What is Truly Slow Fashion? Talking Sustainability, Textiles and Legacy with Vidhi Agarwal of ‘Meiraas’

In all of my exposure to Indian sustainable fashion labels, I’ve often come across an amusing amount tokenism and greenwashing. A tendency akin to students wanting to pass an examination by doing the bare minimum, most ‘slow’ and ‘sustainable’ brands turn out not to be as hunky-dory and ethical as they market themselves to be. The indigenous, slow techniques are present; but dig deeper and you find kaam-chalao (half-hearted) craftsmanship done quickly or sparsely on mill-made powerloom fabrics. The artisan
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Kota Masuria, Kota Doria – Women & Woven Air

Kaithoon, a village of about 15,000 people in Rajasthan, is home to the ethereal kota doria weave. With 2500 looms, it houses weavers who have been working here for 300 years – their forefathers were brought here from Mysore in the 17th century by Maharao Kishore Singh, a general in the Mughal Army. This textile is locally known as Kota Masuria, because of it’s roots in Mysore. A true blue Kota Doria combines cotton and silk yarns in a … Read Full

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Kantha – Embroidery from the cradle to the grave!

We’ve all encountered a kantha – be it saree, dupatta, suit, cushion or blanket. But a little known fact that differentiate’s this eastern Indian tradition from several other embroidery crafts is that there lies a profound functionality behind it, for it was in it’s truest essence a craft tradition of the poor. Discarded textile scraps sewn together with a running stitch – the basic foundational block of needlework – to create something new. One of India’s oldest embroidery traditions, the … Read Full

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14/100 – Maharani Series – Of Indira Devi, Marsala Lips & Kashmiri Sozni

This look is inspired by a resplendent portrait of Maharani of Cooch Behar, Indira Devi – mother to Gayatri Devi. A passionate, fierce and unstoppable woman, with an immensely interesting life story narrated later in this post. AIn her portrait we find a glimmering tissue blouse, three tiered pearls and a sheer saree creating a classically royal look which was quite the favorite among the globe-trotting Maharanis of Cooch Behar. Bare face, dark lips and natural beauty are a quintessential … Read Full

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7/100 Love for Jamdani

 

Continuing the #desidrapes rainbow series, today is the day for a beautiful dhakai jamdani handloom saree as blue as the Mediterranean sea. Traditionally, muslin patterning in the extra weft technique is known as Jamdani and Sir George Watt gave the fine muslins of Bengal the name of “ring muslins,” after testing their fineness by passing them through a ring. However, this was no secret to … Read Full

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6/100 – Mystical Ajrak in Gajji Silk

for the #desidrapesrainbow, this divine gajji silk could be equal parts madder burgundy as it is indigo as it is black but I still dream of ajrak whenever I think neel, indigo, the night sky, the stars, the universe.

A divine ajrak on gajji silk from @fabindianews, this textile indigenous to Kutch is a match made in heaven with the tediously, intensively, magically surreal … Read Full

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Summer Staples – Shibori, Batik, and other Handcrafted Tales

With temperatures soaring, it’s time to create an all new summer wardrobe, replete with summer staples in light, breathe-easy and beautifully handcrafted textiles! Hand dyed cotton textiles that undergo traditional processes like mud or wax resist printing/block printing- such as batiks, indigo prints and kalamkaris- are usually incredibly soft, light and comfortable due to repeated washing involved in every stage of the handcrafted printing process.

Left, Ochre and Brown Batik – The making of a batik fabric involves spreading a … Read Full

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