Reinventing Jajam:

A Collaborative Approach

Jajam are stunning, but unfortunately these natural dye floorspreads have limited use today. Based upon an earlier exhibition, this show explores the possibility of adapting these cloths into a wider range of products with new shapes and colours that appeal to a contemporary audience.

Purushottam Chhipa (b.1961) of nearby Jahota printed several floor spreads for Reinventing Jajam. His family’s vintage blocks rekindled old memories of working with traditional patterns and motifs. Using well-honed skills, Purushottam recreated classic design layouts after a 40 year hiatus. Yet, he did not stop there. Intrigued by revitilising jajam, on his own initiative Purushottam began experimenting with natural dyes and dabu mud-resist techniques.

Textile designer Lucy Goffin joined the project. Having worked in Jahota in the early 1990s, she appreciated the patterns and began to cut and stitch the cloth into coats, jackets, bags and bins. The clothing and objects on view are a small sampling of future products, born in collaboration and crucial to the revival of the craft.