On August 11th, the students of Whistling Woods School of Fashion celebrated National Handloom Day. As a a consumer of fast fashion, I never stop to give a thought to the about the beautiful fabrics, unique techniques and lovely heritage our country has. And when I heard the talk by Bhamini Subramaniam about the handlooms of India, I was stunned about the embellished history of our fabric work. We should know better and we should all buy better.
The students showcased some of the traditional dances of the state but for me, the highlight was definitely the talk. During a quick powerpoint, Ms. Subramaniam talked about the warp and weft techniques, of how Ikat involves such a high degree of skill, about the spirituality of weaving cloth and the differences in patterns and weaves you notice as you move around the country. The various connotations of each motif, the influences of Persia and China and how it changed what we wore. A beautiful talk that left me wanting a lot more.
Whether I am going to switch to a whole new wardrobe, I don’t know yet. But I am definitely keeping an eye out for handlooms now.