Karkhana Chronicles 2 A Digital Exhibition on Sustainable Weaves and More

The exhibition which delves into the legacy of former princely Indian families to find the way ahead to preserve the legacy of traditional weaves and craftspeople
The Hindi word Karkhana refers to the factories where artisans work
The Hindi word Karkhana refers to the factories where artisans work

After the successful launch of their first textile and handicraft exhibition with the help of three former princely states of India, Karkhana Chronicles has launched the second edition in collaboration with royal families of Bhavnagar, Kathiwada, Indore, and Mysore.

The Hindi word &lsquoKarkhana&rsquo refers to the factories where artisans work.

The installations in the first edition were presented in collaboration with Maharani Priyadarshini Raje Scindia of Gwalior, Maharawal Chaitanya Raj Singh of Jaisalmer and Akshita Bhanj Deo of Mayurbhanj. It showcased handlooms such as Chanderi, Ralli, Pattu, Ajrak and the Phuta Sari as well as Dokra and Sabai craft.

A ReFashion Hub initiative, the main aim of the Karkhana Chronicles 2 installations is to focus on fashion which makes efficient use of natural resources, leaves little negative impact on the climate, and is supportive of artisans engaged in traditional weaves and crafts.

The online exhibition consists of installations highlighting textiles and handicrafts as well as details of the individual forms, and talks about the repurposing of royal palaces, the patronage of local arts and crafts by the present royals, and other details.

The Bhavnagar installation focuses on the creativity of women weavers and bead-makers of Bhavnagar city, and the copper and brass works produced in nearby Sihor. One of the two installations is placed on a silk textile piece which is reminiscent of a craft that has vanished from the region. This installation highlights how fashion may use resources that require minimal energy. Bhavnagar royal and founder of Bhavnagar Heritage Preservation Society, Brijeshwari Kumari Gohil, provided inputs for this installation.

The Kathiawada installation depicts how handcrafted textiles and historical techniques can be perpetuated through contemporary designs and made attractive for the millennial generation. Here the focus is on sustainable fashion through the use of natural beads, beads made with indigenous material, even a jacket made of bamboo found in local forests. The installation is an expression of Sangitha Kathiwada, who advocates &lsquothe cause of local textiles, crafts and techniques&rsquo and has set up the Morarka Cultural Centre at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA).  

The Indore installation as is expected focuses on the versatile Maheshwari sarees. The princely Holkar family of Indore have been patronising the weaving of Maheshwari sarees for more than two centuries, starting with Rani Ahilyabai. The family&rsquos patronage (mainly through the not-for-profit organizations REHWA Society and WomenWeave) allows weavers to retain the legacy while translating it into contemporary designs and applications.

The Mysore installation, as the organisers put it, &lsquoseeks to promote the idea of decentralisation and self-reliance through Mysore silk and khadi&rsquo. The silk used here is of low waste process and uses fewer chemical processes compared to synthetic yarns. The handwoven Khadi leaves little carbon footprint behind. Mysore royals Yaduveer Wadiyar and his sister, Jayathmika Lakshmi, are the backbones of this installation.

So while you stay put at home, enjoy the virtual exhibition (both first and second editions) here

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