Pavithra Muddaya


Pavithra’s work has been primarily design development and guidance of the weavers, apart from documenting motifs, techniques, designs and oral history.

Her speciality has been in reviving forgotten designs and motifs. What she does is to take the weaver in a step by step manner to arrive as close to the original textile that is being re-produced. This also includes gauging the skills of the weavers, keeping the economics of producing it; this often means simplifying the techniques to achieve a marketable product. Thus boosting the confidence of weaver and providing a viable solution for all parties involved.

To mention an example, there have been certain designs that have been produced for 35years continuously impacting innumerable people all over southern India.

Looking back over the years, there is a sense of fulfilment in guiding &mentoring weavers to have scripted their success stories – almost 90% success rate with the 2nd generation continuing in the handloom field and not finding the necessity to migrate to other jobs and cities in search of a better life.

In this way the future generation gets to own their textile legacy and also contribute to keeping handlooms alive. Handlooms is one of the few jobs that does not have an adverse impact on the environment, it provides financial independency,  gives room for expressing creativity & allows mastery of life and time.

Pavithra’s journey has allowed her to be part of many state & central Government organisations promoting handlooms and design development. Ashoka Innovators for the Public gave her recognition and a citation, the first time that her work was looked at the impacting weavers by use of design.

The India Foundation for the Arts gave her a grant to study the Molkalmuru motifs. The study encompassed a wide range of topics that included weaver migration, associated communities, customs, social norms, inter-religious dependency and the varied techniques in textiles available with certain areas; all based largely on oral history.

Pavithra participated and curated handloom textiles for the “India – South Africa Shared History” Exhibition in Johannesburg by Teamworks Events. Recently Pavithra addressed different groups across the U.S.A & Canada and also the department of S.E. Asian studies at the Iowa University. In 2015 she spoke on conservation through revival, at the Intach Delhi. And also at NIFT Bangalore

Today Vimor welcomes the 3rd generation of Pavithra’s Children, Vipra & Arup who bring a breath of new air. Mentioned below are some of the awards and the committees & projects she  has received/worked on:

  • Part of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Weavers Service Centre-Bangalore.
  • Nominated to the South Zonal Committee for selection of handlooms for the National Awards in Handlooms.
  • Appointed twice as a freelance designer under Central Government ‘Freelance Designer Scheme’ to bring about change in design in the co-operative handloom societies in saree design (Karnataka and Tamil Nadu)
  • Awarded a Certificate of Merit by Ministry of Textiles in 1997 for revival of Molkalmuru Design.
  • Awarded by Ashoka Innovators for the Public “A Recognition for Contribution to Society for creating new avenues for the weaving communities of India through design and marketing interventions 2002-2003.”
  • Member of the Implementation Committee for National Centre for Textile Design since its inception (Ministry of Textiles –Delhi).The function is to short list and select designs from various Weaver Service Centre’s and to advise and compile for the design directory TANTAVI to help exporters access weavers.
  • Was a member of Core Group of Central Silk Board 2005-2007, the function was to oversee the implementation of Product Design Development and Diversification and Marketing Support Cell ‘The Cocoon’.
  • Was on the State Level Committee for Integrated Handloom Training Programme. The function was to select Handloom organizations and to impart training to 20 people for 2 months in dyeing, weaving and design so as to create better earning capacities.
  • Was on the Advisory Committee for Textiles to The Government of Karnataka
  • Voluntary work with NGO- Concern for Working Children (CWC) to train young adults in weaving for vocational training.