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Arts / Entertainment

Textiles from India July 16-17

June 29, 2010

Indian embroidery from the Rabari, a formerly nomadic people now scattered throughout northwest India, is the focus of a free lecture, an embroidery workshop, and a sale of textiles being hosted by the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, July 16 and 17. Workshop participants will learn mirror work embroidery and will make small bags which they may then take home.

Young Kala Raksha artisans in a courtyard doing the meticulous work of creating hand embroidery pieces.

At first glance...

On the face of it, Colorado State University is:

  • Hosting a speaker who won the Sir Misha Black Medal, acknowledging her contributions to design education (for her oversight of the creation of a school for traditional artists in India)
  • Sponsoring a workshop featuring two highly accomplished Rabari embroiderers
  • Holding a trunk sale of Rabari textiles 

Supporting traditional artists

But if you look a little deeper, you'll realize that through these events, Colorado State's Avenir Museum is making a contribution toward the preservation of traditional arts, as well as creating a venue in which people may present their own cultures through their work.

The lecture, workshop, and sale are all part of "Textiles from India – A Fort Collins Celebration," to be held at the University Center for the Arts Annex at 1400 Remington Street in Fort Collins, July 16 and 17. 

Lecture on Nomadic Rabaris art

Textiles from India kicks off at 7 p.m. July 16 in Room 136 of the University Center for the Arts Annex with a free lecture by Judy Frater. Frater is the author of the highly acclaimed Threads of Identity: Embroidery and Adornment of the Nomadic Rabaris. 

The Rabari are a formerly nomadic people now scattered throughout several states in northwest India. Frater has worked with Kala Raksha, a Rabari artisan group in Kutch, India, since its founding in 1993. 

Speaker designed school for traditional arts

Kala Raksha aims to preserve and present Kutch ethnic cultures through their traditional arts to encourage understanding and appreciation as well as to generate income for the artisans. 

Frater was awarded an Ashoka Foundation Fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship to design Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya, a school for traditional artists, in 2003. In 2009, she received the Sir Misha Black Medal for Distinguished Service to Design Education, a prestigious international award.

Traditional hand embroidery on bags created by the Rabari.

Learn mirror work embroidery

From 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, July 17, in Room 136 of the University Center for the Arts Annex, two highly accomplished Rabari embroiderers will conduct an embroidery workshop representing these traditional artists groups:

  • Kala Raksha
  • Meghiben Meriya
  • Harkhuben Bhojraj Rabari

Frater will serve as translator. Participants will learn mirror work embroidery as they make small bags to take home.

Trunk sale of textiles

A trunk sale of textiles, many featuring mirror work, will be held from 1-5 p.m. Friday, July 16, following the lecture and from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, July 17, following the workshop.


Registration for the workshop is required and space is limited. The fee for the workshop is $50 and includes supplies.To register for the workshop or for more information on the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, contact Linda Carlson, curator, at (970) 491-1983 or

Event sponsor

The sponsor of this event, the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising, is a part of the Department of Design and Merchandising in the College of Applied Human Sciences at Colorado State University.

Contact: Linda Carlson
Phone: (970) 491-1983