This project was an attempt at understanding the versatility of Merino wool; positioning it within the material and sartorial culture of Indian crafts. Three handloom clusters from across the country were identified by Woolmark for developing the Merino wool samples: Rashtriya Khadi Udyog (West Bengal), Vankar Vishram Valji (Gujarat), and Avani (Uttarakhand). The project led to the development of two collections of Merino Wool fabrics, one each for men and women. Merino being a global material, the use of ‘fine count’ was a newer inclusion in the market ecosystem. In doing so, the product range was diversified, particularly in the region of West Bengal and Uttarakhand; the existing product range expanded from bed covers and shawls to premium trans-seasonal fabrics of different weights, textures and blends with natural fibres. The concept behind these collections was to translate aesthetics of traditional Indian crafts to suit the contemporary lifestyle of the global consumer, positioning merino wool beyond its conventional appeal, and making it a more desirable material.
Keywords: Bhujodi weaving, material aesthetic, Merino wool, sustainable Fashion, Wool Jamdani