Starting in the village of Gajendragad, in north Karnataka, India, we have begun a collaborative process with two handloom weaving societies – Shri Adishakthi Kaimaga Nekarara Vividudeshada Sahakari Sangha Ltd., and Shri Banashankari Nekarara Sahakari Utpadak Sangha Ltd., 3rd Space Lab Collective artists, along with collaborator artist Shatrughan Thakur, to develop a series of woven sari fabrics that interpret ideas of geology, landscape and sky of both the state of Karnataka, India and California, USA. Over the next year and a half, we will collaborate with these handloom weavers to collectively create six different designs for 300 hand woven saris to be made with organic cotton yarn, and dyed with natural dyes.
In July 2016, we hosted a 10-day workshop on natural dying with artist and designer Shatrughan Thakur, who is an expert in natural dyeing processes. Through this project we designed and fabricated a natural dying unit, which the master dyers and weavers from both of these societies will continue to use to develop their own systems for natural dying, moving away from the toxic chemical dye processes they have been working with for years. Through our workshop in July, we began to collaboratively develop a color pallet for our 300 saris. We also saw the master dyers began to develop some of their own new colors pallets during our workshop using natural dyes that surprised them in the brilliance and color fastness we were able to achieve. Our hope is that this new found learning and experience will help them move towards a more healthy and sustainable crafting process that they envision for their production.
When our saris are complete, our collective design process with the weavers will strive to give them ownership on the designs created together, so that they are not only beholden to client requests, but are able to develop their own new designs that can lead to the creation of their own micro businesses, with support from collaborating partner organizations that will become our micro economy partners in this work.
After the weaving process is complete, our saris will be used for…..
This project has been funded in part through the generous support of by the JSW Foundation in Mumbai, India.