I love wandering through Rabari weaving villages where almost every home has a loom used to make incredible handcrafted textiles on a daily basis. Its beautiful to see this age old tradition still a huge part of every day life in this part of the world.
We spent time with Babubhai and his family in the Bhujodi village very close to Bhuj. Babubhai has learnt the art of mashru weaving and after years of struggling to make ends meat off this time consuming intricate weaving technique, he has recently gained recognition for his skill and is now well know for being the only Mashru weaver in his village.
Our wonderful friend Kuldip who has acted as a guide and translator through our journey is very passionate about conserving artistry and supporting artisans directly. He has had a huge part in helping Babubhai and his family through introducing travelers and designers to him and promoting his incredible artistry.
As I am looking at completely plant based textiles, traditional silk Mashru is not suited however, we are looking at making completely organic cotton or modal Mashru in the near future.
Babubhai is also very skilled in Supplementary Weft Weaving and has already passed this skill down to his eldest daughter Ami who is an extremely talented weaver. She is now 14 years old and when she is not in school she spends her free time weaving and developing her skills. In the first image you can see her working on a supplementary weft piece which will be used in the collection.
Babubhai has now gained a range of clients where he works with local dyers and embroiders to complete full orders of Saris and other clothing. Its wonderful to see a traditional weaving artisan still practicing ancient techniques and living in a traditional farming communal way, yet able to independently work with other businesses and support his family comfortably.
I have a range of fabric samples to work with from Babubhai including some raw organic hand spun, hand woven cotton, among many other divine pieces. Its such a pleasure to meet with artisans like Babubhai and learn the origins of where textiles come from and the ancient methods of which they are made.