‘Fabric of Unity’ weaved by non-weavers
Incredible India is home to many talented artists who are nurturing Indian heritage and constantly striving to bring various arts to a place of honor on the world stage. On the strength of all these artists, our country is getting ready to take a huge leap on the world stage in the field of art. Artists who weave the rainbow-colored fabric of life on handlooms have dreamed of taking handloom art to the world stage to celebrate the 75th year of Indian Independence. In order to fulfill the dream of the weavers, the Maharashtra State Handloom Corporation Ltd. (MSHC) Nagpur, a Government of Maharashtra Undertaking, took the initiative to weave the Fabric of Unity for the fulfillment of the weavers’ dream.
Under this initiative, which started on April 18, 2022 (World Heritage Day), citizens made their valuable contribution to the conservation of handloom art by weaving a 98 feet long cloth on a handloom. Through these efforts, the citizens contributed to the preservation of Indian textile art, our ancient culture, and tradition. In a way, it was a promise for future endeavors of bringing the handloom art and culture to center stage of the world. The activity created a record, thus entering into the glorious pages of the India Book of Records and also the Asia Book of Records.
“We are planning to stitch jackets out of the record-setting cloth and gift it to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, and many other national leaders,” said Shital Teli-Ugale, Commissioner of Textiles for Maharashtra State and Managing Director of Maha Handloom (MSHC).
1,426 individuals from different walks of life tried their hands on the handloom machine. They included teachers, doctors, lawyers, students, housemakers, etc. Together, they tried their hands (and legs too) on the handloom set-up. Seven colours of the rainbow were used while making the Fabric of Unity. The target was to prepare a 75 feet long cloth, but ultimately the length of the cloth reached 98 feet. The whole exercise took 107 days to complete and the desired cloth was ready 12 days ahead of the August 15 deadline. The Fabric of Unity was recognised by Dr. Manoj Tatwadi, the adjudicator from the India Book of Records, who was present on the occasion.
Manish Karandikar, who coordinated this novel project, told the India Book of Records that the Indian textile sector has a tradition of several thousand years. It is also clear from the remains found in the recent excavations that Indians knew the art of cultivating cotton and making clothes from it at least 3,500 years ago. In the Vedic period, women used to weave clothes. It was a very complicated and laborious process of weaving, spinning, and disciplined vertical arrangement of the threads and then skillfully interlacing the horizontal threads.
“The production of handmade paper, handmade cookies, handmade rakhi, etc. not only gives employment and business opportunities to rural India but also provides a solid platform for the appreciation of art, artists, and the latent qualities of human beings. It is with this vision that the Fabric of unity activity was carried out,” added Manish.