Traditional Arts in India
We are committed to providing our students with as many international opportunities that not only contextualise their studies, but shape their professional practice. Recently, Fashion Design and Technology students had the unique opportunity to visit India and take part in a number of sustainable and traditional craft practises.
Travelling to Jaipur and three small villages, around the City allowed the students to gain a true understanding of sustainability in design, particularly how this can inform the product development process.
During the trip, students met with artisans whose families have been practising these traditional crafts in their rural villages for hundreds of years.
Fashion Design and Technology student, Bethan Stacey found the trip both inspirational and educational. “I was able to experience a new culture that has encouraged me to think of the ways that these traditional methods can be adapted and used in my final collection. “Visiting the villages in Rajasthan was a rare privilege that allowed me to view and practice the traditional crafting techniques. I found it amazing to see these skills performed and to be shown the basic techniques.”
The students immersed themselves in the culture of craftsmanship by exploring the uses of wood block printing, intricate tie-dying and metal work embroidery.
Each community, or ‘craft cluster’, continues to dedicate itself to a traditional art form. Generations of local people have been employed for each stage of the process, from the building of equipment to the recycling off cut materials for products such as accessories and hand-made paper.
Eleanor Cowlard who also attended the visit to India, said, “It really has been a trip of a lifetime. It has taught me how to interact with a completely new culture and I am in awe of the skill that goes into all of the handcrafted fabrics and garments.
“I have also been lucky enough to source beautifully crafted fabrics, many of which you could not buy in the UK. This experience has definitely prepared me up for my final year of university and I cannot wait to incorporate what I have learned into my work.”