For a piece of cloth, life starts when warps marry wefts. The balance between pleasure and pain in their lives is maintained by the piercing needlework and the caressing brush strokes. And their memories are preserved in the catalogues of colours and the treasure boxes of texture. Ironically, the mass production of branded garments can also be compared with the human tendency to mould each individual into clichéd social norms. However, just like humans, every piece of clothing is unique and special in its own way.
Needles and threads, brushes and colours, sequins and beads — at times perform solo, at times perform in a group — to lend a certain character to fabrics. The threads adorn themselves and turn their inner caterpillars into charming butterflies through an array of techniques, some of which are listed below.
Through a harmonious symphony of warps and wefts, orchestrated at the hands of a deft weaver, the threads collate themselves and change into lengths of silk and wool, ready to be cut and stitched as per our needs. But the technicalities of this process get all the more interesting when weavers, instead of producing a uniform length of cloth, choose to weave their dreams and their imagination along and create awe-inspiring lengths of fabric.
If weaving is a symphony orchestrated, appliqué is a dance troupe choreographed; wherein the dancers are rooted to their assigned place and time is stopped. When combined with techniques like braiding and weaving, the performance scales new heights and the audience remains enchanted. Needless to say, the performance has the power to encapsulate anything — ranging from flowers to trees, from geometrical patterns to human forms, from folktales to stars under the sky — into the fabrics.
An array of fabrics such as cottons and chiffons among others are commonly painted but when it comes to garments, the aristocracy of silk reigns supreme. The texture — rich and smooth at the same time — splashes our wardrobes with a dash of flamboyance, which can be further enhanced by an artistic hand. Mercifully, the chemical dyes harm neither the beauty, nor the life of these silks.
We, at ULA, offer courses in all the above mentioned techniques, the details of which can be accessed at www.unolona.com.
Clothing is a basic necessity. It shelters the human body from climatic conditions and helps it maintain a level of modesty. But the use of fabric is as varied as the techniques that are used to make and decorate it. While certain pieces are created for aesthetic purposes, others remain utilitarian. However through ages, humankind has aesthetically transformed ordinary commodities into extra ordinary possessions, and by doing so has stepped up from being survival-oriented beasts to becoming pleasure-seeking creatures.