Tales of Traditional Indian Textiles – The Introduction

India is home to a plethora of handlooms, weaves and handicrafts. New innovations in textile production, manufacture and design came about being during and after the Industrial Revolution – new wheels, looms and spinning processes changed textile industry in India. However, Indian hand-woven fabrics have been popular since time immemorial.

Indian textile traditions are admired around the world for their beauty, texture and durability. Similar to its diverse culture, India has had a diverse and rich textile tradition. The origin of Indian textiles and knowledge of weaving homespun cotton for garments can be traced to the Indus valley civilization.

Weavers in India, since generations have been highly skilled in producing intricate and delicate textiles, sometimes using complicated looms. The art of dyeing a thread for weaving and the hand-woven fabric was also well developed. Deep and profound colors have been used from very early days, creating fabric that was handmade and remains unique.

Fabrics from different parts of India have captured global market from ancient times. Poets, emperors and queens from Mughal era and various dynasties have fallen in love with the finery of textiles of India.

India spread across an enormous area. The attire and guise of each part of this vast nation is highly influenced by various factors like climatic conditions, geographical location, culture, language. With a deep and ancient history, there is no way in which the textiles from different parts of India could be anything less than their rich background.

In this blog series, we will explore the world renowned textiles of India, talk about their origins, weaving methods and that one thing that makes them special. Let’s try and understand what factors influenced a particular style of textile, or weave or embroidery in a part of India.

Let’s start at the top and travel around the hills and valleys in the upcoming blog.

Do let me know, if there are any interesting anecdotes or insights I might have missed or you would like to share about each type of fabric, embroidery. Watch this space for interesting discussion on Indian textiles.

 

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