Crafts Mumbai

Weaves from Assam, Nagaland and Odisha are up for sale in Mumbai

Wide range: On sale are dupattas, saris, stoles, yardages and home décor handwoven by the Maniabandha weavers in Odisha, Kamrup in Assam, and Dimapur in Nagaland.

Wide range: On sale are dupattas, saris, stoles, yardages and home décor handwoven by the Maniabandha weavers in Odisha, Kamrup in Assam, and Dimapur in Nagaland.  

A two-day show on weaves from Assam, Nagaland and Odisha is a must-do for textile lovers

When Assamese artisans, Jyotsna and Kavita, were chosen to co-design garments with a designer in New Delhi, they faced immediate protest from their husbands and family members based in Kamrup, Assam. The duo’s family had reservations about the two sisters surviving in a big city, and practising art that can easily be done from back home. That’s when Antaran, TATA Trusts’ craft-based livelihood programme, stepped in and convinced them about the value of espousing a larger cause — showcasing of textile crafts.

Weaves from Assam, Nagaland and Odisha are up for sale in Mumbai

Weaves from Assam, Nagaland and Odisha are up for sale in Mumbai

The sisters eventually exhibited their new collection at a pop-up Delhi, and from today will showcase their handiwork in the city. Antaran supports handloom traders, weavers, artisans and to-be entrepreneurs, who will now display their traditional designs at the Artisan Exhibit of Handwoven Textiles that starts today.

On sale are dupattas, saris, stoles, yardages and home décor handwoven by the Maniabandha weavers (amongst the last traditional Buddhist weavers) in Odisha, Kamrup in Assam, and Dimapur in Nagaland. The three States are the first to be initiated into Antaran’s incubation and design centres that support craft development and build micro-entrepreneurs. “At the centre, we will equip them with necessary design skills, business acumen, and the knowledge of digital platforms while creating direct access with the boutique buyers,” says Sharda Gautam, head of crafts at Tata Trusts.

Weaves from Assam, Nagaland and Odisha are up for sale in Mumbai

Weaves from Assam, Nagaland and Odisha are up for sale in Mumbai

Weaves from Assam, Nagaland and Odisha are up for sale in Mumbai

The artisans are encouraged to steer away from their usual methods, and play with yarns, varied coloured fibres, and experiment with wool and linen, apart from cotton. The Kamrup weavers in Assam usually work with two-pedal looms to create their products, but with access to four-, and six-pedal looms, they are increasing the range of their design and artistic vision. Since the artisans co-design garments with big-city designers, they aren’t restricted by the latters personal style. “For example, the exhibition in Mumbai will host unique tote bags made from the traditional Naga weave, Assamese motifs on contemporary garments, and Eri silk sarees mixing modern and traditional design elements,” shares Vishesh Sharma, program marketing officer of crafts, at Tata Trusts.

Gautam also stresses upon the importance of the clusters to enable the community to be self-sufficient, by giving them direct access to the marketplace and eliminating middlemen. The artisans have visited stores such as Fabindia, and Good Earth, as well as attended the Lakme Fashion Week to boost the amalgamation of ancestral designs with contemporary wardrobes.

Weaves from Assam, Nagaland and Odisha are up for sale in Mumbai

Weaves from Assam, Nagaland and Odisha are up for sale in Mumbai

Weaves from Assam, Nagaland and Odisha are up for sale in Mumbai

Weaves from Assam, Nagaland and Odisha are up for sale in Mumbai

Antaran aims to benefit 3,000 people directly involved in pre-loom, on-loom and post-loom processes, and encourage young weavers to take forward their family lineage. Though the handicraft artists are taught by business professionals, they are urged to avoid homogenising traditional styles. Lest their ancestral motifs be long forgotten.

The Artisan Exhibit of Handwoven Textiles is on today and July 25, at World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 6:14:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/upping-the-ante-for-handloom/article28689318.ece

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