Riddhi Jain: EDIDA India 2015 Student of the Year runner-up
The art of design came naturally to Riddhi Jain. Living with her mother who is an ethnic and bridal wear designer, Riddhi grew up in an environment that was accustomed to creative crafts. However, realising her precise inclination towards fabric design was a whole other story.
The EDIDA India Student of the Year 2015 runner-up began her journey in the field when she joined the National Institute of Fashion Technology to study fashion design. However, it was during a shorter course on textiles that she realised her passion for developing surfaces. “I fell in love with creating fabrics from scratch. That’s when I understood where my calling lies,” she pointed out. “It’s not just about designing a garment. For me, it’s important to weave the fabric and craft the textures by myself.” While studying at the National Institute of Design, she honed her skills the most. “I used to spend hours in the design studio, experimenting with fabrics,” she exclaimed. “I was a changed person by the end of the course.”
Her EDIDA winning product, an indigo textile wall art, came together in the hills of Munnar in Kerala. It was created using a Japanese practice called arashi shibori – an ancient pole wrapping technique. This involved wrapping threads around a pole and pulling them down to prevent the dye from reaching the entire fabric, thereby creating a pattern. This repetitive process takes 10 to 12 days of tedious effort for just one metre of product.
Throughout this process, she worked with locals, most of who had physical disabilities, owing to the natural calamities in the area. “This is an art that they’ve mastered over time, so I took inspiration from their lifestyles.” Riddhi’s indigo wall art was also inspired by her love for natural geometry. The lines in her fabric follow the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi and therefore have slight meanders.
Currently, Riddhi Jain is in the middle of starting her own multi-disciplinary studio. “It will deal with textiles, apparels and home furnishings, for now.” she disclosed. “And then I’ll take it forward from there.”
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