Opening a fashion dialogue with weavers isn't easy, but once both sides learn to adapt, it is a privilege to make their skills available to the world
Back in 2003, at the National Institute of Technology, Mumbai, I was frantically hunting for textiles for my graduation collection. The only options were a few fabric shops in Bandra selling all sorts of synthetic fabrics, from slippery cutwork laces to heat-set pleated polyester or neon rexene, or some shops at Dadar’s Hindmata selling readily available checks, stripes and prints in thick cotton. I used to come back empty-handed to my pattern-making classroom. It was then that I realized that what I was looking for was not available in stores; I was looking for fabrics that I had studied about in the Traditional Textiles of India course. I would eventually settle for some pure raw silks but kept feeling the need to make the textiles that I had imagined. I also realized that to make clothing, I would need to understand the medium better, so I applied for a textile design course at the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.
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