Godhadi - Upcycled quilts
Godhadi is a type of blanket native to Maharashtra. They are made by using refurbished old saris or pieces of clothes, which are joined together by hand stitches, using traditional thread and needles. It is the art of discarded fabric. Every Godhadi is different with an artisan touch to it. Godhadi is a layer of cloths of various sizes attached.
The materials used are old clothes, threads, needles. The base material is used clothes and used saris. The base material is first washed and cleaned, and then ironed to make it flat. The clothes are divided into two types according to their positioning; one is used for the external layer which is generally a long piece of cloth that includes saris or dupattas. And the other is for internal layering, which are smaller clothes, in which they use flat portions from shirts, pants etc. The needles and threads are used to give stitches to the fabric, and different size needles are used for different sizes of stitches and according to the thickness of the cloth. The thread used for making Godhadi is available only in white colour. The addition of colour makes the thread weaker, hence to make the thread stronger no colours are added.
Godhadi is always rectangular with varying sizes depending upon their use, for example, Godhadi for baby is smaller in size where the Godhadi for elder people is bigger. There are different types of Godhadi made in different parts of Maharashtra. Some of them also have designs created in patchwork. The Godhadi of the Khandesh region is primarily made up of saree where the proportions are derived from the proportions of a sari.
The Godhadi making process happens in summer when there is no farm-related work happens. Women decide days and come together in the afternoon time to stitch Godhadi which becomes a social gathering event. Women join the gathering sometimes to just enjoy the event. The process starts with layering and while stitching they share stories of their daily life describe incidents which they heard of or saw, and sometimes to express the emotions they choose the medium of song in their local language. These songs are of different kinds, some of them inspired by their father’s house or the married life.
In one of the interviews with the Asian Age, Komal Machindar co-founder of Ornate works with Godhadi artists said that “The Godhadis have health benefits too, the patients who have respiratory problems should use it since Godhadis does not trap as much as dust like normal blankets.
The making of a Godhadi is a long-drawn process and can take up to at least three months to finish. They are made purely for functional and personal use as blankets, Most villagers refuse to sell their Godhadis even for a handsome price. For it is a story not only of recycled old materials but also hours of labour to provide protection for the family in harsh climatic conditions, besides showcasing a woman's love for her family members. Some of the cloth pieces used to make the Godhadis serve as a treasured memory for some family members.