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A celebration of textiles...

The recently concluded Fibres of Fashion exhibition that showcased hand woven and machine made textiles proved that the indigenous fabrics available in various regions of the country can provide our designers with all the inspiration they need without going abroad to scout for raw materials, says MADHUR TANKHA... .


DESIGNERS ARE inspired by exceptional fabrics to manifest their artistic impression, range of imagination and control on craft. India is rich in fabrics with unique weaves and textures, but paradoxically our designers scout for raw material abroad, perhaps unaware of nor not having access to the breathtaking array of indigenous materials within the country.

To bridge the gap between fashion designers and indigenous textile manufacturers, the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) organised Fibres of Fashion, an exhibition of textiles, at New Delhi's Intercontinental Park Royal, this past week. Innovative fabric from over 20 manufacturers, including Gujarat's Kanubhai - that specialises in the patola silk weave - participated.

"It is a forward integration involving entrepreneurs, vendors and manufacturers. This is a platform for textile designers. We want to make it a far bigger apparel, textile and handicraft industry," says Vinod Kaul of FDCI.

Muzaffar Ali, the chief guest, said, "Textile is the backbone of Indian culture as it projects our ethos and history since the Vedic times. In the 21st Century there is enormous challenge from globalisation, which can pose a serious threat to our indigenous art of weaving. In the display there is a blend of the traditional and modern."

Designer Rina Dhaka, says, "This exhibition will certainly lead to consolidation of trade."


Will it give innovative ideas to our designers? "Yes. I will buy a bit of handmade fibre. To keep pace with fashion fabric is important," says designer, J.J. Valaya.

"This is an opportunity for companies to show their annual collection," commented Raghavendra Rathore. "For a designer fabric is important, and this exhibition encourages weavers at the grassroots level. This is more of a textile event than a fashion week."

Designer Manish Gupta of Suhag Textiles described his approach thus: "We have given Western orientation in Kashmir wool. Experimentation has been done on cashmere wool with fishing net and steel wire." The woollen materials have been emblazoned with Swarovski. There is also pashmina, the softest and most luxurious wool.

Khadi can become a phenomenal success at haute couture. Sarvoday Ashram, a product of the Bhoodan movement, churns out exquisite fabrics in khadi including high quality 200-count weaves. Sarvoday Chairman, Manoj Chaturvedi, says, "Khadi is an eco-friendly cloth. By the end of 2003, we will have 45 franchises." Innovative use of yarn by Berozgar Mahila Kalyan Sanstha - which has acted as a catalyst to provide work to low income artisans of Bhagalpur - was applauded.

By taking the responsibility of projecting companies manufacturing textiles the FDCI has a futuristic vision towards acting as a bridge between the designers and cloth manufacturers.

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