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INTRODUCTION:The Ashavali brocaded tradition which was popularly known in translation as Fabric of the dream or Wonder land was

later kept alive in the borders and patterns of saris which were woven with golden thread in combination with silk and cotton, using bright and attractive colours.

Brocades in India have been known to be part of textile traditions over centuries Gujarat has always been known as a chief brocade weaving centre.

. Ahmedabad as an ancient city was earlier known as Ashaval, from which the term Ashavali for hand woven fabric

The weavers of Varanasi are called Karigars. The community involved in this craft form is Wankar and Maheshwari.

Shree Somabhai jijidas, the weaving continues in a small town named Ridrol in Gandhinagar district, the true revivar of Ashavali saree.

These were woven with golden thread in combination with silk and cotton, using bright and attractive colours. The local weaving technique was called desi vanat and described as twill weave.

Our countrys vast cultural and ethnic diversity has enabled a variety of motifs, techniques and crafts to flourish in various parts of the land. Ahmadabad has been a well known centre for textile manufacturer in India since early time.

Ashavali sarees has been an integral part of the rich tradition of handicrafts in India. Ashavali brocaded tradition which was popularly known as Fabric of the dream or Wonder land was kept alive in the borders and patterns of saris.

The fabrics featured animal and plant motifs, elephants, swans, parrots, peacocks, mangoes and design with Hindu origin such as mandalas and swastikas.

While human and animal representations were not woven in most part of India because of Islamic influence, Gujarat was an exception. Here animal motifs were a part of folk tradition and remained unchanged. There were many looms weaving Ashavali sarees, but the growing industrialization towards the end of the century resulted in change of fashions and a change in cultural values of people.

In the seventies when the close contact of weavers with cottage industries was lost, they were not able to find a market for the finely woven Ashavali saris. The industry went into decline once again. At the end of 80s, no one was weaving Ashavali any more, except one man Shree Somabhai jijidas, the weaving continues in a small town named Ridrol in Gandhinagar district, the true revivar of Ashavali saree.

Somabhai hired some local weavers and started small karkhana with only 4 looms. Now his son Vishnubhai was also in this business. At the end of 1990 there were 100 looms weaving Ashavali sarees and the tradition continues.

Literature review

Gujarati brocades
Gujarat was a renowned brocade-weaving centre since the ancient period. Ahmedabad, Surat, Bharuch, Patan and Baroda were the main weaving centres. Gujarat brocades had a rich gold or silver metallic background, on which the patterns were woven with coloured thread, giving the fabric an enamelled appearance. The technique was also known as zarbaft

Ashavali brocades
Ashavali brocade or, the fabric of drema or wonderland were a continuation of an old tradition kept alive on the borders and pallus of Ashavali saris, which were woven with mixed cotton and silk yarn. The Ashavali saris of Ahmedabad, known for their beautiful brocade borders and Pallus Apart from the border and pallu designs konia (corner) motifs were used to decorate the four corners or two corners in the case of saris-of the fabric. The background of the pallu and border is worked in rich gold thread and woven in twill weave to reveal the maximum amount of gold thread of the surface. Traditionally, the background of Ashavali Saris and dupattas were either plain or had fine gold stripes, tiny checks or small butis.

Raw material required for Ashavali saris

Silk: The basic raw material of many brocades is mainly mulberry silk thread. Zari: is the gold and silver thread used in Indian brocades. They were produced mainly in Surat and Varansi. Zari is generally of two types: badla and kalabattu. Badla zari was made of flattered gold or silver wire, the ancient method of making zari from pure metal without any core thread.

Other type of zari is kalabattu. In this, thin silver or gold wire is wound around silk or cotton, and now even rayon thread. DYES: Before the advent of commercial chemical dyes, natural and vegetable dyes were used. Generally silk is dyed with acid colours, though it has an affinity for direct basic and reactive dyes. Acid colours are best however, because they are colour fast and easy to use. Silk is the queen of fibres. The use of reactive dyes enhances its lustre, but this process requires great care and skill.

Weaving technique
In a brocade weave extra weft threads of different coloured silk or zari are woven into basic fabrics as required, and only in the areas where they are to form a pattern In this kind of weave there is also a main weft thread which runs from selvedge to selvedge, forming a woven foundation for the pattern weft. The different techniques of making pattern are named after the way shuttle of extra weft yarn is manoeuvred through the shades of warp yarn. The most beautiful and intricate patternmaking technique, it is called kadwa or embroidered. It requires as many weft shuttles of different coloured silk as are needed to form the pattern.

