Craft research is included as part of the textile design syllabus. The third-year students of textile design from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar (Nift), as a part of their education, have travelled to various parts of Gujarat to research on the age-old crafts of the state, like Ashavali weave, zari, zardozi and tie and dye.
To understand anything, it is important to explore its origins, the students have to travel and learn about the craft from the artisans themselves. A group of students went to Ridrol, near Mansa, to understand the Ashavali and Surat brocades. The use of coloured yarns and zari woven in intricate pattern are the core of these textiles. The weaving process of both Ashavali and Surat brocades is different; the former is hand woven in pit looms, the other is machine made, said Rutvi Sheth, a fifth semester student of textile design.
Another group of students had travelled to Surat to get an insight on the biggest zari industry of India. They got to know that apart from embroidery, zari is woven into cotton, into footwear, even in nail paints. At Raikhad, they studied the process of creating the regal zardozi embroidery. By documenting the craft, they are aiming to bring these sidelined crafts in the limelight, said Aashna Shah, another student from the course.
To study 'tie and dye', students went to Kutch. Additionally, individual students took up the task of creating surfaces using textile techniques like gathering, shirring and ruffling.
The craft research and documentation by the students are currently on display at the institute.
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