25 June, 2018

Bhujodi saree

Bhujodi, famous for its woven shawls has reimagined the patterns of the shawls in a saree. This happened a couple of years back. With the passage of time, the beautiful extra wefts of the shawls have been tried on other products like sarees, stoles, bed covers, fabrics, etc. This saree is a testimony to the hardwork and innovation that artisans keep bringing to the market. Today, the sarees are made using different materials like organic cotton, mercerised cotton, silk etc. The product here is made from organic cotton called Kala cotton. It is handwoven on a handloom. The dyes used are natural.

The weavers here say, "Our purpose is to give exclusivity to your wardrobe with minimal environmental impact".

Featuring a mishmash of colour block and stripes throughout the body, mini triangles and pom-poms at the pallu, this handloom woven Bhujodi Kutch saree in cotton is an amalgam of classic pattern and desi techniques.
Bhujodi is a small village in Gujarat, occupied by handloom weavers who specialise in producing beautiful textile and fashion products that are classy, traditional and contemporary. Their collection has attracted great appreciation thus contributing towards new opportunities of expression, new techniques, innovative designs and new means for the craftsmen to connect to the society.
The saree is beautifully handwoven on a pit loom in Kutch, Gujarat.
The product is designed by paramparik karigar. His family is engaged in this craft for decades now. Bhujodi has been home to the "weavers" for centuries.
Up until fifty years ago, weaving was not a year-round activity. Bhujodi's inhabitants dedicated half of the year to farming, and the other half to weaving. But due to climatic shifts that caused inconsistency of the monsoon and its consequential lack of water, farming became less reliable. In order to sustain a living, the shift to weaving became the community's main livelihood.

The village of Bhujodi is now full of weavers. 
Bhujodi is one of the villages that has reclaimed itself as a major centre for woven cotton and woollen textiles. But how does one distinguish the quality of a weaver's work from that of another, beyond that relative degree of "taste" that one may own, or years of expertise most people do not possess? It's just like handwriting. Some have good handwriting, some have bad handwriting.

Good weavers work with their mind. The mind needs to "see" the pieces. Some people do not see it. But those who have been the benefactors of generational continuity see it. It is not just about weaving--the mind needs to be trained. They have lived with the art and have been weaving for generations so they recognize what quality needs to be.

The best weavers are recognizable by the borders they weave. Tradition dictates a certain technique for the weave, identifiable in the number of thread counts, a specific design, and orientation of the weave. In essence, the weaver knows and understands the technique. This refined "language" and code help distinguish the novices from the skilful artisans. The newcomers don't know.

Besides its telltale function to identify the skilled, the border also has a functional purpose. When a shawl is worn, the edges are the first to deteriorate. Hence, the borders are not just about design or aesthetics, it is also about function.

"Certain weavers, they just want to sell. They don't even think about tradition and what our forefathers did. "

Its vast, barren wetlands make the Rann of Kachchh a recurring landscape in Bollywood movies, but the iconic region was ruptured during 2001’s devastating earthquake. As support poured in – in the form of funds and NGO intervention – revival projects were founded on local textile and handicraft traditions of the regions.

I am wearing my Bhujodi saree with khun blouse.

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