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Dyeing & Weaving From the Kachchh Desert

  • Maiwa East 1310 Odlum Drive Vancouver, BC, V5L 3M3 Canada (map)
Dyeing & Weaving From the Kachchh Desert

With Shamji Vishram Vankar

$495 [Includes $100 lab fee] Class limit 16. Sept 9-11 (Mon-Wed) 10am-4pm.

This is a rare opportunity to study traditional techniques with a leading member of one of the most accomplished dyeing and weaving families of India. For generations, the Vankar family has created the woven shawls (in distinct styles for men and women) that are used by nomadic herding communities. In addition to their formidable skills as weavers and dyers, the Vankars work directly with Rabari women who spin yarn from the local wool and a separate Rabari group who embellish the shawls with embroidery.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Shamji Vankar committed his family to the use of natural fibres and dyes. As a result he has recovered and perfected traditional methods. Join Shamji for an in-depth dyeing workshop augmented by demonstrations of Bhujodi weaving technique and explanations of motif and weave structure.

This workshop represents more than just an opportunity to learn technique—it is a chance to immerse yourself in the stories and culture of the Kachchh Desert and gain insight from an artisan working in one of the most vibrant textile centres in the world.

Shamji joins us from Kachchh, India.

Shamji will also give a talk on Sept. 10 and will exhibit his work in the Five Artisans Exhibition.

Supply List PDF

Shamji Vishram Vankar

Shamji Vishram Vankar is a weaver and natural dyer living in the Kachchh Desert. He comes from a deep artisan heritage. His father won a prestigious National Award for his weaving. Shamji and his brothers have all inherited a commitment to craft and a dedication to tradition. Shamji recalls the times when lac cakes were available in the local market for dyers: “The colour makes me feel at home. Our elders dyed shawls for Rabari women in lac. I grew up with this colour around me a lot, so it is woven into memories of my childhood.” Lac is now only one of the natural dyes which Shamji uses and weaves into exhibition quality textiles. Shamji is an artisan who has been recognized worldwide, yet who still puts family traditions, technique and slow, careful skill first.

Earlier Event: September 6
The Stitches of India
Later Event: September 10
Bhujodi Weaving Talk & Trunk Show