Written by Ashish Chandra
Quilting is an age-old craft seen across the world, where three or four layers of old cotton clothes are hand-stitched together to make products such as blankets and cushion cover. In India, every state has its own quilt stitching pattern, called by different names like ‘Godhadi’ in Maharashtra, ‘Gudri’ in Rajasthan and ‘Kaudi’ in Karnataka. In Bengal, a thin hand-stitched blanket quilt is called ‘Kantha’.
There are many artisans who have dedicated their lives to the art but are today struggling to make a living due to the influx of cheap blankets in the market. MotherQuilts, an organisation founded by Niraj V Borate, is helping quilt artisans across the country revive the art and increase their wages. They are currently working with over 350 artisans, “all women”, across nine states in India, and exporting their products to 19 countries.
Borate said that after making some technical changes in the quilt making process, they have managed to help the artisans decrease their quilt production time from 8-10 days to two to three days, leading to an increase in their daily wage from “Rs 100-150 to Rs 600-650.”
MotherQuilts has also been conducting workshops on quilting on Sundays, in which two local artisans teach 25-30 participants from different backgrounds the art of quilting. MotherQuilts will be organising a workshop called ‘Learn Quilting’ on January 2, from 11 am to 2 pm, at Studio MotherQuilts on FC road, Deccan.
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