French textile artist Moulin moots for globalisation of Indian silk
Kolkata: Celebrated French textile artist Isabelle Moulin said till now Indian silk was only catering as a fabric for the people and not much export was done.
Moulin on a ‘Silk trip’ to India to explore the potential of weavers in places like Murshidabad for possible collaboration with major silk hubs across the globe, said Murshidabad can play a huge role as a changemaker.
“Till now Indian silk was only catering 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 in various sectors. 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 a changemaker.
“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 because of its nutrition 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 perspective on the theme of silk and textiles.
Moulin, who met representatives of the Crafts Council of West Bengal, 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 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 textile with an emphasis on silk in India, discussed Murshidabad’s silk heritage and examine 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 to 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.