Young Designers 2009

Sunanda Agarwal
Textile Design | GDPD
Asomiya Kapur
Designing for Local Traditions
Guide Aditi Ranjan
Sponsonr State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD), Assam
> Revival of tradition
> Assam
> Empowerment of weavers
> Mekhala-Chador
My project focused on the Handloom spinning and weaving small-scale industries in Assam which is identified as an important income generating activity for young women in Assam.

The brief given to me was very open-ended and refined at several stages. The minimum requirement was to develop a set of thirty samples and to identify a market for it. The emphasis was on diversifying the product range, thereby widening the market for the products. The overall concept emerged to be the revival of old traditional Assamese textiles and present them as refined contemporary products in the form of the traditional design of mekhala-chador for a local market which can also attract a global market.
After intensive studies of the region and market studies, I developed a collection of seven sets of mekhala-chador and a range of stoles after studying the vocabulary of motifs, form and layouts of traditional Assamese textiles. These products were made as separates in a contemporary natural dye color palette, taught as part of capacity building programs to rural weavers. Another interesting highlight was the development of new cotton-silk fabric for a traditional costume.

From the flexibility offered by the handloom sector, a mekhala could become a skirt, wrap-around or a sarong and chador into a stole, shawl or scarf to enable easy adaptation to the mainstream market. Some of the products were shown to a Japanese client and sold to Amrich Design, Kolkata.

The opportunity to work at the grass-roots level and connect local weavers to global markets has been a rich one.
Communication Design
ED 5
FVC 13
GD 18
Industrial Design
FID 11
PD 15
TrAD 8
Interdisciplinary Design
DRE 14
SDM 17
I.T. Integrated Design
NMD 10
Textile Design
ADM 17
LAD 10
Textile Design 37
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Shafique Afzal
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Sunanda Agarwal
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