“I have always had a liking for handlooms,” comments the spirited and exuberant KC Deepika, as we at Madhurya walk-the-talk with her on the travails faced by handloom weavers, in pursuit of brighter days.
Stepping into the saree section at Madhurya - the arts boutique that supports nearly a thousand weavers across the country to see hand crafted arts survive - she is comfortable amidst a motley handloom collection she is treated to. What follows is a vibrant converse, a tete-a-tete on textiles, latest prints and weaves, and trending designs shouting for focus on social media.
As Madhurya’s design & fabric experts journey her into the world of textiles and the weaver stories behind the looms where deft hands are losing strength due to lesser demands and power loom monopoly, journalist Deepika, a Coorgi, born and brought up in Bangalore says, “I have gone through your weaver-narratives on your social media handles. I noticed a few saris, custom made by languishing weavers who have been supported by Madhurya to help their living. I have quite a few collections from Madhurya, I know the label works towards supporting weavers and girl child education in rural belts. So, when I wear Madhurya, it doubles up my pleasure as they are all handloom too done with beautiful rare motifs. Like the one with dancing panda motifs I wore was really cool. Believe me, most collegiates will love picking up this piece for their college day. It’s cool, its fun, and the soft material just hugs you!”
The dancing panda-motifs weaved into this completely handwoven Muslin Jamdani is a hand-picked one from the weavers in West-Bengal by Madhurya in their penchant to have “something new” for the young girls who prefer modern-day versions for quirky college shows, parties or office wear. It has a summery touch to it with bamboo shoots on its pallu.
Ask her if she liked anything new-sprung from Madhurya that she noticed on the website, and she says, “Yes! Alia Bhatt’s Pink diwali lehenga, done during the pandemic, which is said to be a think-tank of sustainable ideas made from textile waste!”
QUICK BITES FROM KC DEEPIKA
*Being a journalist helps you get closer to social issues?
”Yes of course, being a journalist and especially with the beats that are covered has obviously made me get closer to social issues. It’s of personal interest to me to know about various prints, weaving styles and other aspects of handloom and weaving. That is something I look at. My mother loved Mysore Silks, and I have picked up a few. My other collection includes handwoven silks from Karnataka, I have Bhagalpuri, Ikkat and a Kanjeevarams.”
*How do you feel wearing a Madhurya, as the label looks beyond fashion to serve a cause…And you loved the Panda on your Madhurya saris you wore?
I have always enjoyed wearing soft cottons and handlooms, I find them extremely suitable to our climate as they are breathable fabric, and they also look great. And yes, the Madhurya saree with Panda motifs were so cute, precious. They were huggable. I love dogs too, and often I feed them all on our streets.
* Would you recommend girls of this generation to look into textile-conscience work going on at Madhurya?
I would definitely recommend such handloom work offered. Indian handloom and generally textile culture should be passed on to the future generations because it is something to be treasured, and makes heritage-sense to Indian lifestyle in general. The treasure also provides employment to a large number of people working on the looms across the country, especially in cottage industries in rural India. It’s a skill that needs to be conserved for which the future generations should take to buying and encouraging Indian handloom and textiles.