It was in 2012 that designer Vaishali Shadangule launched into a street journey to seek for an elusive handloom cloth that at all times fascinated her. Memories of her Maharashtrian mom and grandmother carrying jewel-coloured blouses created from khun at all times intrigued her. Shadangule’s seek for the forgotten textile took her by way of Pune, Solapur, Kolhapur and interiors of Maharashtra to Guledgudda in Karnataka. “It took two days of driving by means of distant areas and actually asking round. Back then, this village wasn’t even plotted on Google maps,” she remembers.
That first encounter with khun weavers of Guledgudda wasn’t precisely what the designer had envisioned. “There were powerlooms everywhere in the village. And finding the 400-odd handlooms was a task.” But Shadangule endured, and khun got here on the centre of her eponymous label Vaishali S’ 2012 assortment.
The light-weight brocade cloth, which is available in vibrant colors with a metallic sheen and is characterised by tiny motifs and a definite border, was historically woven within the type of shirt items proffered to deities, explains Shadangule. “The weave originally employed motifs inspired by the local Badami Fort and its architecture, with faces of goddesses, animals and geometric shapes woven in. I thought it’s such a wonderful weave, why confine it to a blouse?” says Shadangule, who additionally used khun in her subsequent collections — in 2014 and 2015. “I used and promoted the fabric in three collections, received a lot of media coverage and presumed things were going well for the weavers. Imagine my shock when I discovered last year that they have only 40-50 handlooms left in the village. The weavers I had originally worked with had only one loom in their house where there used to be six at one time,” she provides.
Shadangule sprang into motion and devoted her Autumn-Winter 2019 line to this fading custom. ‘Bisra’, which accurately means “the forgotten one”, is her homage to the weave, and makes use of khun in dramatic silhouettes, with up to date layering kinds and her trademark cording approach. Subsequent to the gathering’s showcase at Lotus Make-up India Fashion Week in Delhi earlier this yr, Shadangule has now adopted the remaining 40 handlooms within the village and buys regardless of the weavers produce, other than giving them a month-to-month stipend. Since the normal 35-inch shirt width of the material poses design limitations, she is hoping to get them to weave wider widths.
Shadangule now goals to enhance the weave and color high quality, present the weavers different avenues on the market and create extra refined collections match for Indian consumers and her worldwide clientele in New York, Italy, the UK and the Middle-East. “The idea is to take this wonderful textile global through my work,” she says.