Fashion

Design meets craft

HANDS-ON LEARNING NIFT faculty and artisans at the workshop  

On Wednesday morning, the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) auditorium was a study in contrasts. In one section, students armed with laptops assembled for the day. On the other side were 40 artisans eager and curious to see how a fashion institute can help make a difference to them and their craft. A one-day workshop for artisans and weavers from Puttapaka, Warangal and Kondapalli marked the beginning of a five-year design intervention programme by NIFT.

“Fashion institutes like NIFT are perceived to be elitist. This intervention programme will remove that notion. The students will be able to learn from the artisans and the artisans in turn will benefit from the students in different aspects,” says Annaji Sharma, associate professor and centre coordinator, department of fashion management studies.

The Development Commissioner (handicrafts) identified 12 different handicraft clusters, of which NIFT will be working with three — the Puttapaka cluster that specialises in ikat saris and home furnishings, cotton durries cluster in Warangal and Kondapalli renowned for its handmade toys. “The programme will also cover a radius of 10 km surrounding these clusters,” adds Annaji.

The intervention will happen in different stages, informs G.M. Reddy, assistant professor and cluster initiative coordinator, NIFT. “In the first stage, 90 students from fashion design, textile design and knitwear design departments will visit the clusters in July 2012. The diagnostic study will involve studying the products. In the second stage, 60 students from fashion communication and accessory design will visit the clusters in October 2012 to focus on product diversification. In the third stage, 30 students from fashion management department will visit the clusters in December and interact with artisans on how to market their products through melas, brochures, online portals and other avenues,” he shares.

Ashni Lukose, a software engineer turned entrepreneur who founded just-craft.com, made a presentation on e-commerce for crafts. She says, “Many artisans do not know the potential of e-commerce. Through this workshop, I tried to introduce them to the concept of e-commerce.”

The design intervention programme is in line with the activities of the Textile Sectoral Innovation Council set up under the Ministry of Textiles.


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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 12:32:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fashion/design-meets-craft/article2950763.ece

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