Paper Weaving & more with Raahul of ABCD

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Weaving isn’t just a few hundred years old but this repetitive, deeply meditative action to create string-like structures has existed since the Paleolithic ages. Something that began with plant fibres, is also widely seen on fabric and paper. This post is going to shine light on a paper-weaver, who not only creates beauties by weaving paper, but while doing so, also spares a thought for the planet, by doing it the ‘sustainable way’. Meet Raahul of ABCD, a Bangalore-based multidisciplinary designer focused on sustainability, who is making his mark in the design world, one weave at a time. To begin with, have a listen to Raahul’s TED talk:

ABCD: Saving energy & resources by up-cycling paper

Whenever there is mention of industrial production, then conversations about the ‘waste’ generated always come up and rightly so! As I write this, I understand that the UK government is considering declaring a climate emergency! How we handle our production wastes today is even more important than ever. Did you know that typically the ‘waste’ generated is about 3-4% of the raw materials used? The samaritans of the planet send what they can to the re-cycling sites and the remaining to the landfill sites, but not without adding to both, the transport and the energy costs. This is precisely where work done by Raahul comes into the frame. 

Raahul focusses on this ‘waste’, that is continually being created by the printing presses around his local area. The printing presses generates waste, which is simply paper cut into strips. This is a resource for ABCD, and indeed a valuable one. One man’s waste is another man’s resource and all that….This isn’t all, folks. Raahul & his team have since filed for a patent for the paper weaving loom and for the process of ‘using waste as a resource’. The process of printing paper, and the weaving looms have existed for hundreds of years, weaving different materials into various finished products but what Raahul & his team have done is, give a different design perspective to the traditional process. 

Woven paper – the applications

ABCD’s woven paper will be used in several distinct areas. From interior design & architectural projects, hospitality industry projects, to product designs. These woven sheets of paper will find use as interior surfaces or in modular wall partitioning, lighting or perhaps in conference halls and hotel lobbies; the areas of its use is only limited by the user’s imagination. Do get in touch with Raahul,if this is of interest to you.

Up-cycling away, supporting communities, ABCD is making a mark in the design world

ABCD ‘rescues’ huge amounts of paper that is found as waste or leftover margins and often as the extra paper from printing presses, from waste vendors or individual donors from going to recycling. The core inspiration comes from nature and its behavioural patterns to create unique designs of products and services to put in a human context.

Up-cycling in its original context is quite interesting to explore. Using waste or discarded material
in its same form without processing it further as a resource is essentially what it is.  Raahul believes that if implemented in large scale industries, it has great potential to reduce the consumption of fresh materials.

ABCD’s in-house artisans are trained for a variety of craft processes at the studio, as this is where they work with ‘waste’ materials. All in-house artisans are self-taught and also trained by various designers in an array of techniques. ABCD partners with different NGOs, each with a different focus. Here is some information about them:

  • RTU Hubli is a rehabilitation centre for the differently abled. They are trained for
    traditional block printing and have a unit for the same with a large range of blocks.
  • Diya foundation is focused to work with individuals with Down syndrome and
    work with ABCD on creating paper bags, fabric bags and paper mache bowls.
  • Sandesh’s focus is also around mentally challenged individuals. They are working with ABCD to develop and produce a range of paper-mache lighting elements.

ABCD is continuously looking for NGOs and individuals for collaborations. So, if you share the same belief as Raahul, then do get in touch with him.

Learn more about ABCD 

Have a peep into some of Raahul’s work in the ‘paper-weaving’ area:

woven paper, paper weaving, upcycle, paper, printing, interiors, architecture

paper weaving, upcycle paper, printing, interior, design, architecture

Raahul also runs another initiative, The Second Life, where just as the name suggests, he up-cycles and re-cycles to create stationery and home accessories. We are in love with these beauties. Enjoy a little peep of these:

upcycled paper, recycled, stationery, made in india, handmade

See Also

upcycled paper, recycled, stationery, bowls, paper mache, made in india, handmade

upcycled paper, recycled, stationery, paper mache, lamp, made in india, handmade

There are just so many more products designed by Raahul that make us believe that living a sustainable lifestyle isn’t that hard; that re-cycling and re-using should be the norm; that all this doesn’t have to cost the earth. To support the artisans who create this, to support the various crafts that are used for these, to do your ‘bit’ for a better planet, please do get in touch with Raahul. 

Up-cycle, Re-cycle, Re-use; Appreciate the power of Design and Sustainability, be Notjustashopper!




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