About the Collection:
01. Using design as a medium of empowerment, Kshitija’s work has involved the study of the socio- economic background of the weavers, their history, language, lifestyle, values, and their aspirations. Using these as a base, in collaboration with the weavers she has designed a vocabulary of identity that can proudly uphold the culture and living aesthetics that handloom weaving represents. The collection attempts to reconnect the Kodiyala weaving community to their (evolutionary) ancestral roots to establish an identity rooted to their contextual history. By amalgamating their historic mythological stories with accents of ancient Telugu (main language of the Padmashali weaving community) scripture a set of seven motifs were developed with them and these designs are used in the border and pallu of the saree.
02. The unique qualities also lie in the texture and colour of the saree with an aim to create distinct identity using unique qualities associated with the Kodiyala weaving community. In the first design phase, the technique is kept simple using plain weaving with an understanding that the weavers haven’t woven cotton for a long time. However with two weavers who had some previous experience weaving cotton helped develop the interplay of loose and densely spaced patterned texture in the saree that forms a distinct feature. It was done to connect the technique to the mythological story gaining inspiration from the translucent nature of lotus yarn and dense nature of cotton. Furthermore, the color choice also relates to the story where the lotus fibre is described as “white and shimmering” and the ‘shankha’ or conch shell white used to describe the cotton fibre. These white tones were chosen with the colors indigo, yellow (a lighter shade) and red again closely associated with the weaving communities history.
03. Interactions with the community also highlighted that there was a need for connection between the weavers and the wearer. A yarn coding system was developed to enhance this connection. This is located in the beginning of the saree and is woven as a special feature, which provides the weaver information, where it was woven and a unique design element – a number that represents a specially woven saree for the wearer.