• Chohla Sahib, Punjab, INDIA
  • April 15, 2021
How Jamakkalam weavers are reinventing this heritage product

From cutting edge designs to playful cloth blends, the age-old, GI-tagged Bhavani jamakkalam is present process a makeover

What number of of you have in mind looking forward to visitors to reach earlier than rolling out your Bhavani jamakkalams, the ones rugged and thick, conventional carpets?

Top on on a regular basis software price, those conventional carpets of Tamil Nadu had been woven in quite a lot of sizes to fit other necessities — puja mats for one particular person to take a seat on, eating mats for a brief row of visitors and so forth. For weddings and different social gatherings, jamakkalams could be custom-woven to the size required.

With converting life, the Bhavani jamakalams are actually at the verge of vanishing utterly. “I used to be saddened to grasp that within the Bhavani area of Tamil Nadu, the place those jamakkalams are handwoven, there are only a handful of weavers left who nonetheless weave them. They all are over 60 years of age, and not able to coach the following technology of weavers as no person is appearing passion on this artwork,” says Amar Ramesh, who made a documentary on Bhavani jamakkalams lately.

Jamakkalam 2.0

“Bhavani jamakkalam is a GI-tagged product and the satisfaction of the State, and it’s reserved just for handloom weaving,” says Mythili Rajendran, Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Handloom Weavers’ Cooperative Society Co-optex, Chennai.

The society has taken the initiative to restore jamakkalams of Bhavani by means of encouraging weavers in Kumarapalayam, Mahendranchavadi, Erode and Salem areas of Tamil Nadu to additionally weave those merchandise of heritage price. “We procure the Korvai of those handwoven jamakkalams, via further incentive. Then we marketplace them to our consumers,” she provides.

“Historically, those carpets are woven with coarse yarn and strictly adhere to 6 typical colors: crimson, blue, inexperienced, white, orange, and yellow. However with our design intervention, we now have offered pastel sunglasses, different color mixtures and design patterns, which might cause them to appropriate for house décor,” Mythili says.

How Jamakkalam weavers are reinventing this heritage product

Co-optex additionally introduced desk mats, luggage, coasters and different merchandise the usage of this method.

“Our jamakkalam carpets are of 2 classes: one is for on a regular basis utilization the usage of cotton yarn, and the opposite is woven with synthetic silk, for use as marriage ceremony mats for newly married {} historically. We’re looking to make consumers keep in mind that those carpets are best possible fitted to our climate prerequisites, simple to clean and handle,” provides Mythili.

Poongodi B, assistant professor at Kumaraguru Establishments, has a decade’s revel in running with handloom weavers in Pollachi. She started researching the socio-economic prerequisites of the handloom jamakkalam weavers. “I performed the analysis amongst 17 weavers dwelling in 11 villages, and studied the quite a lot of facets of jamakkalam weaving. “According to that I had get a hold of sure inventions. As an example, we equipped them with a jacquard field that may be built-in within the pit loom to weave designs within the carpets, transferring clear of the usual stripes,” says Poongodi.

How Jamakkalam weavers are reinventing this heritage product

She says cutting edge color palettes and other yarns, akin to mixtures of jute and cotton or fibre and cotton, will lead to higher product design. “My concept is to make use of them for pc holders, desk runners and buying groceries luggage. Our institute has arrange a Centre for Weavers, at Bhavani, to supply design intervention, and technological and talent upgradation.”

P Sakthivelu, a 6-year-old jamakkalam weaver from Periyamolapalayam, says, “Two weavers are required to weave one standard-size jamakkalam in an afternoon, within the kuzhi thari [pit loom]. It fetches us ₹250 according to head according to day. Except the wages are doubled, no person will display passion on this paintings, which additionally comes to bodily drudgery.”

“Folks nonetheless use those conventional jamakkalams, however the principle factor is powerlooms duplicating those out of doors the State and passing them off as Bhavani jamakkalams with GI tag,” he says. Generating it in energy looms is in violation of the Handloom (Reservation of Articles for Manufacturing) Act, 1985.

Becoming a member of forces

Whilst capturing his documentary ultimate 12 months, Amar had organised a dinner meet between the jamakkalam weavers and weavers from different weaving traditions, at Aappakudal village in Erode. “One of the crucial weavers got here ahead to be informed and save the weave; the jamakkalam weavers agreed to show them,” he says.

Newer hues (left)At Co-Optex, they encourage weavers to weave jamaukalams in pastel colours and innovative designs. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

More moderen hues (left)At Co-Optex, they inspire weavers to weave jamaukalams in pastel colors and cutting edge designs. Photograph: Ok.V. Srinivasan

Provides Sakthivelu, “We have now offered 3 extra colors (red, violet and occasional brown) and weavers on this area take customisation orders. Intense coaching and out-of-the-box pondering is the desire of the hour.”

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