By Anjum Choudhry Nayyar
MUNY (pronounced Moo-nee) is exactly that. A little Mumbai and a little New York. The mom behind the clothing label is Samara Mahendru. MUNY creates unique clothing and accessories for children using Indian hand block printing techniques on 100% cotton fabric. Cute airplanes, skateboarding owls, bold spirals and zigzags make up their playful and whimsical debut collection which includes boys’ shirts, girls’ dresses, unisex tunics, quilts and blankets. All of her designs are hand-blocked giving them a unique feel.
Mahendru says MUNY combines traditional Indian textiles with contemporary colors and motifs to provide a unique multicultural aesthetic. The label just launched three months ago and was designed and conceived by Mahendru, an architect by profession.
“I have always loved the process of hand printing, the craftsmanship involved, the small inconsistencies of the human hand and finally the saturated colors,” said Mahendru. “It’s these qualities of hand block printing that make it unique. Also I found it to be a versatile medium for personal graphic expression as I could play with patterns and colors. The sampling and swatch making is an integral part of our process of design.”
Mahendru has always had a passion for textiles and while growing up in India, she travelled a great deal around the country. It was her travels that her constant exposure to the brilliant colours and patterns of Indian fabrics. Her collection she says, is a combination of both traditional patters and modern ones, making it classic and timeless.
“I wanted to do a line for parents who were interested in a multicultural aesthetic, something that wasn’t just from here. We tried to use colours that are really popular in North America, so we tried to use a fresh blue, lime green and other more contemporary colours.”
The products are designed in Brooklyn, NY and manufactured in Jaipur, Rajasthan a north-western state in India. The fabric is hand block printed with azo-free, eco-friendly dyes. All the clothes are pre-washed and pre-shrunk.
“We have a tunic which is unisex and has a very graphic leaf print. The material for all clothes is 100% cotton and really great for summer. For girls we have the pocket dress, wrap dress, overalls and peasant tops. The pocket dresses, great for an active girl, come with contrasting pockets, cinched cap sleeves and a snap for the back,” said Mahendru.
And if you’re looking for something unique for your next baby shower, MUNY’s blankets are a great gift idea. MUNY’s summer blankets are wonderful against baby skin as they’re layered with the printed layer in the centre and muslin layer on the top and bottom.
Mahendru says this provides the soft cashmere feel–great for swaddling, nursing blanket or using as a bed sheet to lay your baby on. It comes in a drawstring pouch made from cotton voile. For the older tykes, MUNY’s reversible quilts are a bedroom essential with 100% cotton batting inside.
Mahendru works very closely with her team of fabric printers and skilled tailors and says their production process is key to bringing a high standard of quality and ethical production principles to the MUNY products.
Artisans work to hand block the clothing with teak wood blocks that are custom-made.
“We try to do modern prints using this centuries old printing technique,” said Mahendru.
To see more of MUNY’s great shirts, dresses and other designs, visit www.munyshop.com. Visit now to get in on their big SUMMER SALE, with most clothing 20-25% off! MUNY ships internationally and sells through select vendors in the New York area.
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