Textiles are carriers of traditions across cultures. This paper aims to identify the significance of traditional textiles of India as cultural communicators of traditions and beliefs held over long time periods. Motifs and design elements used in local context are often inspired by flora, fauna as well as local interpretation of mythology, arts and crafts all of which contribute to formation of a tapestry of ‘culture’. Users across India often are found to experiment with designs, weaves, textures colors that originate from a neighboring geographical entity. When this adoption happens, certain design elements from a neighboring ethnicity get chosen over others depending on the tastes, preferences, semantics, attitudes and emotions. As part of explorations to trace those elements in textiles that become carriers of common beliefs, a pilot study was undertaken involving 30 female respondents between the age of 18 to 28 years. Respondents were shown a color board comprising of 12 colors and an image board comprising of 12 traditional Indian sarees worn by models. Qualitative analysis reveals the significance of textiles in communicating personality, attitudes, preferences among respondents and the cross-cultural diversity of the respondents while indicating likes and dislikes. Analysis of Ten Emotions from Plutchik’s Wheel (1980) rated on a seven point Likert scale reveals that when certain emotions are evoked by sarees they could be used as communicators of traditionally held notions and shared emotions in a given cultural-bond sharing population. The research study presented explores the power of textiles in conveying meanings and emotions through subtle communications in the social space.
- Traditional textiles