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Weaving New Interpretations for Traditional Textiles and Techniques using Design Interventions

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Weaving New Interpretations for Traditional Textiles and Techniques using Design Interventions

Traditional Textiles

Weaving New Interpretations for Traditional Textiles and Techniques using Design Interventions

Introduction

The article is a summary of Design Intervention by the author done during period of 2018-2019, to create new designs in traditional Extra-weft weave of Bhuj, Gujrat with Kala cotton yarn.

Field visits along with interviews with weavers to understand the traditional techniques and motifs revealed some gaps that could be addressed. The aim of the effort is to promote –

  • Hand-spun Kala cotton yarn in the weft and warp
  • Adapting and re-interpreting traditional motifs to create newer versions
  • Yarns dyed in eco-friendly herbs and vegetable dyes.

Kala cotton is indigenous to the Kutch region, and is unique as it does not require any pesticides or modern fertilizers. Since it is a purely rain fed crop, and is immune to pests and diseases that normally plague cotton plants, Kala cotton crops can be grown in the arid conditions and require very little investment. As opposed to modern cotton growing, indigenous cotton varieties are a viable alternative for small farmers as the entire production chain of people working with cotton can generate income in a sustainable manner.

Indigenous cotton varieties are a viable alternative for small farmers as the entire production chain of people working with cotton can generate income in a sustainable manner. India once boasted of nearly 20 varieties of indigenous cotton that were cultivated in earlier times.

Extra Weft technique is like jamdani where an extra weft yarn is placed in regular weave so that motifs can be made. Traditional shawls with the hallmark extra-weft technique of Kutchh are woven with geometrical motifs and borders. The same motifs are being used on all items – sarees, shawls, blankets, stoles – with some variation in its size and orientation. These motifs are inspired from nature and day to day life. The experiments have resulted in stoles of kala cotton that create a modern look but retaining the essence of traditional weaving techniques.

 

 

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