As a designer, to me the life and soul of a design is the fabric. With my in house label 'Awear... social re-design', I never compromise on fabric. Its is, after all what tells the story of what the garment is about, its that Je ne sais quoi. In my opinion,the cut and style of a design is just the means by which to give life to an artisan textile.
It’s pure romance knowing its made by hands of a skill that has been passed down for generations. Can you imagine how magical the first woven garments would have been. For me, the magic is still there, especially with Ikat.
There is something soulful about artisan textiles. With hand loomed fabric in particular, I feel connected to the maker of fabric, as his or her hands have worked for hours to make what I wear.
The hand-loom process means that no two lengths are ever the same, crafting this fabric takes time, patience and a unique set of skills, beautiful quality fabrics are made by masters of their trade, It is wearable art!
When we choose to purchase hand-loomed fabrics we not only provide work and a sustainable income for skilled craftspeople, but also ensure that these age-old practices are kept alive.
The significance of preserving this artisan still is best explained by Nomads, a UK Fair Trade label;
“Hand loom is a skilled process that is steeped in cultural history, it is an essential part of both the Indian economy and rich heritage. However, this ancient technique is in danger of being surpassed in favour of mechanical techniques and cheap labour.”
The slow fashion movement, my little label and other passionate textile driven designers will not let this art die, we will champion together to raise awareness of the importance and beauty of the hand-loom textile. And of course, most importantly, the survival of this art will be via advocacy, spreed by customers wearing it.
Here are a few of the hand-loom pieces produced by 'Awear...social re-design' using hand looms created by Moral Fibre....
Founder of 'Aware...the social design project'
Dreamer and doer.
Note: Header photo from Moral Fibre Web Site: https://moralfibre-fabrics.com