This is an unusual and vital examination of how the rich and diverse textile craft tradition has been adopted and adapted by craftsmen, designers and artists. Traditional techniques and motifs are re-worked in entirely different ways; experimentation not perfection is the goal. The author looks at ‘new interpretations made within the current cultural landscape by designers who dare to take steps into the unknown’. These range from NGO’s working in rural districts to small designers in the cities.
Separate chapters examine and discuss the work of twenty-three designers in terms of their experimentation in texture, reduction to minimalism, surface treatment and the joy of maximalism. For example, Raw Mango glories in the minimalism of ‘dot drop’ while Bai-Lou takes the small motifs found in traditional jamdani weaving and scales them up into large bold, geometric patterns. In Kutch, architect and designer Kirit Dave has deconstructed the rigidly arithmetic system of ikat weaving into deliberate fracture and dissonance, while Raj Shroff constructs, deconstructs, pierces, frays and embellishes fabrics to make highly theatrical garments that allude to Punk subculture. Street culture is brought out in the work of Play Clan, while Good Earth draws motifs from elements of architecture, history, nature and Bollywood. The last chapter looks at contemporary artists such as Mithu Sen, Manisha Parekh and Gopika Nath that use fibre and fabric to express their views.