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French textile artist Moulin moots globalisation of Indian silk

PTI | | Updated on: Apr 09, 2022

To explore collaboration between local silk producing centres and global hubs

Celebrated French textile artist Isabelle Moulin said Indian silk has so far only catered to the needs of the people, the potential for export has not been explored.

Moulin, on a 'Silk trip' to India to explore the potential of possible collaboration between weavers in places like Murshidabad, with the major silk hubs across the globe, said Murshidabad can play a huge role as a changemaker.

"So far, Indian silk has only catered as a fabric for the Indian people and not much export was done. Now with the open market, I am sure India will catch up as far as the use of silk is concerned. With the evolution of products and climate change, we aim to find new ways to produce silk, and protect the mulberry falling prey to climate change," she told PTI after a visit to Murshidabad recently.

Since India is a continent of silk, the silk-producing cities here, including Murshidabad, can play a huge role as changemakers.

"The global silk market is changing and India can play a leading role in it," Moulin said.

"Silk is the future. With ecological change, the climate and water required for the mulberry is in danger. We need to preserve this. My study also looks at making people aware of this aspect," she added.

Elaborating on how silk can be more than just a fabric for garments, she said It is used in Artificial Intelligence-driven technologies as well.

"It is used in surgeries, dental implants, and face creams, and for its tensile strength, it is used in military eye gear. Silk can be used in Artificial Intelligence driven surgeries. In fact, in China, silkworms are eaten for their nutritional content, so silk can be an answer during the food crisis as well," she said.

Moulin had created the Silk Me Back in 2011, an approach that combines heritage and contemporary expressions, combining scientific, technical and artistic perspectives on the theme of silk and textiles.

Following a meeting representatives of the Crafts Council of West Bengal, she said "our association will be of real help. To begin with, I have to understand the specificity (the position) of silk in this place.

In what way they can fit in our network of Silk Cities across the globe. Today, I had an initial conversation with the Crafts Council of West Bengal. They have promised all support. We would take this forward.”

The silk expert, who is visiting India to promote bilateral cooperation between India and France around design and textiles, with an emphasis on silk in India, discussed Murshidabad’s silk heritage and examined its potential to partner other major silk producing cities across the globe.

The partnership, called SilkCity network, has 12 of the best silk-producing cities from all over the globe across eight countries, as its member so far.

"Now we have nine countries and 13 cities. If everything goes well, then with time I hope Murshidabad Silk, too, can make it to the network. The network helps artisans, and craftsmen exchange knowledge, build trade relations and understand various craftsmanship techniques.

To a question, she said the knowledge of the artisans is not very specific, though they are immensely gifted.

"My study will not only aim to preserve that, but would give it a global platform," she added.

Published on April 09, 2022
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