Thursday, November 25, 2010

Textile Digression

One of the main reasons for my going to India was the draw of Indian textiles. So this would be a good place to introduce them. Our first stop was in Aurangabad where we were taken to a factory that made Paithani Sari's. Originally these sari's were only worn by royalty because the designs were woven using gold threads. Today, some of the gold is replaced with silver so the prices have become more reasonable. The designs are taken from the artwork found in the Ajanta caves and use of mango, peacock, and lotus are usual designs. These are all woven on handlooms and can take anywhere from 2 months to 2 years to complete. We are talking 6 yards of fabric here. Prices range from $130.00 to over $12,000.00. These become family heirlooms. I watched while one woman worked on one that would take her 18 months to complete. It was stunning. Many of the women have looms in their homes. The designs range from the very simple to the very elaborate. I did not take photos ( not allowed) so here is a link that shows some of the designs... If you click on each photo it will be enlarged. No, I did not buy one.. for which I am sure my hubby is thankful! Maybe next time .

Our next stop was to learn about the Himroo style. This was introduced by the Moghuls and it means "similar" or repetitive. The same designs are used over and over and basically copied. There is no variation. As with most hand weaving processes in India, most of the looms are in the homes of the women who work them. We did see some men weaving but for the most part, it is the women who do it. The piece is woven on a throw shuttle loom and has an extra weft. These are brocades. They can be made with a cotton warp using silk or silk type weft, or all silk. The resulting piece has a sheen to it. Designs are geometrical and floral. The designs all have to be pre-decided as the loom is set up because of the extra weft. They are mostly used for the home or shawls and large throws. This link will show you some of the typical designs..

The Salwar Kameez is a wonderful and comfortable outfit. It consists of a tunic top, either long or short, and a pair of trousers which can be baggy and nipped in at the ankle or leggings that pool at the ankle. Sometimes it comes with a matching shawl or Dupati. It can be made of just about anything... cotton, silk, linen, or any mixture of these. The Indians have an eye for mixing and matching, designs, color, texture, etc. Here is a link that shows some of the styles... they are endless.  I went to town here! I bought some with silk long tunics with hand embroidery and coordinating pants and matching Dupati. I bought cotton tunics with cotton leggings, I bought some with silk tunics and cotton pants. I bought silk tunics with silk pants and silk dupati. By U.S. prices, these were dirt cheap. For some of the 3 piece outfits in silk, I could not even buy a pair of slacks here. The photo here is a cotton one with contrasting borders sewn in with embroidery on the yoke and leggings. Scarf was mine that I already owned.  The 2 pieces were less than $25.00. I splurged on some with 3 pieces made of silk for the princely sum of $100.00. I will take some pictures in the next few days of some of the others.

Mumbai (Bombay) and Aurangabad are in the state of Maharashtra. Ahmedabad is in Gujarat... a place I want to return to as it is a large textile area. From here we are going to go to Rajasthan.


Gerrie said...

wish you had done some shopping for me! LOL Gorgeous.

Rayna said...

Sherryl - you look beautiful in this outfit!