Contemporary Silk Ikat Weaving in Gujarat, India: Perspectives on an Emerging Terrain

A Virtual Lecture with Dr. Urmila Mohan

Cloth is a dynamic participant in socio-cultural change. Earlier this year, Dr. Urmila Mohan visited the state of Gujarat in India and traveled to major ikat handweaving regions as preparation for longer fieldwork. Through this talk, Dr Mohan will share preliminary observations on ikat weavers as well as how and why silk ikat textiles have become popular in state and local markets. Dr. Mohan will consider the traditional importance of this weaving form in Gujarat, provide an overview of its history and expansion, indicate design and technical changes, and explore how craft expansion creates socio-cultural change in the lives of weavers themselves. This talk will be useful for a wide audience including those in textile and heritage research, textile design practice, and artisanal development.

With your contribution to this lecture, you will gain access to a specially curated reading list by Dr. Mohan. The books on this list are available for view in person at Tatter Textile Library in Brooklyn. Dr. Mohan and Tatter hope that these resources will support your continued learning on this topic. This list will be sent with the recording after the live lecture.

Thursday, July 11th, 2024


3 pm – 4:30 pm ET

Zoom, a link will be sent to participants the week before the lecture


Tickets for this event are sold on a sliding scale beginning at $10 with a suggested donation of $25, but if you wish to pay less or more than the suggested donation, you may select a different amount from the drop down menu. As always, we are grateful for your support, which ensures the continuation and preservation of textile knowledge. Thank you for making this series possible. 

Tatter Library is a registered 501(c)3. Our speaker series is part of our community programming and proceeds support the continued success of our talks with artists, scholars, and historians we admire. For this event, all ticket proceeds will go towards keeping this series alive. 


If you would like to apply for a scholarship spot, please email [email protected] with a short letter with insight into your creative and academic journey and how you think this lecture might support your growth.


This lecture will be recorded. A link to the recording will be emailed to all those who register following the live session. This link is live for one month for you to watch at your convenience.


Urmila Mohan (Ph.D., 2015, University College London/UCL) is a public-facing anthropologist of material culture and making with a focus on cloth, clothing, and bodily practices. She is Honorary Research Fellow, Dept. Of Anthropology, UCL, and the founder/editor of the open-access digital journal “The Jugaad Project” on embodiment and belief. Dr. Mohan has published and lectured extensively on materiality, embodiment, and aesthetics in contexts of museums, religious communities, and pandemic maker groups in India, Indonesia, and the U.S. She curated the 2018 exhibit and authored the monograph “Fabricating Power with Balinese Textiles”. She will be undertaking long-term research on ikat in Gujarat, India (2024-2025) as a Fulbright-Nehru Academic & Professional Excellence Awardee. A transdisciplinary scholar who works across domains and geographies, she draws upon her background in anthropology, design, and art to develop and connect these fields through the study of materiality and embodiment.