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The Karomi story!
Karomi Crafts n Textiles, an organization run jointly by Sarita Ganeriwala, a postgraduate in textile design & development from NIFT, New Delhi and Sarika Ginodia, has been working for the past 8 years specifically with the weavers of West Bengal...concentrating primarily on jamdani weaves.
Karomi entered the hand loom weaving sector in 2007 through a single weaver in a village in West Bengal. Today they deploy more than 100 looms in several villages in West Bengal, weaving saris, stoles and dupattas. While design and colour sensibility is their strength, their ability to create textile textures through a combination of different types of yarns and weaves, distinguishes them from others in the field. Their fabrics are characterized by subtle nuances of layering, colouring and texturing.
They work with natural fibres especially with silk yarns...and of late have started working extensively with high count khadi and linens as well. Their yarns are always hand dyed. They keep experimenting with all kinds of yarn blends and twists to impart interesting textures to their fabrics.
What’s special about Karomi?
One of the weaving techniques widely used by them is the well known Jamdani (extra weft) weaving, a style unique to Bengal…literally like “hand embroidery” on the loom. The method of weaving resembles tapestry work in which small shuttles of coloured, gold or silver threads, are passed through the warp. Jamdani, because of its intricate patterns, has always been a highly coveted product. According to historical accounts, Jamdani fabric was essentially meant only for the affluent nobility.
‘Naturals’, a collection in high count khadi, is their attempt to revive the past glory when Jamdani was traditionally woven in muslin. They also specialize in hand block printing and Shibori – a tie and dye technique of Japanese origin. Their hand block printing is characterized by the unique method of “print over print” or layering.
In the year 2012, Karomi was awarded the UNESCO Award of Excellence for handicrafts, for one of its silk Jamdani stoles, in recognition of innovation and quality in this field. In the year 2014 they again received the UNESCO Award for one of their Khadi Jamdani stoles in the ‘Naturals’ collection.