Raw Mango's 'Point Of Origin' Paints An Intimate Portrait of Dhanau's Handloom Weavers

The short documentary captures the handlooms of Barmer.
The short documentary captures the handlooms of Barmer.Raw Mango

In the blistering summer months, when temperatures can soar above 45 degrees Celsius, the artisans of Rajasthan turn their attention to weaving these exquisite woollen fabrics. The significance of Pattu handlooms lies in their ability to provide respite from the biting cold of Rajasthan's winters. Pattu, also known as Pashmina or Cashmere, is renowned for its warmth and softness, making it the ideal material for crafting shawls, blankets, and other winter essentials.

On the eve of National Handloom Day (August 7), Indian handloom-inspired luxury clothing brand Raw Mango by founder Sanjay Garg released a short film series titled Point Of Origin, documenting an active cluster in Dhanau, Barmer where the weavers were spinning pattu with indigenous wool. Dabbling in photography, graphics and even musical collaborations with artists like Lifafa, the couture house is infamous for creating dialogue around textiles and culture.

Through meticulous trial and error, Raw Mango sampled different fabric constructions and warp patterns with a group of weavers from the ancient Meghwal community of Dhanau. With visuals accentuated to the austerity of the almost Martian landscape — soft contrast, milky shadows, and a faded colour palette — the documentary captures their insular ecosystem, typified by evergreen thorny Khejri trees and women churning buttermilk in trademark adobe huts called jhopdis. From the folk dholi drummers to their kaccha (unpaved) dust-riddled roads, everything about their environment finds it way into their intricate embroidery. Featuring rib stripes on the weft borders, the ornamental chatri kangsia pattu incorporates experiential elements like temples (chatn), pellet drum (kangsia), and birds (chidiya) reinterpreted as geometrical motifs.

The documentary is testament to the resilience of Meghwal artisans.
The documentary is testament to the resilience of Meghwal artisans.Raw Mango

The Meghwal weavers specialise in crafting a variety of textiles, including ghagras (skirts), cholis (blouses), and odhnis (scarves), which are integral to the traditional attire of the Kutch terrain. Beyond their utilitarian value, Pattu wool handlooms represent a cultural legacy that has been passed down through generations, especially in weddings wherein the brides’ families gift shawls to the grooms and male elders in a ritual called odhavani which means "to drape someone" in their local Dhatki dialect.

Raw Mango embarked on its journey over a decade ago with a singular vision — to revive and rejuvenate India's rich handloom heritage. From Banarasi brocades to Chanderi silks and from Tussar to Mashru, the brand doesn't just create beautiful garments, it tells stories.

What sets Raw Mango apart is its ability to seamlessly blend convention with contemporary sensibilities. The label's creations are not limited to the borders of India; they have a global appeal. Its ensembles have graced runways worldwide, attracting the attention of fashion connoisseurs and enthusiasts alike. From elegant sarees to chic dresses and versatile separates, each piece exudes understated sophistication.

The brand takes a conscious approach to design by supporting local artisans and weavers. As we celebrate National Handloom Day with Point Of Origin, let us remember that each piece of handwoven fabric is a labor of love and a step towards a more sustainable and culturally rich future. By supporting the handloom industry, we become part of a timeless tradition that is, quite literally, the fabric of India.

You can browse Raw Mango's latest collection here.

Related Stories

No stories found.