Creative minds in textile and fashion design coming up with some interesting results like the Mumbai-based designer Anavila Misra turned stiff linen into fluid saris, while Rahul Mishra has turned the high fashion tables in Milan by creating wool so thin that it can be worn in summer even embellishing it with zardozi and tie-and-dye designs. Then, there is the Goa based British designer Alastair Blair who is fashioning tops and shirts out of the gossamer-light Chan deri, for FabIndia. Changing the entire vocabulary of the textile by coaxing a fabric into a design that is alien to it is not very simple.
Anavila ran into many problems while setting out to make linen saris. Linen which conjures up visions of cool summer, it is difficult to think of linen in any other silhouette or season Moreover, turning linen into a fluid sari fabric that can draped was more difficult.
Weaving it tightly could have helped, but since linen yarn is sticky it would have made the fabric heavy, compromising its appeal as summer wear, said Anavila, a NIFT graduate who has been working for years with natural fabrics and weavers from tribal India. She solved the problem by increasing the spacing in the loom setup so that the fabric could be given a different texture. Her debut collection of linen saris, priced Rs 8,000 onwards, became the toast of the Mumbai Lakme Fashion Week, in March.
Rahul Mishra is known for his offbeat thinking in a field where most stick to the tried and tested. Not for him the sequins, crystals and bridal excesses. His bold effort at redefining wool won him this year's International Woolmark, Prize, and the first Indian to do so. Rahul set out to make wool wearable in the tropics. As only 50 per cent of e the world experiences a harsh winter and he wanted to make wool trans-seasonal, said Rahul
To weave a special blend, weavers of Chanderi in Madhya s Pradesh were approached as Chanderi silk is woven by combining a silk warp with cotton a weft and Rahul tweaked the technique by using a Merino wool weft on a silk warp.
The result was a fabric as thin as jersey, which looked like linen or cotton. Craftsmen from Kolkata work on zardozi on dresses and jackets made with this special wool blend. His collection will soon be selling from the worldâ€™s top fashion stores, like Harvey Nichols, 10 Corso Como and Colette.
A lot of popular brands -known for their handmade fabrics and clothes -have adapted a quintessential Indian textile to create Western silhouettes. All what is required is to adapt and bring the focus back on hand-woven textiles. Creative minds in textile and fashion design to soon bring in new and interesting blends of fabrics with a touch of design.
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