AVANI is an NGO in Kumaon which, among other activities, works to promote the textile craft of the region in domestic and international markets to generate employment opportunities for artisans.
My project commenced understanding the socio-economic and cultural aspects of the region. I then studied the activities of Avani as well as textile related processes. I visited the artisans and analyzed the local traditional skills. Next, I researched both international and domestic markets, formulated a generic color palette, studied wool as a material, and derived an analogue board for wool.
After synthesizing my research, I channelized my project into two avenues.
The first involved designing a system for existing waste yarns that had accumulated in the organization because of careless usage and ineffective disposal, thereby utilizing them to the fullest in a cost effective manner.
The second involved developing a range of stoles and mufflers for Avaniís Autumn-Winter Season 2010 whose characteristic emphasis was based on surface textures, double sided products and blends. The idea was to create a vocabulary through basic concepts of color, color harmony and color interaction. The weaves have been developed based on maintaining an ease for the weavers.
In addition, another exciting experiment I tried is to weave handspun coarse yarn in a traditional pit loom into mufflers.
My project has been a phenomenal opportunity to witness the raw talent that exists at the grassroots level in India. I am pleased to have used my design education to benefit talented artisans in making a livelihood.