If you are a textile fanatic like I am, you be knocked off your feet in India. India has been famous for its luxurious, high quality fabrics, embroidery, artisanal traditions, and handloom textiles for many centuries. Here are some of my favorites.
Khadi means handspun and handwoven. is an Indian fabric that is 100% natural and handmade in Indian homes in small, rural villages. It is most commonly made from raw cotton that is handwoven and handspun on a wheel, a process that is increasingly rare in a world where economical, but non-sustainable industrial textiles have become the norm. This handloom fabric has characteristic weaving abnormalities which add to its natural beauty and texture. Because it is handmade, the yarn has gone through less stress and is thus more durable.
The production of khadi provides a liveihood to thousands of skilled rural artisans, most of whom are women.
Crepe is a luxurious fabric that is traditionally woven in silk, but can also be made with wool and synthetic fibers. Silk crepe has a lightweight, crinkled texture. It is extremely popular for Indian sarees.
Kalamkari, is a 300 year-old textile folk art originating in Gujrat, India, also known as "Mata ni Pachedi". It was considered a sacred art that centered around stories of Goddesses. These designs are painted entirely with natural pigments. The artist starts with an outline in black using a combination of wood block prints and free-hand painting. The color is filled in with brushes made from bamboo. After the fabric is treated and dyed it is laid out to dry naturally in the sun. The textiles were hung on temple walls and often served as shrines for the marginalized. Sadly, it's a fading art form as the process of treating, painting and dying the cotton can take months.
Kalamkari Face Masks
Georgette in its pure form is woven out of silk, whereas faux georgette is created from a combination of nylon and polyester. It is a soft and comfortable fabric that drapes very beautifully, giving the wearer a graceful and feminine look.
Bhandini is an Indian form of tie-dye that has little in common with what we see in the US. This art from is done by skilled artisans know as "bandhanara" who learn this intricate art form at a young age and perfect it over a lifetime. Tying fabric can take days or months depending on how intricate the design and can have thousands of ties or dots.
that is done plucking tiny pieces of cloth and tying them with a continuous, cotton thread. The process takes many hours
Bhandini sarees are traditionally worn by Indian brides for good luck.
Bhandini tie and dye silk robe