Short Film Showcase: Watch Artisans Craft a Beautiful Indian Bedspread

Anita Lal, creative director of Good Earth, offers insight into the making of an Indian razai or bed quilt. This stunning short from Storyloom Films captures the detailed process of meticulously carved woodblock designs carefully printed on fabric, which is then hand-stitched to create a piece that is both beautiful and functional.

I spoke with Nidhi Kamath and Keya Vaswani, co-founders of Storyloom Films, about their project.

What intrigues you about capturing artisans at work?

The most interesting observation about the artisans is their dedication and passion for their craft and the perfection with which they create the product. Their sensitivity to the aesthetics of the product and their humility inspires us as filmmakers. Most of the craft products on which we’re working have never been documented before, and we love exploring a new story every time. In India, after agriculture, the craft sector is the second largest occupation, yet people are not aware of the process of making and the hard work involved in it. This inspired us to take up the subject.

How did you first learn about Goodearth and their technique of hand block printing?

Goodearth is a popular brand in India, and we had visited their stores. We felt that we shared a common love for the crafts. Laila Tyabji, an Indian craft revivalist and founder of Dastkar, a Delhi-based nongovernment organization, had seen a few of our films and introduced us to Anita Lal, founder of Goodearth. We learned about hand block printing when we started filming it. We were amazed to see the fineness of the blocks and the precision with which [the textiles] were printed.

Do you think about textiles differently after making this film?

Yes, definitely. We realized the kind of time and energy and the number of hands involved in the creation of an —> Read More