Project LooM showcases and celebrates the people, places and processes behind India’s wonderful handwoven sarees.
What is it about the saree that evokes such love amongst Indians? Is it the “purity of the unstitched cloth” as Uzramma called it? Is it the fact that it is so forgiving for all body types? Is it the sensuousness of the drape that is both playful and sexy? Is it simply that India has managed to retain this garment unlike say, Japan that has lost its kimono or China, its cheong-sam or even Vietnam, its ao dai. The saree endures. The saree prevails in India. I love it.
Project LooM is a website I founded and co-created. It began in October 2017, when I wrote to Taneira to ask if they might support a website that would showcase and celebrate Indian weaves.
Taneira is an evolved company and they understood my pitch immediately. It wasn’t about brand marketing. It was about craft.
In January 2019, we unveiled the first edition on Kanchipuram. Since then we have done Chanderi, Jamdani, Khadi and Gujarat.
Below is what I wrote for the Welcome section of Project LooM. It explains the project and people.
Project LooM is a partnership between lovers of Indian handloom. There will be many “editions,” which are designed like magazine issue.
Thank you’s go out to
Ajoy Chawla and Shyamala Ramanan at Titan/Taneira for the vision, the carte blanche sign-off that they gave me to run with the project.
From Taneira: Naomi Raphael and Isha Sahu for coordination and facilitation. Anindita Sardar, for being available to talk to me about weaves and their intricacies.
Jacob Kurian, who introduced Ajoy to me.
Calligrapher and architect, Dharmesh Jadeja from Auroville for designing the logo. And drawing out several variations of the logo. And for putting up with my persnicketiness about how to dot the line and curve the y.
Ulhas Anand, my birder friend and Bird Podcast collaborator for the website design. Among other things, Ulhas organizes Bengaluru Bird Day and runs Ecoedu, for environmental education. Thanks, Ulhas for creating the website and all the social media pages.
Red Bangle Film Collaborative: where a vibrant group of young filmmakers come together to make films.
I make all the shorter amateur films but Red Bangle produces the 3-4 main films that are on top of the Youtube page of each edition.
SHOBA NARAYAN, Anchor, Project LooM