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Khadi Frays and the idea of patience by Sophie Rowley

‘Khadi Frays’ is a series of textile wall pieces developed during a recent one-year stay in India. They are inspired by the Khadi Spirit.

The Indian term ‘Khadi Spirit pays reference to the symbolic craft of Khadi, an indigenous, time-consuming Indian artistry in which natural fiber cloths are spun and woven by hand. When I developed this technique I was living in India so all my samples were made of this sort of cloth. Mahatma Gandhi was promoting the development of Khadi fabrics during the Indian independence movement by encouraging local production. He introduced the term  ‘Khadi Spirit’ – which he describes as the state of  Illimitable patience – in the fight for independence. The idea of patience was very suited to the technique I developed in Khadi Frays, as each thread had been pulled out one after the other by hand.

Instead of building up the material thread by thread, a solid block of multiple weaves forms the starting point. Through eating into these material blocks, multi-dimensional textures are created, gradually dwindling down to the base layer. The differences in weight and tension of the warp and weft lead to subtle variations in shade and dependent upon the perspective angle, reflections on the surfaces occur. Through this technique, simplistic and modest materials were transformed into intricate arrangements by doing nothing but removing threads. I like the idea of starting with something very basic and making it admirable only through the application of a process.

I definitely believe that there is a revival of time-honored craft and techniques that are hand-made.

Content Credit: © Sophia Rowley and Through Objects.

Images: © Sophia Rowley

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