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Monday, 9 July, 2001, 13:28 GMT 14:28 UK
Russia delights in Kama Sutra duvet
Kama Sutra print
Demand for the Kama Sutra design is steady
Looking for a touch of the exotic in Russia?

Why not escape from the hustle and bustle of Moscow and take the train on a 150-mile journey northeast to Ivanovo, Russia's city of brides.

For many years, the Samoilov textile factory was the main source of jobs in Ivanovo.

The workers, most of them young single women, toiled away to the constant hum and whirr of industrial weaving machines producing bedding, curtains, and household textiles, an activity which also earned the town the nickname, Russia's Manchester.

Duvet cover design
The Kama Sutra may soon inspire another duvet design
But then the Soviet Union collapsed, free-market economics gained hold, and the textile works needed to boost sales to stave off financial ruin.

And where did chief designer Svetlana Yurkova seek the inspiration for new designs for its duvet covers?

In the Kama Sutra.

Joint creative decision

"So we decided to use this pattern, and we were right," Ms Yurkova told Russian TV6.

We had to find a way of presenting this subject to make it look decent and cultured

Textile artist Svetlana Gluzina
But wasn't it difficult deciding which of the illustrations in the ancient Hindu text on erotic pleasure would be appropriate?

"We chose the most acceptable position," she said.

Technological director Sergey Konchin added: "It was not an individual decision. It was a joint decision by the entire creative team."

And according to a Russian TV correspondent who visited the plant, "the creative team pulled it off brilliantly - not an easy task in a country where there are dozens of poetic names for vodka but not a single one, as writer Vladimir Nabokov once remarked sadly, for the act of love."

Teletubbies sell more

"We had to find a way of presenting this subject to make it look decent and cultured," textile artist Svetlana Gluzina explained.

And is the new design resulting in more orders for the factory?

"Well I wouldn't say that the Kama Sutra design is incredibly popular, but there is a steady demand for it," Mr Konchin said.

Spurred by its initial success, the Samoilov textile factory intends to build on its Kama Sutra design portfolio, "but we are not going to rush things," Mr Konchin said.

Sales of the Kama Sutra duvet cover print are reported to be "more popular than our flower design, but not as good as the Teletubbies."

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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