Kanika Thakur | kanika.tr@gmail.com

Design Development for Handloom Weavers of Chanderi and Burdhawan

Guide Aditi Ranjan
Sponsor Raw Mango
Keywords colour cards;extra-weft embellishments;plain weave;traditional repeats

This project involved the weaving clusters in Chanderi, a small town in Madhya Pradesh that is known for its delicate, sheer fabric textures and fine, extra-weft embellishments. The project also involved in its ambit, weavers from the Burdhawan district of West Bengal and their skills at cotton weaving and hand spun yarns.

It was essential to target the youth for the sustenance of craft goods in the future; this was taken up as a need area and a study was undertaken on the same. It was found that animal forms executed in monochrome and contrasting combinations in soft, easy to drape Chanderi fabrics was popular among the youth. Also, items reasonably priced were increasingly preferred. As a result, a collection in pure cotton rather than silk was decided upon.

A separate course for both weaving centres was maintained and a classical reference of Pahari Miniature and Chamba Rumals was kept for Chanderi while exploring traditional repeats and developing colour and surface variations for the collection. This collection also explored the range of colours and textures possible in plain weave along with small motifs in the body. The collection from Bengal was made from cotton and was experimental in nature. The communication with the weavers was particularly worked upon by establishing a system of specification sheets and colour cards in their local language and understanding what facilitated the conversion of paper designs and instructions onto the fabric.

The most essential learning was to collaborate with the weavers’ approach towards work. This helped them manage and experiment with the existing designs and provided one with an understanding of the potential for future development.
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