PRISTINE HERITAGE OF INDIAN FABRICS
India has a diverse and rich textile tradition. It has a wide range of textiles of varied designs, manufactured by different techniques as compared to other countries of the world. The specialty in the weave of the textiles in each region is developed based on location, climate and cultural influences. In addition to being beautiful, Indian fabrics are the most suited to the Indian climate. The weaves are often colourful, and fabrics are often worked over with incredibly intricate embroidery.
Centuries-old, exquisite weaving traditions still run strong in various parts of the country, producing a breathtaking array of textiles, saris, and yardages for all occasions.
Let’s take a tour down the Indian sub continent and discover the beauty of Indian Fabrics by their region of origin and popularity:
Brocade, Uttar Pradesh
Brocade, as a technique, has existed for long in various parts of the world, but what makes Benarasi brocade unique is the use of precious gold and silver yarn in Mughal -inspired motifs. Benarasi brocade has also received its own GI (Geographical Indication) tag by the Government of India. It’s a huge moment for Benarasi weavers because it means that only brocade woven within the six identified districts of Uttar Pradesh can legally be sold under the name of Benarasi brocades or saris. Many Indian labels like Rajesh Pratap Singh, Sanjay Garg, Good Earth, Ritu Kumar, Anju Modi, Sabyasachi, among others, have consistently worked with Benarasi brocades and silks to create newer ways of celebrating an age-old weaving tradition.
Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh
Hand woven Chanderi owes its sheer, lightweight quality to the use of mill-spun cotton and silk yarns. The tradition of weaving Chanderi textiles and saris goes back as far as the 11th century. The fabric itself comes in many varieties: plain, woven with gold/silver zari, or patterned with zari motifs that are woven into the fabric using the extra-weft technique. And its signature sheen is the result of not degumming the silk yarn (to prevent the delicate threads from breaking) while it is being woven.
Kanjeevaram Silk, Tamil Nadu
It’s important to know that while Kanjeevaram refers to silk saris and fabrics, the centre for all weaving activities is called Kanchipuram—an ancient and important town that was once part of the famed Vijayanagara Empire. This rich textile, features figures from Hindu mythology, designs inspired by local flowers and creepers, and the signature zig-zag ‘temple spire’ design. Kanjeevaram saris are woven exclusively with pure Mulberry silk, which is endemic to South India. While the weaving technique is similar to Benarasi brocade, what differentiates the two are the origins and cultural inspirations that affect the designs, colours, and motifs used in each and the fact that the body of the sari, its borders, and the pallu are all woven separately and then interlocked together neatly and seamlessly. A Kanjeevaram sari is a must-have for married women in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh, and is worn with pride during festivals.
Jamdani, West Bengal
Made with hand spun and hand woven cotton, Jamdani uses the extra-weft technique where the weaver manually introduces opaque motifs on a base of translucent cotton while weaving. The test of a true Jamdani, it is said, lies in submerging the fabric in water. The fine muslin base should all but disappear, and the motifs appear to float freely. Today, many qualities of Jamdani—from not too translucent ones to super-sheer ones made in fine silk—are available all across West Bengal and Bangladesh.
Shining like liquefied gold, with bright silken motifs of peacocks and floral vines running all over the sari, the Paithani is one of the most exquisite and expensive saris in India: literal poetry in gold. The origin of the Paithani sari goes back to 200 BCE. The mark of a true paithani, till today, is that it is hand woven only in pure silk and gold zari. But that wasn’t always the case. Originally, Paithani saris had a fine-muslin body field (with gold zari running through, of course) with only the borders and pallu featuring silk to achieve colourful designs. Over time, cotton yarn gave way to silk and a new, more luxurious Paithani emerged.
One of the oldest and most complex weaving traditions known to man, Ikat has existed separately in various cultures ranging from Africa to Central Asia and India to Southeast Asia. Essentially, the master weaver tie-dyes silk or cotton warp yarns in pre-set patterns, and then matches that with pre-tie-dyed weft yarns, creating complex motifs ranging from geometric to floral to abstract.
Muga Silk, Assam
Muga, has been the pride of Assam since ancient times. Reserved for royalty until a few decades ago, Muga is known for its naturally golden tint, shimmering glow, and high durability. It’s known for becoming shinier and smoother with each wash, thanks to what Assam Silk moths eat—leaves of oak, fragrant cinnamon, magnolia, and michella. Muga silk was protected under the GI tag in 2007, and since then, the industry has flourished, producing running yardages as well as the traditional Assamese mekhela-chador and almost all religious ceremonies and festive occasions are marked by the donning of Muga mekhela-chador sets.
Kalamkari is a type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile. There are two distinctive styles of kalamkari art in India — the Srikalahasti style and the Machilipatnam style. The Srikalahasti style of kalamkari is done using a pen for freehand drawing of pattern and filling in the colours, is entirely hand worked. Machilipatnam style of Kalamkari work involves vegetable Dyed block-painting of a fabric.
Dyed in tie & dye style, the art of bandhani is a highly skilled process. In this, the fabric is tied into small points with threads and when dyed, the knotted parts remain uncoloured. Different types of tying methods are leheriya, ,mothda,ekdali, trikundi, chaubandi, etc. It is also known as Bandhej, and is made on superfine cotton, mulmul, muslin.
This fabric have square weave pattern which makes it one of the finest open weave fabric .The cotton, silk and zari (fine metal threads) yarns is weaving on the pit loom that produces these patterns. The cotton yarn provides stiffness and silk provides lustre to the fabric.
With this virtual tour of the rich heritage fabrics of India we now know the huge and diverse culture we are part of. And the best part is, you can avail all these beautiful , age old Indian Fabrics at the comfort of your home from www.designcart.com.