Enjoy slow TV with artisan hand weaver Shamji Vishram Vankar Valji from Bhujodi a weaving village in Gujarat, India.
Bhujodi is home to the illustrious Shamji Vankar Vishram Valji carries on the legacy of his father, Vankar Vishram Valji who was felicitated with the National Award in 1974 for his exemplary work in Dhabla weaving. Shamji bhai who is himself an innovative weaver and an early adopter of kala cotton, oversees Vankar Vishram Valji Weaving, a multigenerational craft initiative for weaving and dyeing of fabrics, shawls and stoles furnishings and durrie (rugs) in cotton and desi oon (indigenous wool) that employs around 90 families. Over the last 20 years, Shamji bhai has transformed the venture into a prosperous business with clients in India and abroad. His journey as a weaver and entrepreneur has brought recognition as master craftsman and the UNESCO Seal of Excellence and also is a chronicler of his family, Bhujodi village and the narrative of handloom weaving. In 2014 he participated in a project titled ‘Hand Made’ exhibited in Bunka Gakuen University that highlighted the handmade qualities of traditional textiles produced in Bhujodi including Kala cotton. He participated in the project ‘Cotton Exchange: A Material Response’ in 2015 which compared and contrasted the social, cultural and historical legacies of cotton manufacture and trade between England and India, using Kala cotton that was handspun partly in Kutch and in the UK and dyed with iron and indigo. These international collaborations heightened the global awareness of the potential of Kala cotton. Recipient of many awards, he epitomises holistic development for the preservation of heritage, skill, ecology, identity and knowledge.