In this project, thorough market research was done to understand the already existing and potential market for Chanderi sarees. Upon reaching the cluster, on field research was done on the craft practice of weaving Chanderi sarees, its traditional forms and the current changes, its materials, techniques and finishes. Understanding the strength of handlooms and using that to resolve ideas helped in the design development. Focus was given to rework with the almost lost form of ‘Ek-Nalia’ weaving of the cluster. Motif drawings were then given to weavers for creating samples. Yarn combinations and on-loom dyeing were also tried. Sampling was done in both ‘Ek-Nalia’ and ‘Do-Nalia’ techniques. This initial sampling resulted in identification of motifs to be carried forward. Layouts made on selected motifs were discussed with the weavers and client. The approved layouts were then taken for final sampling. The project was a real-time, firsthand experience of craft-based product development model at the grassroots level.
Keywords: Bougainvillea, Chanderi, Ek-Nalia, handloom, saree