Fashion

Have we forgotten National Handloom Week?

It’s the season of all things sustainable and handmade, so why aren’t we celebrating it?

On National Handloom Day (August 7) last year, designers Bibi Russell, Shravan Kummar and Sunaina Sood showcased collections crafted by weavers from Narayannpet, Siddipet, Gadwal and Mahadevpur. The sector celebrated with craft and textile exhibitions, and fashion shows held across the country. Cut to mid-April 2019, and there’s barely any activity ahead of National Handloom Week (April 7-14). In fact, not many are aware of it since it was observed in December last year, and the only mention is on the government’s yearly calendar. So for the love of the loom, it’s time we focus on the artisans behind the exquisite embroideries, textured saris, and arty prints we admire in every designer’s collection. Here’s a book, a fashion line and a craft fair that should be on your radar.

In print

Have we forgotten National Handloom Week?

From intricate woven silks worn by royalty to simple block-printed kalamkari and ikat patterns worn by the masses, India’s rich textile history comes together in Avalon Fotheringham’s soon-to-be-launched The Indian Textile Sourcebook. Curator at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, she has drawn inspiration from the museum’s grand collection of varied textile designs, techniques and colours. The book examines fabrics in detail, replete with close-up shots of patterns and different weaving techniques. It’s divided into three chapters by pattern style: Floral, Figurative, and Geometric.

Published by Thames and Hudson, the book will launch on April 9. ₹3,785 at barnesandnoble.com

For a cause

Have we forgotten National Handloom Week?

Designer Rohit Bal’s recent The Kashmir Collection, created for the Usha Silai label, is now available at his store in Defence Colony, New Delhi. Showcased at the Lakmé Fashion Week earlier this year, the ensemble highlights the intricacy of Kashmiri embroidery, and all outfits have been stitched by the Usha Silai women in Kashmir. Bal has worked with organic fabrics like cotton, silk blends, chanderis, silk organzas and velvets with motifs of vibrant flowers depicting the region’s local craft. All profits earned are passed on to the artisans at Usha.

₹25,000 onwards. Details: rohitbal.com

Weaves and more

Crafts Council of India’s ongoing Textile Show in Chennai features timeless weaves, techniques and traditions from across the country. Pick from classic Banaras brocades with exotic Middle Eastern embroidery, heritage jamdaanis, hand blockprinted Maheshwaris, and ahimsa silk. Don’t miss out on the summery mulmul saris, and weaves in Indigo and natural dyes, and you might want to check out Eleven Eleven’s embellished khadi and khadi denims. The collections feature saris, dupattas, blouses and stoles created by designers Vivek Narang, Avni Bhuva, Eachaneri Designs, Kapaas Kolkata, Shilpa Madaan, Marm, Sifat Banaras, Roha, among several others.

Today at Welcom Hotel, Cathedral Road, 10 am to 7 pm. craftscouncilofindia.org

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 4:14:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/fashion/why-have-we-forgotten-national-handloom-week/article26744386.ece

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