With the demand for eco-conscious fashion at the forefront of aspects that drive trends in the industry, the demand for more sustainable fabrics and materials becomes paramount as well. The good news here is that we already have access to a lot of textile crafts passed down across generations which cross a lot of sustainable criteria. Let’s get right into it!
An ancient style of hand painting, the craft of Kalamkari can be traced back centuries and flourished during the Mughal era in the Golconda and Coromandel areas, that is, today’s Andhra Pradesh. The craft involves the painting and block printing of naturally bleached fabrics using only natural dyes. The dyes used traditionally included colours like indigo, mustard, rust, black and green.
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The fabric that was at the realm of the national freedom movement in India, Khadi, is still as relevant as it was back in the 1900s. This is because pure khadi, which is handwoven from hand-spun yarn has a significantly smaller carbon footprint as compared to other commercially produced fabrics, owing to the low energy and water requirements in its production process. The cherry on the cake? It's made out of natural yarn, which makes it biodegradable as well.
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Khadi and Village Industries Commission
The Summer House
The Pot Plant
Dabu or Daboo is a kind of hand block printing craft from the state of Rajasthan. The process involves the meticulous printing of fabrics by hand using carved wooden blocks which are dipped in natural dyes like indigo and kashish. The motifs traditionally printed included those inspired by flowers, leaves, animals and birds.
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Another style of resist block printing, Ajrakh is one that originated in the Sindh province of pre-independent India. The textile craft is currently practised by artisans in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Ajrakh makes use of mainly indigo and deep crimson hues in its intrinsic designs and “jhaal” prints. The process of Ajrakh printing extends up to 14 to 16 days depending on the design. Traditional Ajrakh uses natural dyes and substances like camel dung, soda ash and castor oil in its process.
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An early example of upcycling in the space of clothing, Kantha is a style of embroidery consisting of a running stitch. Rural women in the Bengal area of eastern India traditionally used the craft to stitch together layers of old unwanted fabric to make quilts, floor coverings and more.
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House of Wandering Silk