HeenaAgrima x Princess Diya Kumari Foundation, A collaboration for Women Empowerment and Sustainability !
The PDKF has been dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls in rural Rajasthan for almost 10 years. Set up by Princess Diya Kumari, the foundation runs five centres across the state that give women opportunities through advice and education.
A key part of the foundation’s programme is promoting traditional crafts, allowing women artisans to gain financial independence by helping market and sell their work to a global audience through The PDKF Store.
Our aim (HeenaAgrima) at this workshop was to make the women aware about Kitchen and Temple waste, reusing of materials, extracting colours by different methods like making a decoction, hapazome or bundle dyeing and finally dyeing/printing their clothes. It also focused on how these practises are environmental friendly and is actually the beautiful craft of Natural Dyeing.
The Workshop was Divided into two days :
On day 1: We showed them existing samples of naturally dyed swatches, they learned about scouring and mordanting and also plain even dyeing on the cloth. We used majorly silk and plain 60s cotton.
The women of PDKF learning about the importance of Scouring and Mordanting. We also demonstrated the entire process for them while they interacted with the materials. We used normal soap which is available at their homes and mordanted with Tannin and Alum Potash which they can easily collect as well!.
All the materials like kitchen waste - Onion skins, Avocado peels, pomegranate rinds as well as the temple and wedding waste - marigold and rose flowers majorly were collected from The city palace Jaipur and near by temples. It was amazing the amount of material one can collect from Hotels, Wedding venues, Cafes and Temples!
The women were very inspired to use their kitchen and temple waste after seeing the results from marigold petals!
Some of them were good with taking notes as well, we taught them how to document their process and make their own natural dyeing recipes.
On Day 2 : It was slightly more fun for them because they did Bundle dyeing and hapazome where they were taught how to create a bundle and make eco-prints out of petals and some leaves as well. They loved the process of hapazome where they could stamp the leaves and flowers and extract the colours directly in the shape of it.
They were shown how to prepare their bundles with different materials that were gathered from Temple and Kitchen waste. We also introduced them to some professional Natural Dye materials that could be sourced from the market to make more detailed designs and patterns.
The ladies were very enthusiastic about the designs they wanted to form on the T-Shirts. Everyone came out with their unique ideas using the materials in the most creative ways. Some were making symbolic art by placement while some had a more organic approach towards the creation of an all over print on the fabric.
The most exciting part was seeing the final results. They were very intrigued by the outcome and realised the potential of the process much better. Everyone had brilliant ideas and were very excited to recreate the idea themselves with their children back at home.
Hapazome is the hammering technique to print the botanicals directly on the fabric. While the rest of the processes followed a slight technical way of performing it, this was one of the most enjoyed ones as it gave out very direct results on the textile. The ladies created beautiful prints using this technique and the best part was that they were very free willed to explore this technique using anything they could find in their vicinity!
This technique also inspired them to make the most out of the flowers and botanicals that are used in their daily lives. We hope that this idea of using waste accumulated in our surroundings can be put to use for creating beautiful textiles to achieve a circular sustainable system.
What more can we say to this, it was a great experience and we loved our time with the beautiful ladies of Princess Diya Kumari Foundation. We are very happy to be a part of this opportunity and share our knowledge and skill towards women empowerment and a more conscious lifestyle!
Lots of Flowers,