Each pattern (buta) appearing on the fabric has its own set of shuttles, which are allowed to float under the surface when not required, this is also called meenakari or enamelling. The meenakari technique is beautifully represented in gujarati and paithani brocades, where the background of the pattern area is woven with gold or silver zari, on which patterns are highlighted with coloured silk

A draw loom is usually used to create brocade. Employing both a standard weft and a supplemental weft during the weaving process develops the detail of the pattern. The two-fold approach gives the finished product an appearance that is not unlike a piece of fabric that has been embroidered. The double weft technique also often provides a level of stiffness to the design, and also helps to make the material sturdy enough for use in applications that require a heavier fabric.

Brocade Misconceptions
It may appear that the designs on brocade fabrics are embroidered on, but they are not. The designs are woven into the fabric. This means that brocade is often reversible. Brocade is sometimes mistakenly referred to as jacquard. The term "jacquard" does not apply to the fabric, but to the design woven into it, and is taken from the name of the loom used to create the fabric. Brocade fabric may have a jacquard pattern or a number of others, all determined by the person who is weaving it.

Weaving loom

Machines involved in production

Wooden pit loom of its own pattern having elaborate and crowded arrangements of cotton stings from top to bottom. Backstrap Weaver Inkle Weaving Tablet or Card Weving Pig Cage Loom

Inkle weaving

Tablet or card weaving

Pig cage weaving

History of brocades
Pre mogul period weaving industry, which flourished during the Vedic period and touched its peak at the time of mogul period, explains how the act of weaving was a part and parcel of the life of the Banaras people. Mogul period wholesale-personalized motifs were introduced although modified to the Indian taste. More emphasis was given to floral designs.

Post mogul period With regards to the Banaras zari and brocades, the first time well recorded description was made by several British travelers to Banaras during British rule in India.

Current scenario
Brocade weaving, a craft that was on the decline, is again showing a very promising trend. Most of the credit for this goes to the village handloom weavers, designers and dyers who, with their combined efforts, have kept alive our tradition of weaving. Looking back a hundred years, one is amazed to find that in spite of rapid industrialization, most of the age-old centers of handloom textiles still continue to produce beautifully woven fabrics. The main centers are Ahmedabad and Surat where saris of the finest silk, gauze and gold with lively color schemes are woven. Today brocades are still used by some for curtains and upholstery. Brocaded zari saris and lehengas (long skirts) are still in demand for marriages, religious ceremonies and other auspicious and social occasions.

Research Problem


Daily Report

Business Plan
Name of the venture: Artisans of Fashion

Area venturing: Promotion Agency for Brocade:Linkage between the company and its customers

The brocade community is one of the few Indian handlooms communities which is a self sustained one. The Ashavali brocade manufactures have strong design and manufacturing of brocades which others lack. Ashawali also has its own store in the city of Ahmadabad.

The only gap being the untapped e-retail market and the low promotion initiatives.

The Artisans of Fashion

A locally-run, growing enterprise that works to bring local products of Ahmadabad to the Indian and international markets. Organisation will be focussed on promoting the Indian Brocade community majorly focussing on Ashavali. The organisation will take up activities to promote the work of Ashavali and in return will get a commission on per piece basis.


To make Ashavali synonymous to Brocade nationally and internatioanlly


The Mission is to make craftspeople self-reliant, independent of both the commercial middleman by allowing them to market and sell contemporary products directly, and not simply subsist through subsidised craft.

To create an established brand out of Ashavali To identify, promote and protect local craftsmanship To help Ashavali capture the untapped market To create awareness in consumers about authentic brocade from the community To expand the reach of Ashavali beyond the geographical limits of Ahmadabad

Company Projects
Social Media Campaign:






Public Relations
The following PR tools will be used to drive conversations around Ashavali: Media interviews in metro cities with a focus on B2B (Business to Business) publications such as Images Retail, Retailer Magazine, Retail Today, Images Business of Fashion, etc. This will be important to position Ashavali in trade circles and generate direct orders from retailers, brands and entrepreneurs. Regular dissemination of press releases showcasing the latest designs by Ashavali to specific columns in dailies, magazines and online publications Engagement with editors of general interest and fashion magazines by gifting them special Ashavali sarees. This will give them an experiential and add to recall value

Participation in industry forums such as the India Retail Forum, India Fashion Forum and India Today Conclave to establish thought leadership in the industry

