In 1925, when Mahatma Gandhi formed The All India Spinners Association and spun the wheel for the first time, he was not simply weaving a bale of Khadi. Nor was he just resisting the British dictatorship. Come to think of it, the act was more in defiance to any dictatorship that infested one’s own roots. The haplessness of being told to do away with one’s identity.
Close to a century later, the country feels a similar feeling. The heritage closer home is way too rich to be ignored in favour of foreign alternatives. Handspun fabrics have made a comeback like never before. Sarees are top notch on the list of must-haves in the young Indian girl’s closet. Quite like turning to folk music and home-grown organic food. People are of the opinion now that local is not essentially déclassé. Rather, home-spun products today have gained a whole new elite status. There is a certain luxuriance associated with painstaking, fastidious detailed work that goes into hand-crafted products.
Coloroso started off with an objective to deliver the same luxury. The brand, on the heels of the Gandhian principle of staying true to the roots, stands against the tarnishing of the concept of luxury. In an age of threats like global warming and ozone depletion, it is anyone’s guess that all things luxurious are all things natural. Coloroso, therefore, finds opulence in the most austere of sources. This paradoxical situation is best reflected when the most sumptuous of sarees emerge from the humblest of handloom settlements of our weavers. A situation that awaits being embraced wholesomely by the society. To be recognized as a practice that not only speaks richly of our inherent tradition and art, but of a global movement of acceptance of one’s true identity.
Coloroso doesn’t, however, find itself alone in this endeavour. Young, enterprising designers all over the country are part of what is almost a revolution now—the revival of age-worn weaving and crafting techniques. Fresh approaches in terms of design give the traditional fabrics a globally digestible spin. The result: Indian craftsmanship commands a place of pride on the global map. It’s like going back to the pre-Calico Act, early-British-era India when Indian fabrics were so exquisite that only the upper class Bristish ladies could afford to wear them and be called ‘Calico Madams’. Or to the 12th century AD when the likes of Huen Tsang and Marco Polo described Indian weaves to be as fine as a spider’s web.
Equally well-informed is the Indian buyer who has learnt, in all these years post Independence, to place quality over anything else. Also mentionable here is the humane consciousness and encouragement on the part of the buyer towards the flourishing of handloom settlements and the general well-being of the craftsmen.
As the Mahatma had rightly put, “Every revolution of the wheel spins peace, goodwill and love.”Tags: Coloroso, History of Saree, Saree, Saree Perspective, Weaving