Selvedge celebrates Indian textiles

The theme of the new Selvedge issue is India! So of course it is full of colour, beautiful pattern, rich history, fascinating stories and contemporary innovations within textiles. It also highlights the important issues arising from fast textile production and demand, and the place of handcrafted textiles.

On pages 62 to 64 various writers discuss the current situation of handloom in India and what the future holds. This includes Laila Tyabji of Indian craft NGO Dastkar highlighting the recent lobby against the government’s decision to repeal the Reservations Act which gives exclusivity to certain handloom products and aims to prevent powerloom copies. Luckily, the protests were heard and the Ministry of Textiles withdrew the proposed repeal of the Act.

Women Weave, the organisation I wrote about in this post and their recently opened handloom school are featured, as are FiveP, an organisation working with handloom weavers in Tamil Nadu. Uthra Rajgopal tells us the ‘Five Ps’ stand for “protecting, promoting, preserving, posterity and prosperity.” They aim to build a sustainable future for weavers, through encouraging innovation and forging links between weavers and designers.

Then we hear from the weavers from Bhujodi, interviewed by myself on my trip there last year. Read the post here. See the pdf of the interview in Selvedge here: page_64 page_65. As photos of the weavers could not be included in the magazine, here they are below:

Ramji modelling one of his ikat woven scarves.

Ramji modelling one of his ikat woven scarves.

Jenti modelling a check scarf woven for the Bhujodi to Bagalkot project with his son

Jenti modelling a check scarf woven for the Bhujodi to Bagalkot project with his son

Shami weaving a heavily patterned piece

Shami weaving a heavily patterned piece. Photo courtesy of Judy Frater

In the rest of the issue, read about John Gillow’s experience exploring Bhuj bazaar, how Bagru resist-printed cloth from Rajasthan is made, the sacred trees of India, designer Kangan Arora, Viola Parrocchetti’s textile business in Dharavi slum, the V&A’s Fabric of India exhibition by three of the exhibition’s curators, Kachipuram silks, Lucy Siegle on the True Cost of Fashion…. and lots more!

With thanks to Judy Frater and Somaiya Kala Vidya, and Kuldip Gadhvi of Kutch Adventures India for help with translation and general support.

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