Our name originates from the tāla in classical Indian music - a pattern clapped or tapped on one’s arm to measure musical time. The visual rhythm of each piece tells a story of traditional skills remixed in new compositions to fit modern urban living.
Rhythm and repetition is also a constant in many of the techniques used to handcraft the fabrics used in Tāla’s collections.
Lampshade Making and Upcycling
Debbie hand makes all the lampshades in her Hackney workshops using the archives of fabric she has collected around the world. Her speciality are double sided lampshades where patterns and colours change and combine in unexpected ways as the light is turned on.
Debbie uses eco and mineral paints on her upcycling projects and she is always looking for possible alternatives to the toxic materials used in most modern upholstery.
The main regions explored by Debbie when researching block printing in India have been Rajasthan (Bagru and Sanganeer) Gujarat (Kaatch) and Madya Pradesh (Bagh). Even though the block printing process is somewhat similar in all of those regions, the different cultures and traditions, as well as the plants and minerals used to create the dyes contribute to the diverse colours and motifs that we enjoy today. Examples of these are the graceful Mughal influenced floral patterns and colour palette of Sanganeer, the richly printed cloth resulted from a complex process of, mordanting, lime resist printing and multiple dyeing typical of Kaatch, or the geometrical patterns and depth of colour due to the high copper content in the Bagh river.
Loin loom weaving
Loin loom or backstrap loom is the oldest and simplest device used to weave cloth and it has been historically used by the tribes in Nagaland. Each Naga tribe has its own motif and design which forms its distinct identity as well as signifying status within the tribe itself. The loin loom consists of continuous warp stretched between two parallel bamboos with one end held at a post and the other end tied to a strap held at the weaver’s waist. The weft is threaded through the warp using smaller bamboo sticks as shuttles creating very intricate patterns.
Most of the stitching is now outsourced to Fabricworks, a social enterprise in London that provides textile training and development programmes for local unemployed women from a variety of backgrounds and skills levels