Introduction and origin of Quilt:
They say simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. And Quilting has been proving them right for the longest time. While it does not require the genius and precise hands of embroidery or the color contrasts of block printing, quilting is simply the joining of multiple pieces of cloth to create magical designs out of otherwise pieces deemed as rags.
With the primary use of creating padded fabrics in order to avoid the wrath of the cold, quilting has always drawn its most magnificent inventions from the needs of the environment. It has had a wide number of applications right from art, to even creating padded armors for warriors.
While it may seem a very humble form, there is much more to making of quilt than that. The process is dated as back as 3000 BC. With a history worth millennia on each habitable continent of the planet, quilting has developed in various fields and walks of life.
Originating from various places, the earliest evidences of making quilt have emerged from China, Egypt and the Indian Subcontinent. Right from the commoners, to the Pharaohs of Egypt, to even Gautama Buddha, quilts have been on the backs of people since time immemorial. Quilts have even been believed to play a pivotal role in the freeing of slaves during the American Civil War.
Thus, it’s not just two pieces of cloth sewed together, but a timeline of human evolution attached with it. Not that humble anymore?
Immaculate indigenous quilts of India:
India has always had its way with making the most of the resources it has been bestowed upon with. The principles of zero waste, very recent to the new world, have been a foundation to what quilting work in India represents. The rural quilters have been turning these seemingly unfit rags to cultural riches for generations now.
To the multi-faceted Kantha which is used even still today for various day-to-day purposes in the Bengali way of life, to the colorful Gudari of Rajasthan which changes in its methodology with every changing village, quilting in India is a major indicator of lifestyle. With such prominent diversity, Koudi from Karnataka, Ledra of Jharkhand, Jaipuri Razai and Sujni from Bihar, along with many more quilts from Gujarat, Goa and other areas, form a palette of colors painting the canvas of Indian quilting scene.
A powerful tool for spiritual expression, religious asceticism and cultural togetherness, Indian quilts tell very interesting stories. Borrowing inspiration from local architecture, lifestyle, weather and the environment altogether, quilting in India is an archaeological record of life in itself.
The Current Scenario:
To many, quilting is just a hobby. While to the others it is an entire thriving industry worth nearly $4 billion annually, only in America. The total worth of quilting industry around the globe is unfathomable to a lay man.
We at Vritti Designs feel immense pride in keeping the quilting culture alive in today’s modern India. Our very own quilting centre in Uttarakhand, the land of Gods, serves the purpose of creation and training of brilliant quilters on a regular basis. Once completely absorbing the craft, these quilters are then employed with flexible working hours and for a fair wage to create the magical art form.
Understanding their life, we ensure that they are able to balance their work with their household chores, thus supporting towards the cause of an independent, self-sufficient, multi-tasking woman. Our aim is to craft modern quilts with traditional handicraft brilliance of the country and furthering the art to strengthen its roots.
Here are few glimpse of the quilts made by these wonderful women ..
Vritti urges you all to support and rejuvenate this traditional craft so that it can stand tall again and document our lives as it has documented our ancestors’.
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Team Vritti Designs