“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasure!”
It is often said that ‘beauty lies in the details’, and how true does that saying hold for handcrafted pieces of treasure we embody every day! From Juanita’s intricate zari embroidery to Jodi’s hand block-printed ensemble and Pot Plant’s and Studio Medium's immaculate Bandhani pieces, the skilled craftsmanship is what makes us fall in love with them over and over again. So diverse, complex, and colorful, and yet with an abundance of simplicity and charm.
You know handcrafted is better than machine or factory-produced products! You are also aware that indigenous craftsmanship is traditionally rooted in a sustainable approach with regenerative practices, resource consciousness, and minimal wastage. But don’t you often wonder what’s the difference between block printing and screen printing? Why is hand embroidery better? What exactly is bandhani or ikat? Let’s highlight the details that make these artisanal products better than the rest!
At Canvas and Weaves, we often talk about conscious consumerism, carefully curating brands that aim to integrate sustainable practices in their supply chains and brand language. While we have extensively discussed the environmental pillars of sustainability, cultural sustainability is not a topic we have highlighted as much. Cultural sustainability is built on the principle of preserving cultural knowledge and sharing traditional cultural expressions through the integration of indigenous craftsmanship in modern fashion supply chains.
Time, intricacy, patience, artistry, and history! This sums up the lives of the artisans and their communities who dedicatedly create and design these sustainable pieces of art.
When it comes to Ikat, Translate seems to have aced the art of the indigenous weave. The Ikat weave is very distinct and ranges from geometric patterns to abstract designs. A signature element of the weave is a ‘fuzzy’ or ‘blurry’ effect, symbolizing the immense difficulty faced by the weaver while lining the dyed yarn. At the heart of Ikat weave is resist-dyed yarn. Resist-dyeing is a process where sections of yarn are tied off so that the dye does not reach them. This method allows for intricate and complex patterns to be achieved. The intricacy of the craft requires mathematical precision, and the design needs to be laid out on a graph paper.
There are two types of Ikat, single and double. In double Ikat, both the warp and weft threads are dyed, while in single ikat only the warp is dyed. Double Ikat is woven only in India, Japan, and Indonesia.
Ikat Fun Fact: Although Ikat has deep roots in India, the name originates from Indonesia. In Indonesian languages, it means ‘tie’ or ‘to bind’. It is believed that India had strong trading relations with Indonesia and Java, and different traditional fabrics traveled from India to Indonesia via trade routes.