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Crafting a Future

 | Book Awards 2022 | English Non-fiction

Crafting a Future

An engaging journey through the alleys of crafting tradition, that maps down the journey of the tradition of textile and crafting.

Full Title: Crafting a Future Stories of Indian Textiles and Sustainable Practices

Author: Archana Shah
Publisher: Niyogi Books

Award Category: English Non-fiction
About the Book: 

Crafting a Future is a heartfelt celebration of artisans and their vocational skills. Each region in India has its own distinctive raw materials, craft techniques, textiles, motifs and colour palettes, and through her well-researched narrative enriched with numerous stories, Archana Shah demonstrates the diversity and true value of handcrafted textile processes. Beyond its beauty and heritage value, artisanal production is eco-friendly, has a negligible carbon footprint and fulfils most of the United Nations Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs). It has the potential for creating dignified employment opportunities for millions in their own regional location, far from compelling them by economic constraints to abandon their ancestral professions and migrate to urban slums to earn a meagre livelihood as unskilled labourers. In essence, the book focuses on artisans, their aspirations and fulfilment in their work. It also draws upon their traditional wisdom to address two of the most serious challenges that we face today: growing unemployment and climate change.


About the Author: 

Archana Shah has been collaborating with artisans around the country for the last 40 years to create textiles for urban markets. As a design student, she developed a keen interest in the traditional craft skills of indigenous artisans. This encouraged her to travel to remote corners of the country to study, understand and experience the vast variety of weaving, dyeing, printing, embroidery and ornamentation techniques practised by different communities. Over the years, through many initiatives and interactions, she has been able to revive and rejuvenate several craft skills, thereby encouraging young artisans to realise that they can earn a decent livelihood by pursuing their traditional vocation.


Excerpt: 

Bandhej was started with the vision of upholding, preserving, and sustaining the precious hand skills and inherent knowledge of indigenous artisans through collaborative design intervention. The first Bandhej store opened in 1985 when retail in India for women’s clothing was practically non-existent. Bandhej was one of the first labels in the country which, while drawing upon the Indian heritage in textiles, also reflected a very contemporary sensibility in the designs of its fabrics, and has been able to create a distinctive idiom in its designs and a unique identity for itself.


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