Kamaldeep Kaur (India)

Kamaldeep Kaur (1974) joined a two year fashion design course in 1994 in New Delhi. Before she finished her two year course one of the top fashion designers of India JJ Vallaya, employed her as an assistant since he had never before seen such a huge collection of experimentation in the technique of resist dyeing. She started a block printing unit for the company and ran it for some time.

She finished her course in 1996 and after some freelance projects joined GURJARI in 1997, the Gujarat state emporium design office as a freelance designer. The job profile was to design collections of soft furnishings using different traditional techniques. This meant traveling to the villages of Gujarat and working with some of the best artisans in various categories. This gave her considerable exposure to the crafts, craftsmen their problems, limitations and aspirations.

She was then selected by the ministry of textiles for a six month long design development project to be done in one of the villages of Gujarat. After looking at the success of the project, she was one by one selected for six such projects, which included training the artisans in natural dyes, and working with them for six months on studying their culture, on research documentation and design development. These long stays in the villages had a long term impact on her thought process and she decided to work for the upliftment of the crafts permanently.

The label Damask was born when she joined GURJARI, as she immediately started getting orders based on her work in GURJARI emporium shop.

She then started working with Indian garments but moved to scarves very soon. These scarves were one of a kind pieces created for the foreign market, each individually dyed in natural dyes, and this kept her kitchen very busy and gave her ample scope for experimentation.

In 2005 she decided to go to Japan to attend the international shibori symposium. This was followed by an invitation by the royalty of Malaysia to represent India in "Treasures of Nanhai " an international exhibition of  antiques and antique quality crafts.

Since then she has represented India in USA, Europe, UK, Japan, China, Korea, Malaysia, etc. She has also been involved in teaching at international universities and gave workshops during some international conferences and symposia.

Her work is regularly represented in specialized craft fairs /markets and art exhibitions in different parts of the world.

For more information www.neelgar.com


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