Through the realms of India’s Artisans threads
Living in India, it’s not difficult to see the magic that lies in the country’s artisanal crafts and textiles. From the foothills of the Himalayas to the tip of Kanyakumari, there is a tremendous variation in the kinds of crafts and artisan skills that we witness. We wear them with ease, in a terrific mix of drapes and silhouettes. And we wear them everywhere: to family get-togethers and grand dinners alike.
Indeed, the Indian thread is something of an arterial lifeline that connects the spirit of this vast nation. And though the “Made in India” brand hasn’t been cultivated, protected or promoted nearly as much as “Made in France” or “Made in Italy,” it’s no secret that many of the top international fashion brands use Indian craftsmen.
When we peek into the large universe of Indian crafts and textiles, in the deepest alcoves of rural India lies the most sophisticated weaving techniques. In the interiors of Madhya Pradesh are the weavers who operate mammoth handlooms in tiny homes. The most enthralling South Indian silks in Kanchipuram and gilded brocades in Benares add crown to Indian crafts. In Ahmedabad, between the secluded streets of the bustling city, draped over cold marble floors one can discover the most intricate kalamkari sarees in warm colours.
One of the biggest issues in India is that our markets do not recognise the true value of craft. Once this value is recognised, and when people become willing to pay a higher price for craft-based products, this would translate into higher wages for weavers and craftspeople. It will act as a boost to millions of rural-based livelihood opportunities associated with this sector.
In India, we have no shortage of incredible artisans. What we lack is the marketing prowess to bestow value upon ordinary lives who have extraordinary skills.
Source: Bandana Tewari from The Business of Fashion