Social Fabric, 2017
Social Fabric is a range of experimental woven fabric designs that will be woven in a voluntary workshop with handloom weavers at the Khamir Craft Centre in the textile rich region of Kutcch, Gujarat, India. Khamir is an Indian run NGO that encourages the collaboration of ideas between artisans and designers to create a socially and ecologically sustainable Gujarati craft sector. The workshop aims to equalise creative dictation, whilst criticising the presence of a colonial psyche in global textile production; where one nationality/caste is treated as superior to the other.
Social Fabric aims to inspire local handloom weavers to innovate and adapt their practice. The aim is to develop a group of weavers committed to the survival of their own heritage within a changing sociological and ecological climate.
The experimental fabrics are woven from post-production waste commonly discarded by the textile, packaging, electrical, leather and automobile industries in Gujarat, India. The final outcome of the fabrics is left open-ended to give the skilled artisan the opportunity to further develop the fabrics.
Image: Ruby Shapiro, Social Fabric, 2017. Collection of woven samples. Leather offcuts, discarded weaving mill warp ends, electrical waste, packaging waste and automobile waste (discarded tyres). Photo courtesy of the artist.
After graduation Ruby Shapiro hopes to continue working in the commercial textile industry whilst planning a personal project surrounding Asian textiles and cross-cultural collaboration.
Image: Ruby Shapiro, 2017. Photo courtesy of the artist.