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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Efforts to introduce Indian cultural textile craft globally

Brinda Dudhat founded NID has transformed Morii, age-old narratives into new life in modern settings, bridging the gap between traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design.

Over time, it has grown into a beacon of cultural preservation and innovation, presenting hand-embroidered textiles as distinctive pieces of art. Brinda’s extensive work with various craft clusters across India, from Sujini to Kalamkari, revealed the vast potential within these artisan communities. This realization, coupled with her unflinching vision, led to the creation of Morii in 2019.

‘Mori’, meaning forest, embodies the essence of nature. This name reflects Brinda’s experiences during a semester exchange in Japan, where she was influenced by the Japanese approach to design at TAMA Art University. The concept of ‘Mori Girls’, a subculture that values nature’s abundance, further inspired her. Mori Girls symbolize a return to a time when villages were self-sustainable and resembled a forest ecosystem.

Morii’s studio works with over eighty women artisans from more than seven different villages, building trust and relationships through workshops that celebrate and develop their skills. These artisans receive work at their doorstep, ensuring that craft continues to enable and empower them. On-ground coordinators stationed near the craft clusters facilitate smooth interactions between the artisans and the studio team, with monthly visits for sampling, development, and interaction.

This step-by-step, stitch-by-stitch approach has created a robust community of artisans who co-create with Morii. Each piece of art is a culmination of the synergy between craftsmanship and design as well as skill and strategy, resulting in contemporary heirlooms with the potential to last generations.

From locally sourced raw materials to azo-free dyes, the studio ensures that every stakeholder, including the environment, is treated with respect. All artisans are paid fair wages for their work and the studio strives to include ethical and local processes throughout its operations. By co-creating with artisan partners, Morii minimizes waste and maximizes the use of resources. By turning textiles into wall art, Morii has brought craft into contemporary spaces and conversations.

The brand stands as a bridge between the past and the future and is an artistic interpretation of age-old legacies infused with global sensibilities while remaining rooted in Indian traditions. By bringing work to the doorstep of craftswomen in rural communities, Morii ensures that craft continues to provide economic empowerment and preserve cultural heritage.

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