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Threads: Sustaining India's Textile Tradition

Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at 4:45pm to 6:05pm

Willard Straight Theatre
Central Campus

w/post-screening discussion with Denise Green (Director, Cornell Fashion & Textile Collection) and filmmaker Katherine Sender (Dept of Communication/FGSS)

2022>Directed by Katherine Sender and Shuchi Kothari

Threads: Sustaining India’s Textile Tradition is a documentary film that follows the stories of fashion designers and fabric artisans as they transform traditional textile practices for contemporary fashion markets. After decades of decline in demand for legacy fabrics, these stories demonstrate that committed, collaborative relationships between designers and artisans can innovate traditional practices. We meet Chanderi Master Weaver Bhagwandas who describes how Sanjay Garg (Raw Mango) refined motifs and color in Chanderi weaving. We explore Rahul Mishra’s collaboration with bandhani Master Craftsman Jabbarbhai to innovate tie-dyeing processes in merino wool. We watch Aneeth Arora (Péro) as she works with artisans and craftspeople to modernize traditional silhouettes. And we discover how Rahul and Shikha Mangal (Vrisa) marry handmade with machine-made processes to sustain artisans and appeal to contemporary consumers. The film features interviews with designers in Delhi and Jaipur; hand weavers in Chanderi, 350 miles south of New Delhi; bandhani tie-dyers in Bhuj, in India’s north west; and block printers near Jaipur in Rajasthan. The clothes they produce appeal to an increasingly affluent Indian middle class and global diaspora by using textiles that reference traditional techniques in a contemporary way. Threads argues that sustainability involves more than environmental stewardship and improved economic circumstances for workers: Designers and artisans collaborate in ongoing creative relationships to reinvigorate both traditional textile techniques and the communities who produce them.

In English, Gujarati, Kutchhi, and Hindi.

58 minutes

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