Close Knit Living
Housing Design for Occupation Based Community At Yeola
The handloom industry is one of the oldest and largest cottage industries in India with a 2000-year-old ancient tradition representing the vibrant Indian culture. It is said that India makes 95% of the world’s handmade textiles, unique to each geographical community within the country. This diversity in textiles and superior artistry of craftsmen is unmatched elsewhere. Indian artisans are appreciated globally for their hand spinning, weaving and printing techniques that are handed down from generations. The Indian handloom industry varies from Pashmina Shawls in Jammu and Kashmir, Kanchipuram Sarees in Tamil Nadu, Kutch Shawls in Gujarat, to the Eri and Muga silks of Assam.
One such beloved heirloom is the Paithani (saree) from the region of Yeola, Maharashtra. The Paithani is a prized possession and has been an essential part of the Maharashtrian bridal trousseau for centuries. Paithani as an art form originated in Pratishthan, the capital city of the Satvahana Empire, around 200 BC. In the 17th century under the Peshwas, the production also expanded from Paithan to Yeola, giving birth to a new range called the Yeola Paithani.
The houses in Yeola are a beautiful amalgamation of living and working quarters. As one walks down the by lanes the Kala Maruti road (Kshatriya gully, Shimpi gully, Madhali gully etc) it is unavoidable to notice the ‘rap trap rap’ sounds of the looms. We can safely say three out of four homes in the village have weaving looms within the domestic realm. Other ancillary activities like dyeing workshops, small retail outlets, grocery stores, tailoring units, sweet meat shops also dot the fabric of the village. These settlements are excellent examples of sustainable communities where the living, working, learning and playing takes place within the same organically grown habitat. There have been various government initiatives and NGO involvement to help create awareness and further flourish the Paithani sale. These initiatives have resulted in larger number of people from the neighbouring villages to be involved in the weaving art as the potential for the same is slowly strengthening.
The settlement is literally a ‘close knit living’.