"Fer/Phire", the Bangla word for return, embodies the essence of Jamdani textile craftsmanship, signifying the intricate twist of the supplementary thread, a symbol of authenticity and the dedicated labor of Bengal's skilled artisans.
This graduation project was under the guidance of Neeru Kumar, a visionary in the design realm focusing on home and apparel. The proposed brief was to use Jamdani to create a collection of decorative cushions and a second collection of apparel yardages. The collections must bridge tradition and modernity, aligning the craft with Neeru Kumar's clientele. Collections were developed to create motifs that are informed by the craft. This would help to justify the labour and effort of the artisans. The project's first phase resulted in 16 medium-weight engineered cushions, showcasing the versatility of Jamdani with materials like linen, silk, and cotton. These cushions joined the SS22 collection, reaching luxury home decor customers worldwide. Many execution challenges emerged. This included upskilling weavers in the translation of motifs for hand-picked Jamdani technique. Collaboration and daily engagement with our master weaver clarified design communication and refining of designs for smoother production.
Simultaneously, the apparel project unfolded, driven by a study of the domestic landscape for SS22 apparel yardages. A range of motifs that drew from the rich tapestry of flora was ideated translating them into butis, bels, and border layouts to be realized on the finest cotton and silk. In the last leg of the project, sampling of the motifs was undertaken in Bengal connecting with the cultural and historical essence of Jamdani.
Writing this document, it becomes clear that this project extends beyond academia—it's a potential design path for the future. Working alongside artisans, embracing accountability, and gaining deep conviction, this project, Fer is just one chapter in a broader narrative of exploring Jamdani's potential.