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
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.
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.