It takes me about 2 hours to get anywhere I want to go in this city; what do I do during all that time on street & bus & bus? I stare at the colors and sparkles of cloth on women, and a few wise men. Finally, I have colors and sparkles to share.
Yesterday I went to a town called Pochampally, which is known for a particularly astounding form of tie dye. Yup. Hippie children with white t-shirts, you are resoundingly outdone. Here, threads of silk and cotton are stretched/marked/tied with string/tied with bits of rubber/dyed/re-stretched/woven over under over under over under 48,000 threads of black and gold on jingling, clicking, shuttling, awe-inspiring contraptions of looms. The pre-dyed, exquisitely exact threads of silk and cotton form the patterns planned by the weavers before the marking/tying/dying/weaving.
TAKE 2 : Yesterday I went to a town called Pochampally, where the traditional ikkat method of weaving has incorporated several impressive examples of re-purposing – particularly with bicycles. The bits of rubber used to tie threads before they are dyed come from used bicycle tire tubes; a single-speed gear and wheel are simply remounted to wind dyed thread onto spools ready for weaving. The looms themselves use old plastic bottles filled with water or sand as ballast. I was there with a networking group for social activism in Hyderabad, and I am so excited about the ideas & contacts that were flying through the air zip-thunk zip-thunk just like the shuttles on the looms.