Yoga enthusiasts taking part in the second International Yoga Day event in New Delhi on Tuesday are likely to dress in a special ‘yoga wear’ designed by the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad.
NID had been commissioned in March this year to come up with ‘yoga wear’ for both men and women and also designer yoga mats by the AYUSH Ministry. Four out of nine designs submitted by NID were selected in May. What’s more one of the final designs selected by the ministry is inspired by Kediyo, the traditional dress worn over the upper half of the body by Gujarati men with flared ends.
On being quizzed how NID was given a contract by the AYUSH ministry to prepare the special yoga attire, Krishna Patel, Centre head of NID Gandhinagar said, “Celebrating and embracing yoga in the form of a yoga day is important for our country as yoga practice is our country’s invention. While we know that the brief had come from the AYUSH Ministry, the information had gone from the PMO to AYUSH regarding NID. We took up the project given by AYUSH Ministry as it was an ‘area of need’ and because economic considerations were also vital in functional wear. For research, we fell back on classroom discussions, existing attire, previous work we had done on this area and also conducted study of people doing yoga and even called yoga gurus here to observe and understand how the body bends.”
While 4-way stretch fabrics and bamboo fabric manufactured in China were rejected in favour of home spun cotton and lycra mix for the yoga attire. “We selected the cotton-lycra mix for the fabric of yoga attire because of its sturdiness and stretch properties. We also wanted to promote Indian material and it is also in keeping with what people want today. Comfort and modesty were important factors while designing. One of the student designs that was selected was based on a Kediyo (Gujarati attire) with a cross over pattern and the resultant ‘overlap dress’ is characteristic of a fusion wear. The mats were designed and woven in actual size of approximately 3 feet x 6 feet and as per our specification made of cotton yarn and cotton sliver, woven on a handloom. Calming colours that represent the different chakras of the body like yellow, greens, blues have been used. NID had designed unisex attire for yoga practitioners, however few changes have been suggested in the menswear in terms of colour, shorter sleeves and round necks,” added Patel, a yoga practitioner herself.
Even as the ministry is looking towards big apparel retail brands and also at KVIC — to manufacture the yoga wear, last week saw KVIC-Gujarat launch ‘Yogasutra’ — a range of clothes and mats in Khadi that are created specifically for yoga exercises. Launched in Gujarat, the yoga wear, has been introduced in collaboration with Moral Fibre Fabrics, an Ahmedabad-based company.