Shweta Agarwal | rdshwets@gmail.com

Trials and Tribulations with Khadi

Guide Krishna Amin Patel;Swasti Singh Ghai
Sponsor R.K Consultants and Ananda Khadi
 
Keywords home interiors;khadi;saris;Vidarbha

This project aimed at using design to strengthen some traditional hand spinning and hand weaving techniques and facilitating related systems for the future in the Vidarbha region of Northern Maharashtra. It looked at different counts of organic cotton yarn ranging between 10s100s and attempted to translate it into made-ups for home interiors. There was a thrust on revival of some traditional saris of the region with use of cotton khadi and silk.


Two distinct collections of products were developed during the course of the project. The first collection comprised coarser counts of yarn for the development of home interior products. The weavers of Vidarbha are habituated to weave simple plain yardage and it was observed that there was a gradual decline in skill and creative thinking among them. Hence, this project actively involved the weavers to develop a range of made-ups for home interiors and introduce concepts that could be continued in all forms of their work.


The second collection sought to revive and reinterpret some traditional saris of Northern Maharashtra. These saris would be sold in urban markets with the aim of sustaining the craft for future generations. It also aimed at developing a sustainable and progressive system for these handlooms which would provide the weavers a scope to express the fine skill that is inherent to the region, and in turn, improve their income levels on the sheer strength of their work and not subsidies alone.

The design process was interactive and participatory at different levels. The project was multilayered and looked at the integration of various aspects such as culture, organic materials, technique, and traditions for sustainable progress of the weavers.
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