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The Raj aesthetic: Exotic tents

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In Rajasthan, a state in India known for its colorful art and craftwork, the ancient skill of tent-making is still used today. Rajasthani tent companies say that the traditional craft of tent-making has been passed on through generations and is flourishing today, with the help of international demand for the tents.

Demand for these exotic-type tents in Nashville is growing, and local shop AshBlue is meeting clients’ requests for the unusual venues. AshBlue’s exotic tents are hand-made in Rajasthan from waterproof canvas, with insides made of decoratively detailed cotton sheeting. The tents’ makers use natural materials and rely on traditional skills such as block-printing, dyeing, embroidery and weaving.

“The Jodpur is by far our most popular tent,” says Ginny Gallagher of AshBlue. “People have used this size tent for outdoor weddings and set up the bar or the appetizer table beneath them.” Gallagher says clients have been renting the Jodpurs—which are just under 10 feet by 10 feet—in multiples for use at weddings. AshBlue has been renting the tents to event planners and party planners, as well as “affluent entertainers” and high-end brides.

Susannah Scott-Barnes, who owns AshBlue with her husband, says the tents were a must-have for the shop because they are “simply breathtaking.”

“We were drawn to this product because it is rooted in a rich cultural tradition and crafted by artisans who employ great integrity, creativity and attention to detail,” Scott-Barnes says.

Juliana Wallace is the editor of InTents.

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