Desi Oon Festival: This weekend, celebrate wool

Desi Oon Festival 2022

‘Desi Oon’ refers to wool produced within India from a combination of indigenous and hybrid breeds.

The Desi Oon Festival, an event that aims to introduce you to the iconic textiles of the pastoralist communities of India, will begin this weekend. The four-day festival will celebrate the crafts and communities associated with Indian wool and highlight the huge opportunity to use this abundant material to make a range of beautiful and useful products. For the past two years, the festival was celebrated online due to Covid-19.

‘Desi Oon’ refers to wool produced within India from a combination of indigenous and hybrid breeds. Visitors to the Festival will get a chance to experience the world of Indian wool through films, graphics, photographs, audio, text, installations, demos, interactions and retail products.

The festival is a window to the Pattu, Bardi, Dhabda, Gardu, Kullvi Shawls and the Gongadi, iconic textiles of the pastoralist communities from Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh respectively. These and other heirloom products and contemporary adaptations produced by a network of 17 partner organisations will be available for purchase. This includes apparel and home furnishings such as coats, mittens, mufflers, cushion covers, rugs and dhurries.

Besides, visitors will be able to interact with artisans, herders, designers and practitioners from various regions who work with Desi Oon, through workshops on traditional spinning, weaving, felting, knitting and macrame techniques.

Wool is about much more than just textiles. Its remarkable characteristics make it a very versatile material. It can protect against both heat and cold, repel dust, regulate humidity, retard flame, dampen sound and even remove toxins from the air. It is waterproof, low-maintenance, and, with its negligible carbon footprint, it is a fibre for the future.

One of these eye-opening possibilities will be about how indigenous wool can be an economical and environmentally friendly insulation material for buildings. There will be prototype samples of various insulation technologies that have been developed and visuals of buildings where they have been put to use. A few beginnings are also being made with Desi Oon for the storage and transport of temperature-sensitive perishable goods and these too will be displayed during the show.

There will be a series of panel discussions on a range of issues relating to indigenous wool and its wider applications. Centre for Pastoralism’s National Wool Report, a study on India’s indigenous wool, will also be launched at the festival.

When: December 16 – 20, 2022

Where: Triveni Kala Sangam, New Delhi

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