Friday, March 26, 2010

Napkin Rings

Sustainable design!
Ahmedabad block print fabrics are fused and stitched into classic finished napkin rings. Very ethnic and sophisticated. I Love them! Do you? :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010



Again from my grandpa’s collection which now is antique for me. This is called “gholna” in Marathi. The word “gholna" signifies its movement in a circular form when it is being used. It is basically a sieve to clean grains and cereals like wheat, rice, barley etc. It is used to do the first stage cleaning i.e. separating the grain from the husk.

Isn't this a good wall piece for today's modern kitchen! I just love it!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cotton Cotton

It’s Snow!! Snow on the roads of Aurangabad!!

No!! People, this is not snow…but definitely looks like drizzled snow. This is cotton! Cotton fiber on the roads of Aurangabad!!
I spent few days of last month in Aurangabad with some friends for study and documentation of Himroo and Ajanta Caves. On our way to Ajanta, we encountered lot of white things something snow like lying all along the roads. It was cotton! Then we observed that there were lots of trucks carrying loads of cotton on the way. Tons of cotton freshly from the farms loaded on to the trucks was on the way to the ginning and processing mills and a ginning mill was just on the way.

Ginning is the first process that cotton undergoes to shape up in form of cotton yarn. Ginning is separation of cotton seed from the fiber and pressing the fibers into dense bales weighing about 500 pounds. These bales are then sent to spinning mills for further processes. These trucks were very well packed for safe travel of the cotton from the fields to the ginning mills. But some small holes in the huge packaging made some of the fiber fly away and take its place in the air or along the roads to amuse enthusiastic people like us. We then realized that these small portions of fibers actually made a huge quantity stretched along about 50 km.

Vacuum tunnel and other machinery to carry cotton

Cotton bales
Aah!! Cotton is one of the most expensive natural fibers and also one of the most versatile. Rite from cotton farming to cotton weaving, it undergoes maximum processes and thus increases its value in terms of economic growth. Gujarat being the maximum producer of cotton in India, we have also read (may or may not have experienced) about the suicide cases of cotton farmers in Vidarbh, Maharashtra. Then Gandhiji spoke and propagated the cotton Khadi movement which he believed to be a self sustained industry for poor India.
Well… lets space out the serious things and get a bit amusing! We were thinking what could be done with so much fiber lying around?!! And these were few sustainable ideas we came up with…but unfortunately we did not do any of these. So here it goes… we collect this fiber lying around on the ground and make a separate truck to carry this. We were sure that we could minimum get one truck full of cotton fiber if we did so. Then get this cotton ginned and spin yarn out of it. Now that this was a sustainable design idea, the cotton would thus be hand-spun and hand woven. And then various products could be made and marketed at the same time to make this small sustainable design project to function! Being a group comprised of a textile designer, a fashion designer and an advertising/branding building designer we all had a special part to play in this project. Isn’t it a great concern through design thinking!!! Well, we encountered just one such place where there was so much of cotton fiber lying around near one ginning mill. Think of many other such places and more and more of cotton!! This is something that I learned during DCC (Design Concepts and Concern) course handled by Prof. M. P. Ranjan at NID and I was happy to re-live that enthusiasm again!!

Now coming back to the ginning mill... there are some pictures of the fun we experienced...

Mountains of cotton

Locally made tri-axial woven basket to carry cotton

Women at work

Getting a cozy sleep!

Malhar photographing his favorite subject- Kids