How Covid face masks are redefining wearable art
What was once told on scrolls is now depicted on Khadi, as Cheriyal artists paint farmers, parrots and elephants on masks. The Nakashi community in Telangana works with mythological figures and narrations. Though the scrolls traditionally used watercolours, in the cloth masks, fabric colours are expressed in vibrant shades. Each mask (2 plies) is priced at Rs 140.
Textile designer Shaswaty Nair dips her handloom threads into aloe vera, neem, turmeric, basil, indigo and red sandalwood, turning them into breathable masks. Kolkata-based Nair began Shrivatsa, her label, about eight years ago and since then has been working with artisans and craft traditions in Bengal and Kerala. The dye mix has natural ingredients and a herbal mix of 108 herbs that form a dye bath. Sold in pairs (3 plies) at Rs 300, delivery charges are extra.
Made on the loin-loom or backstrap loom, these pure cotton handwoven masks tell stories of tribes. From diurnal rhythms of day and night, shown through the use of colour and dots and dashes, to repetitive geometric patterns that signify kinship, these masks are elegant reminders of a homespun culture. These (2 plies) come three in a pack at (Rs 450) or five in a pack at (Rs 750).
This craft of resist-dyeing and block printing is as old as weaving. Several wooden blocks sit within one another to create varied patterns and designs. The imperfections in the setting of the blocks on fabric can tell you if it’s handprinted or screen-printed. Each mask ...
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