India is a country known for its wide array of handicrafts and beautiful weaves and fabrics. From up north to south of India, India is a treasure trove of age-old traditions that are being kept alive thanks to the patronage of people and the increasing awareness of sustainability. The city of Hyderabad and both Telugu-speaking states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are known for their special weaves that are popular all over the world. And many Hyderabad designers have taken up the cause of reviving and mixing fashion with traditional weaves to provide new markets for weavers and craftsmen.
One such designer is Archana Jaju, who runs a line with her name that mainly focuses on Kalamkari from Sri Kalahasti. The town lies on the border between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh near Tirupati and has master weavers and craftsmen who have great dexterity when it comes to creating new designs within the boundaries of traditional patterns. Jaju also mixes mirrors, sequins, and embroidery into her pieces to make them heirloom pieces. She works with various clusters and supports around 200 families with her work. She shares that she always involves her weavers while discussing or contemplating new designs and patterns.
She works with earthy colors such as indigo, mustard, black and green, all of which are natural dyes. Archana launched her Revival '21 collection last year, which is an extension of her work through the years. This particular collection symbolizes the red-crowned cranes, a species known for its grace, beauty, and inextinguishable life. The collection represents a modern rendition of traditional Kalamkari, brought to life by a cluster in Telangana.
Another person who is actively involved with tie and dye artisans is NIFT alumnus Falguni Shankar Gaidhane. She now makes specially crafted handbags under the label Falguni Shankar. Having been associated with lots of flea markets, Falguni is very clear that she will merge traditional techniques with modern aesthetics to make her work stand out.
Lakshmi Deepthi Pothineni, the founder of Deep Thee, is another designer who makes no bones of her love for hand-crafted weaves. She uses Aari work extensively in her fabrics and says that she wants her clientele to enjoy every penny they spend on her functional clothes.