote artisan communities and working with our production partner in New Delhi. Her mother, Anupinder Brar, is the chief weave designer, investor and soon to be a weaver herself. She is so excited on a daily basis by the prospect of unraveling and recreating old complex weaves that she often forgets she is over 70, and needs to eat and rest at some point in the day. Without her, Loom & Things would still be just an idea.

Loom & Things is now firmly a brand with a keen focus on preserving crafts and providing livelihood to remote artisan communities in India. We are expanding our footprint everyday, bringing on board more and more artisans from North India, Kutch and Rajasthan to discover traditional techniques and use their craft in our limited edition collections.