Influencer Management
Influencer management is a form of marketing in which focus is placed on specific key individuals (or types of individual) rather than the target market as a whole. It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and orients marketing activities around these influencers. Influencer management for Ashavali will comprise of four main activities: Identifying influencers and ranking them in order of importance Marketing to influencers to increase awareness of the firm within the influencer community Marketing through influencers, using influencers to increase market awareness of the firm amongst target markets Marketing with influencers by turning influencers into advocates of Ashavali Influencers will be engaged by highlighting the need to promote Ashavali and by providing them an experiential of the brand. Influencers will be carefully chosen and dealt with so as to maximise the impact. Key influencers for Ashavali will be: Ms. Shobha De, writer and critic Ms. Priya Tanna, Editor of Vogue India Ms. Anaita Shroff Adajania, Fashion Editor, Vogue India Ms. Bandana Tiwari, Fashion Director, Vogue India Mr. Che Kurien, Editor, GQ India Ms. Mamta Mody, Editor, Elle Magazine Ms. Shirin Mehta, Fashion Editor, Verve

Mela will be an important part of the promotion of brocade all over the nation. Through this we will exhibit ashavali and its products in different fairs , exhibitions tradeshows and events. We will keep a track of all the upcoming events and shows and will help ashavali to display its art on this platform. This is one of the most important parts of our promotional activities since actual on the spot sales will happen here.Ahavali which currently is not an active a participant of the exhibitions and shows will be encouraged and guided to do so.

Association with Fashion and textile institutes: Conducting Ashavali Exhibition as a theme based event: Associating with Wedding Planners:

Services The services that will be taken up by the Artisans of Fashion will be as the following series of basic steps:

Legal Stationery etc. Inventory Web site development

Research and Development

Brochures, catalogues

Start-up Inventory Other Current Assets

Artisans of fashions customers can be broken down into the following segments: On the basis of order size:
Designers Companies

Retail Organisations like ethnic brands

Trade bodies


Direct consumers

On the basis of Age: Age group of 20-35: target through Social media majorly, wedding planners, fashion shows Age group of 35 and above: Targeted through other media like exhibitions, trade fairs, influencer management.

Challenges: The Artisans of Fashion will face a few hurdles in promoting this art over the nation. The challenges are: Unawareness about the authentic brocade: Consumers today are still unaware about the authentic and genuine brocade. People end up buying brocade available and made locally which is of a cheaper quality and price range. Creating awareness about the same will be a backbreaker task for the organization. Conservative nature of the artisans: The nature and the style of working of artisans is generally conservative and they do not prefer outside interference in their art. Breaking this wall for detailed information and co-operation from the artisans will be a troublesome task


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The majority of artisans are in the age group 25-40 which means the majority working population is young which can be encouraged to work better for the empowerment of the craft. However there is quite accepted situation between the working population ratio between men & women. Literacy rate is moderate which can be improved further so as to protect them against exploitation from middleman and others. Well all of them are involved in craft throughout the year which indicates the only source of livelihood for the artisans. The some of the artisans are not associated with any of the organization well some are.

The artisans are working on design based on marketdemand. However to keep with the modern day needs they are ready to make design according to the customers need. Thus they are flexible to work as per the customer needs if they are given opportunities in this regard. They are using the old patterns which are on-going through decades and centuries which represent the originality of the craft. The majority of the artisans are skilled and some of them are master craftsmen which adds more to the end product. The artisans dont access computer and internet only the main head who is handling the marketing and retail knows about the internet. Most of the artisans are practising this art since 10-25 years.

The artisans doesnt face lot of difficulties in terms of pricing and availability in procuring raw materials which makes it difficult for them to sustain them in the extremely increasing competition between the artisans. The artisans do not receive any government intervention in terms of financial and marketing activities as they are not interested in acquiring the same. The artisans believe that the area which needs improvement is the development and access to new and varied marketing activities. Majority of them believe that they are not exactly exploited but their work is over-shadowed by the purchasers name. Approximately men works for 7 hours and women works for 6 hours per day.

Although they have access to bank they are not aided by bank in terms of receiving financial aid. Well no disastrous activity is associated with the craft except the long working hours. Most of them dwell in their own house. They are provided the facility of medi-claim and medical charges are also upheld by manufacturer. Majority of the artisans have monthly income in the range of Rs.7500-10000 which implies a great opportunity wage in the currently economy of India.