Maheen Ausaf is a Pakistani textile designer/artist and an educator living and working in Lahore, Pakistan.
She has gained experience teaching weave design at Pakistan institute of fashion and design, where she was a Lecturer. She maintains a design studio and handloom unit where she creates artisanal weavings using a variety of materials and colour palettes. Swatches are used to create textile patterns for woven production, used as further investigations for other artworks, or they are simply artworks unto themselves.
She started working on a project where She wanted to engage closely with the local community weavers in Kasur (town in outskirts of Lahore). The town used to be hub of handlooms once but with the passage of time most of the handloom weavers have left the centuries old craft and moved towards power looms or other businesses due to the economic strains and other reasons. It’s been almost 2 years where she not only engaged local weavers but also inspired the young people to learn the craft. The handloom unit consists of a team of 6 weavers, a master weaver and a warper. She has been exploring different possibilities in weave with the help of theses local weavers.
Schooled in Lahore, she holds a Bachelor’s in Textile Design from Pakistan institute of fashion and design Lahore. She is a creative design talent alongside with a technical understanding of fabrics, she developed her passion and flair for weave, print and hand embroidery.
The construction of woven cloth is at the core of my practice. For the last two years I have been exploring both the 24-shaft handloom without Dobby head and the traditional handloom in parallel. My investigation into weaving and textiles is inspired by the qualities inherent in their structure, production, design, craft, and history.
Most of my work is about exploring the effects of combining colour and different qualities of yarn to develop patterns. On a 24-shaft loom you have a margin to play with different weaves and patterns. My initial steps however, involve developing a pattern and placing different weave drafts into it. My favourite part in weaving is especially the supplementary weft. Supplementary weaving is a decorative technique in which additional threads are woven into a textile to create an ornamental pattern in addition to the ground pattern. The supplementary weave can be of the warp or of the weft.
I create with a desire to explore and satisfy my artistic needs, and to present and promote hand weaving. I pursue my own style, and build on what experience I have gathered and gained from past design, technique and knowledge.
My current work, which is based on the concept of supplementary weft patterning, is an amalgamation of contemporary and artisanal design, using traditional technique of weaving on a handloom.
The Float lengths vary in width, depending upon the desired pattern effect.