Archana Shah’s Crafting a Future—Stories of Indian Textiles and Sustainable Practices is organized in three sections—the story of cotton, the story of silk, the story of wool—along with a foreword by Laila Tyabji, an introduction, an afterword, appendices I and II, acknowledgements, photo credits, bibliography, and an index. Laila Tyabji’s foreword introduces the author and her work through the metaphor of Kabir, the 15th century mystic weaver poet, who is invoked to talk about God as a weaver too, implying that the spinning of yarn and the weaving of handloom cloth is like the interplay of genders, cultures, communities and skills that make our universe. The resultant multiplicity, their mingling and the created diversity, leads to unity and resilience that creates a strong social fabric that is not only beautiful but also durable. As Tyabji’s foreword suggests, this book not only brings forth to the readers the vibrancy and the richness of the fabric collection in the country, but it is also the requirement of the times as it is the most fitting tribute to the spirit of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Independent India.
Celebrating Indian Artisans and their Skills
CRAFTING A FUTURE: STORIES OF INDIAN TEXTILES AND SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES by Archana Shah Niyogi Books, 2021, 276 pp., ₹ 1495.00
February 2023, volume 47, No 2