ISLAMABAD  – The National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, Lok Virsa is training rural crafts persons with expertise in various craft fields through a series of workshops.
The series of master artisans training workshops will provide capacity building for 768 marginalised craft persons/artisans, mainly from rural districts with poor lower income groups while more than 25 craftsmen are being trained currently in the ongoing workshop of textiles to promote the craft heritage of
Pakistan.
The participants of these workshops are home-based workers living in far-flung deprived areas, with no or limited linkage with big markets to sell their products.
Besides getting trained in various fields, the participants will also display and sale their products at Lok Virsa shops adjacent to Open-air Theatre, said Executive Director Lok Virsa, Khalid Javaid. The important aspect of these trainings is to provide exposure to the skilled artisans in value chain development and marketing practices through hands-on experience in the exhibition/marketing facility at Lok Virsa.
Commenting on the textile workshop, he said, “Pakistan’s history has the credit of a range and variety of its hand-made textiles. The existence of developed crafts of cloth weaving and dyeing in the Indus Valley five thousand years ago has been proved by the discovery of spindle whorls, bobbins, and a dyer’s workshop at Mohenjodaro”.
A greater part of Pakistan’s handloom cloth is made from indigenous cotton, which remains a major cash crop of the country. The traditional textiles of the country include a wide range of products created by master craftspeople such as khaddar, khes, lungi, sussi, shawls, carpets, pattu, patti, farrasi and other embroidered artefacts.
The textile crafts on this piece of land have a tradition that has continued to grow through the centuries. Woollen fabrics made in this part were exported to Syria and Egypt in the early decades of the Christian era while the growth of textile arts was influenced by the availability of raw materials, the nature of the landscape, climate, occupation of the majority of the population, native sense of colour, beliefs and customs, all of which went into the making of people’s culture.
The simplest fabric of `khaddar’, described generally as rough cloth has its peculiar charm ever since it made its appearance thousands of years ago.
Besides a huge variety of fabrics being prepared today, Pakistani embroidery is considered as the main embellishment of any material with pattern or design done with the needle and thread on material that reflects the local traditions, cultural and physical environment of people and places where it developed.
Different areas of the country have their own distinct type and style of typical traditional work. During the Gandhara and Mughal periods, embroidery emerged as much patronised, significant craft while today Pakistan’s contemporary embroidery is a blend of the old and new and due to the ethnic mixture of the population.
Master artisan will get Rs 5,000 as honorarium for training five fellow crafts persons and this will be given to them on successful completion of the training during the marketing exposure/exhibition at provincial level such as craft, industrial and Mela exhibitions by chambers of commerce.