City based self-taught designer Gaurang Shah introduced some of the weavers to learn and adapt the Jamdani weave in a different style. He feels artisanal diversity is important for sustenance and helps both the designer as well as as the weaver.
“Enhancing the artisanal diversity was vital for sustenance, it helped me translate the vision of my varied designs to reality, and this also helped widen the market for products as well as to generate more work for the weavers. Since then, changes have also become profitable both for me as a creator and for the weaver. It is a win-win situation,” Shah said in an email interaction.
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Talking about how he came up with the approach, Shah says it was the problem that he faced in finding weavers for his creations that led him to help weavers adapt.
“When I began my journey as a textile designer (in 1990s), I couldn’t find the craftsmen to weave my creations which were unusual Jamdani designs unknown to every weaver I met. I found it very challenging to make weavers adapt to change especially the loom setting to create what I envisioned.”
“I always believed that unless I infuse change in the weaving technique and bring about change in the loom settings, handloom products will lack appeal and freshness.”
“While changes inspired many families in the clusters because of economic benefits, what was even more heartening is to see their children returning to traditional family business of weaving. For the weavers who love history, heritage and the idea of weaving something with a story was equally rewarding,” he added.