Thursday, December 23, 2010

Desi Weaves With Modern Sensibilities

December 24, 2010 10:15:34 AM

Be it Benarasi silk on Assamese silhouettes or traditional ghagra-choli from Rajasthan, the designer fraternity whetted its skills and presented a beautiful blend of Indian and contemporary designs in a fashion show as part of the Handloom Week 2010 presently going on at Dilli Haat. An initiative by the Ministry of Textiles and the office of Development Commissioner Handlooms, the show was supported by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and depicted Indian culture, crafts and handloom that constitute the bedrock of India’s heritage.

To be in-sync with traditional textiles and present them in a manner that makes even the most choosy fashionistas sing praises, Guwahati-based designer Meghna Rai Medhi came up with an interesting combination of two different cultures. The entire collection had Benarasi and Assamese sensibilities. Coming from a place where “every woman weaves”, Medhi said, helped her create the designs. “I used Benarasi raw silk and brocade pattis and borders that we weave in the Northeast and created contemporary designs. The fabric was kept as traditional as possible. Although the patterns too were traditional, they were only modernized into chic outfits,” she said.

Designer Anju Modi too reflected the ancient traditions of Indian craftsmanship through rich heritage of Rajasthan. From Mughal angarkhas with draped pants and saris to long flowing jackets that were teamed up with lehengas, Modi used handloom weaves, mainly handloom cotton, silk and Jamdani fabric to the fullest. “I researched for months to go along with this collection and have tried to exemplify the beauty, style, art, craft, music and richness of Rajasthan on the ramp,” said Modi.

From a dash of indigo blue to white with a touch of gold, her garments had the rich feel of the royal city. “I think I’m married to handloom. Even when I started my career, I spent days with traditional artisans, living with them and learning their skills. I’ve been working with these artisans to revitalize the legacy of the handloom sector across the country,” she added.

Payal Jain, who has maintained a balance of traditional techniques and chic designs in almost all her collections, this time presented a flash of white on the ramp with formal skirts and coats to short dresses and traditional suits. With intricate hand embroidery all over, Jain’s collection spoke for itself. “I’ve always used Indian textiles in my clothes, so much so, that I’ve now developed my own textiles,” said Jain.

This initiative, said Dayanidhi Maran, Union Minister of Textiles, was just one in the series of shows that have been planned. “We want the world to know that traditional Indian crafts can be presented in a contemporary way also. I am hopeful that this show will attract the attention of designers, retailers and wholesalers who are looking to source the handloom products for the high-end market,” he said.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Trouble in Indian Agriculture

With the recent suicides of farmers in India people are starting to look to the Indian Government for support of agriculture. India being a developing country, support of agriculture is not a priority.

One example of how farmers are exploited is that when domestic prices are high the government brings in imports at lower prices making it impossible for farmers to turn a profit. Along the same line, when international prices are high farmers are not allowed to export in order to keep domestic prices low. Nothing is working in their favor.

This article hypothesizes that part of the problem is that the same elected official represents all businesses in any given region. This means that if something will profit a big business and hurt small farmers the favor will go to the big business because officials are paid by big businesses.

One proposed solution for this problem is that “Dalits” (lower caste people) should have their own representative separate from that of upper castes. This solution however, would mean that people are labeled as “Dalit” which perpetuates an inescapable class system that can label a family through generations – something that Gandhi felt strongly against.

The author of this article proposes separate officials for different occupations, which would avoid caste classification. Read the full article for more information.

Why Policies are Anti-People?

by Bharat Jhunjhunwala

Monday, January 11, 2010

GI Certification for Tangaliya Weaving

Tangaliya, a 700 year-old weaving technique native to Gujarat, is defined by a dotted texture on the surface of the fabric. The texture is achieved by knotting contrasting colored yarns along the warp as it is woven - these knots at the surface of the fabric join to create designs and patterns.

Recently, as a way of gaining credibility and becoming a more widely respected craft, THA (Tangaliya Hastkala Association) sought to receive GI certification. GI, or Geographical Indications of Goods, is a registration that certifies the authenticity of a craft defined by where the craft is traditionally made.

India created this form of certification and protection in 1999 as a member of the World Trade Organization. Leaders in Tangaliya weaving have said that since they were granted GI they have received several orders and have gained credibility all over the world.

Read Full Article at
Business Standard by Vikas Bhargava: