Mumbai is ready to get its first textile museum to document, archive and showcase Mumbai’s textile legacy. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will start constructing the textile museum in February this year. The building will include a live, functioning mini-textile mill and a representation of the old world chawl life. In addition, landscaping is planned around a lake inside the compound, an amphitheatre and a musical fountain.
The entire complex will be spread across 16.3 acres of land at the shuttered United Mill compound in the Kalachowki area in Mumbai’s Eastern suburbs, of which 14 acres will be used for construction and the remaining for beautification. Mumbai’s Municipal commissioner, Ajoy Mehta said the planning committee is to make the museum interactive for the public and accessible to all. Mehta said he has asked the committee to restore the mills, the water body in the compound. The BMC has also appointed JJ School of Arts, Mumbai's premier art institute established in 1857, to prepare a vision document for the museum and to design its architecture.
Part of the United Mills compound are three ring and spinning structures, a chimney, a semi-automatic loom and a pond, all of which are protected by varying heritage status levels. Restoration work on some of the structures has already begun. All the heritage structures will be restored to its past glory.
The new museum will include fashion galleries that display traditional Indian textiles as well as the life and culture of the mill worker communities over the ages and education about India's and specifically Mumbai's once thriving textile industry.