BY DIYA GHAG AND SHIVAANI SENTHIL
Handloom, the most eco-friendly way of fabricating clothes, was formulated by Edmund Cartwright and patented in 1785. In India, it dates back to the Indus valley civilization, where farmers were the prime people to spin and weave cotton. The fabric utilizes the mechanical energy of the weaver rather than electrical energy.
Opting for Handloom over other fabrics would benefit the industry in myriad ways since it is handwoven and has rare odds of being defective. Skilled weavers and artisans provide the utmost care to ensure good quality products. The handlooms sector is considered the second largest income-generating activity after agriculture. Therefore, encouraging the sector would indirectly mean providing employment to millions of artisans, especially from the rural area, and would boost women empowerment.
The time has come for people to understand the challenges of global warming and make the shift from power loom to handloom. This majorly contributes to a sustainable and eco-friendly environment which is much needed in the world today.
SOME DESIGNERS THAT HAVE WORKED WITH HANDLOOM
The handloom textiles of India showcase the rich heritage of the country. Many fashion designers in India have worked with various craft and weaving clusters to revive traditional handloom Indian textiles. Lately, designers in India have explicitly portrayed their love towards Indian textiles and have incorporated them in the most distinctive way for the ready to wear markets across the country.
Known as the master of weaves, Gaurang Shah has crafted saris using various Indian handloom textiles like kanjivaram, Khadi, Uppada, Paithani, Patan Patola, Benarasi, Kota and Bengal weaves. His latest collection GHARAM MASALA in 2020 adds a fresh twist, using colors inspired by our spices. The monochromatic theme of the collection did not fail to amaze its audience.
ABU JANI and SANDEEP KHOSLA
The duo is a pioneer in resurrecting the best of the past and fashioning it for the future. Being pioneers in bridal lehengas, they have launched a sustainable brand called GULABO, focusing more on hand-spun Kora cotton embellished in linear Gota work and breezy silhouettes giving it an ‘oomph’ factor.
Be it a collection with minimal prints and embroidery or a heavy dream bridal lehenga, Sabyasachi has never failed to amaze us with the amalgamation of different fabrics that lead to his whimsical collections. Sabyasachi uses Cotton, Khadi, Banarasi weaves and Kalamkari in a luxe bohemian way for pret and bridal wear. This creation of infusing various techniques together has given his designs a strong sense of organic and power dressing.
In her recent collections EHSAAS, ANTHEEN and MASAKALI, we can implicitly see Anju Modi’s love for Khadi, Handspun Cotton, Banaras and Chanderi. Anju Modi’s Khadi collection at ‘Khadi, transcending boundaries’ featured various silhouettes ranging from Peplum to Dhoti pants, showing us how humbling Khadi can be.
Anita Dongre is well known for her explicit love for crafts and handloom across the country. She uses handwoven Malkha fabric, Maheshwari silk, handwoven Jamdani, and Ikkats in her exclusive collection, designed into saris, kurtas and dresses, providing the wearer with unparalleled comfort and style. The vibrancy and texture of these handwoven fabrics give the designs a unique look.
Rahul Mishra’s journey in the fashion industry has been full of exciting innovations. He has worked with various handloom fabrics like Maheswari silk, Chanderi, Banarasi silk, Bhalgapur silk, and Kerala’s handwoven cotton called Mundu. In order to celebrate the heritage of handlooms in India, Rahul Mishra showcased a collection at the Paris Fashion Week entirely made of Maheswari and Chanderi fabrics produced in rural India.
Rahul Mishra X Project Eve collections portray his long association with traditional Indian handloom textiles. A fine amalgamation of Indian textiles is made accessible in the ready to wear market in India.
Today, in the world of fashion, Indian designers have truly played a major role in reviving, uplifting and sustaining the techniques and skills of working with traditional handwoven textiles in our country and also making it viable for ready to wear.
EDITED BY: PRERNA LALCHANDANI