A research scholar of MS University's Faculty of Family and Community Sciences has not only traced the journey of the famed traditional Saudagiri print which was popular in Siam for almost a century before it was wiped out in 1958 but also recreated it using modern technology.
Saudagiri - a traditional textile of Gujarat which was so popular that it even got its own name 'Pha Gujarat' in Siam (modern day Thailand). The traditional Saudagiri dress was an untailored piece of cloth worn by men and women as a lower garment in Siam.
The textile was admired for its grid based intricate block print designs on cotton in minute floral patterns inspired from the temple architecture of Thailand and Islamic lattice work of Mughal architecture of Gujarat.
The only surviving printer of Saudagiri based in Limda near Ahmedabad has been trying hard to revive this print for the last six years.
MSU study was undertaken to create an awareness regarding the traditional prints and to explore new market opportunities for the textile, said Arshi Kagdi, an MSc student, who carried out the study to rejuvenate traditional Saudagiri prints of Gujarat.
Decline in Saudagiri was seen due to industrialization and World War II when trade between India and Thailand was discontinued. Maalbari, Vasi, Maskati and Baghwal were Surat-based traders involved in Saudagiri's trade.
Original black and white designs in Siam were sent to these traders who in turn would get them prepared from block makers in Pethapur. The ready blocks were sent to Ahmedabad for printing.
While Gajjar, Prajapati, Thakore and Mistry communities were involved in block making, printers belonged to Chippa, Bhavsar and Khatri groups.
Kagdi said.that she have inculcated the same designs to cater to the present market needs using specialized computer technology. This is fusion of modern technology with traditional art,
The modified designs were digitally printed on several fabrics to gain newer markets that will help evoke glory of Saudagiri,
They plan to launch the prints at their department's academic fashion show.
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