The previous post 28, FABRIC INTERNSHIP IN INDIA, featured Jena Laska, a Designer and Contemporary Fashion Education student
Here is her update:
I’m Back from India
The Nomad Artisan Collection
Some designers attend textile trade shows to find their fabrics. As a treasure hunter, I tend to take the more adventurous route. This past January, I crossed an ocean to India, an unfamiliar land. I dared to get into rickshaw vehicles whose drivers took me speeding down twisting, narrow streets to the secret spots in ancient Indian cities where the prized fabric was hidden.
Nothing could have prepared me for this journey to India, where rules of the road aren’t enforced and crossing a street is an epic endeavor. I often got lost, almost wrecked, felt frustrated, faced dead ends. I sweated, I cried, I got sick. I wanted to quit. But I didn’t give up.
The Nomad Artisan Collection is the tangible result of my sourcing adventure. I selected only the finest pieces of luxurious tie and dye and block printed silks, along with hand loomed cottons. I worked with each piece of cloth and allowed it to tell me what it wanted to become. The process was very time intensive. It took about two weeks to make just 10 pieces. This collection features all one-of -a-kind garments. Wherever possible I sought to simplify design and highlight the fabric’s story. You may visit my Etsy shop here to see all listed items from the collection.
While in Jaipur, Rajasthan, I volunteered with fair trade fashion company and private label manufacturer, Mehera Shaw. I had the unique opportunity to work on an up cycled accessory project using the company’s scrap fabric. The project targets women who live in the slum area near the facility who have little opportunity for employment outside of the home. I trained this woman, Manjuji, how to make flowers which will be used for necklaces and hair accessories. She is now qualified to train women who are interested in the work.
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