Mili Suleman’s new textile collection with L.A. creative powerhouse Commune Design started as a daydream. “Commune’s aesthetic is so similar to my own, and I just sort of put it out there in the universe that we would do something together,” says Dallas-based Suleman, whose Kufri heritage textiles are handwoven in India, where she was born. When a sample of one of Kufri’s fabrics made its way to Commune in 2020, a designer there reached out about collaborating on a collection. “Commune loves working with artisans and is very passionate about craft and preserving handloom weaving, as I am,” Suleman adds.
The team at Commune provided an initial brief, and Suleman and her resident weaver at Dallas’ Kufri studio refined the designs on a handloom. “Fabric takes on a life of its own as the warp and weft come together on the loom,” Suleman explains. “What is initially envisioned doesn’t always happen, and sometimes there are beautiful surprises — that’s what I love about the weaving process. Designs develop in front of our eyes.”
The 26-piece Utopia collection is woven from natural yarns such as silk, linen, cotton, and jute, and takes inspiration from the craft of handloom weaving, seen through a modernist California lens. Colors are earthy variations of ochre, sage, cloud, clay, sky, and other luscious hues. The collab with Commune is just the start for Suleman, who is working with an artist in Japan on block-printed textile artworks. “I really want to push artists to the forefront,” she says.
Utopia by Commune for Kufri to the trade at Kufri studio, 1152 Mississippi Ave., kufrilifefabrics.com.