Taavi and Bagru Printing: An Intricate Relationship Buoying Artisans
Less than 40 kilometers away from Jaipur, Rajasthan, lies a small village by the name of Bagru. Unlike many other landmark cities in the state, Bagru is not known for its forts and palaces. Instead, it speaks of art and craft that date back to centuries ago. Bagru printing is known for its intricate block-print designs using natural colors, handmade from end to end. National award-winning artisan Roshan Derawala, one of the master artisans working with Myntra’s multi-cultural lifestyle brand, Taavi, is a member of the Chhipa community who has been involved in this printing tradition for hundreds of years.
Bagru printing and Derawala go back a long way. His grandfather, Ram Kishore Chhipa, was a recipient of the Padma Shri Award for his distinguished work in this field. It is that legacy that Derawala proudly carries forward. As part of government initiatives and art festivals, he has traveled to more than 40 international destinations and trade shows, showcasing his work.
Taavi: Keeping artisans busy during the lockdown as well as festivities
Roshan Derawala has been associated with our brand Taavi for almost two years now. What began as a production of mere 20 pieces, has now scaled to 1000+ pieces of dupattas. There are various other orders as well, ranging from cloth material for women’s dresses, kurtas, and design work for men’s shirts and kurtas. With 200 men and women working under him, the partnership with Taavi has come as a boon to all of them.
This is especially true for the period of the nation-wide lockdown, since orders dried up from almost every corner, except Taavi. An overwhelming 70 to 80 percent of the work done by these artisans during the lockdown, and even now, is for Taavi. The artisans could not be more thankful for the sustained income, albeit lower than pre-COVID times when so many others were struggling to make ends meet.
The next set of work keeping Derawala and his team of artisans busy is the Festive Season 2021. They are currently working with Taavi’s design team to finalize prints and designs for next year. Planning for a festive season begins at least one year in advance, with a strong focus on contextualizing the traditional art in various forms of modern designs.
While Derawala is happy that an association such as with Myntra helps to take the Bagru printing artform far and wide, he is aware that demand for this work by far outweighs supply. He is hopeful that after him his two daughters will help take the work forward even more.
Myntra launched Taavi in 2018 with the aim to revive the languishing textile sector and the local artisans. Apart from providing them a chance at financial stability, Taavi and Myntra also fuel creative innovations within craft clusters, helping them evolve their mindsets and techniques for changing time and making them more relevant to the Indian youth. It empowers 10000+ artisans and weavers specializing in traditional embroidery and printing techniques such as Lambani, Kasuti, Dabu, Bagru, Ikkat, and Chikankari, thus taking the reach of traditional Indian textile arts and crafts to a larger audience.