Complete India Travel Guide

"Indian textiles are among the world-class textiles and plays a major role in employment generation, the textile industry is not only giving strength to the Indian economy but also attaining a new height of syle, making its distinct place all over the world."
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Textiles in India

Brocade Textiles

Extreme softness vivid colours and translucent texture chracterises the silk weaving of India. Varanasi, centre silk weaving center is famous not only for its brocade or kinkab (superb weaving in gold and silver), but also for the wide variety of techniques and styles. The brocades are distinguished by apt poetic names like chand tara (moon and stars), dhupchhaon (sunshine and shade), mazchar (ripples of silver), morgala (peacock's neck), bulbul chasm (nightingale's eyes). Varanasi is also famous for tanchoi saree which resembles a fine miniature. Its origin can be traced to three Indian Parsi brothers by the name of Choi. In tanchoi sarees the designs are alway floral with interspersing of birds Mubrakpur, is one of the important silk weaving centres in the area. Jamdani or 'figured muslin' traditionally Woven in Dacca is now of speciality of Tada in Faizabad. the cotton fabric is brocaded with cotton and sometimes with zari threads. Each region has its typical technical skills and variations and the silk of Mysore, Kanchipuram, Murshidabad and Kashmir are as well known as the cotton sarees of Bengal or the cotton and silk maheshwaris of Madhya Pradesh.

The famous ikat technique is used in the Patolas of Gujarat and Orissa.


In the field of ornamentation, embroidery alone can match jewelleryin splendour. It is an expression of emotions,rendered with patient labour which includes grace and elegance into articles of everyday use. The chikan work of Lucknow, patterned on lace is delicate and subtle. The stitch by Its sheer excellence provids ornamentation to the material.The charm lies in the minuteness of the floral motifs, stitches used are satin stitch, button- hole stitch,dar stitch knot stitch netting and applique work which bring a charming shadowy effect on lace.

Embroidery done in metal wires by kalabattu or zari as it is popularly called, is in a class by itself.The hiavier and more elaborate work is Salma sitara, gijai, badla, katori seed pearls are used for decoration. Kamdani, a lighter needle work done on lighter material, produces a lovely glittering effect, expecially in designs known as hazara booti, thousand dots, done with zari thread. Kamdani is used for weaving apparel such as scarves veils, caps etc.

Hand Block Printing

The fabric is further decorated by printing designs on it. Hand block printing in India was the chief occupation of the chhipas -a community of printers. rhey used metal or wooden blocks to print desigt1s on the fabrics by hand. This technique is in vogue even today. Besides Rajasthan, Ut tar Pradesh is also a veritable treasure-house of traditional desigt1s which range from the classical booties. known as dots of Kanauj, to the universal Mango, to the famous Tree of Life. The great colour belt in India extends from the interior of Sind through the deserts of Kutch, Kathiawar, Rajasthan and Gujarat. Rajasthan and Gujarat are particularly noted for its bandhini design.

Ethnic Dresses

Smile, but do not laugh if you see a young French woman wearing a Kashmiri Shikara dress or Rajasthani ghagra and choli. India being a land of various communities, you can be sure of falling to temptation of buying atleast half a dozen ethnic dresses from various parts of the country. These are freely available in respective local markets.

Ideal Place to Shop

Varanasi, Mysore, Kashmir, Lucknow, Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Chennai, Kerala.


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