Your favorite weave / print

#1 Jan 10th, 2018, 14:58
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Hello Everyone

Through your wanderings in India, you may have come across and been tempted to buy hand made shawls, sarees, lunghi, kurta or other fabric. Was it handwoven? handprinted? Did you fall in love with the design? the color?

Perhaps you'd like to share a photograph here of what it was, where you bought it and anything else that made it unique.

I bought highgrown pashmina (from changthang) in Ladakh and kanchivaram silk saree from Kanchipuram during my travels ....

I'll post a photo when i can access my stash of photos.

till then, post away!

-V_A
#2 Jan 10th, 2018, 17:54
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#2
I am the same with cloth as with music. I love it, and love to enjoy its multiple textures and patterns --- but I know very little about it.

I can hardly escape knowing Kanchipuram silk, of course. It is a little puzzling that a quite heavy-weight fabric became the luxury wear of this hot and humid part of India!

On my first visit to India, I spent a fortune in a Kanchipuram shop. My purchases included two beautiful saris, which, after all the gifts had had been given, remained, often admired, but never worn, until I married Mrs N. I think that both, along with a couple of dozen other silk saris, were lost in the flood, but at least they got to see the light of day on special occasions before that! I guess that I paid thousands for them in 1997. I guess that the same thing today would cost tens of thousands.

One silk that I find particular intriguing is Tussar silk. It feels and handles more like paper, and even has a crinkly feeling if scrunched. I had some kurtas in interesting colours, that I used to wear when playing music in London.

Here in Chennai, I tend to agree with Mrs N that silk is really not the most ideal wear for our climate, and too prefer to stick to cotton. I also prefer to avoid high-maintenance clothes, and have long since tried to avoid anything with a dry-clean only label.
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#3 Jan 10th, 2018, 18:04
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Banarasi falls in the same category. I love the way it looks - and have absolutely no use for it. It wont be stitched into a shirt and a kurta /sherwani is ceremonial, perhaps once a year wear.

This last week of December, I went to a part of Jaipur that was once thriving. It's called Rajeev Gandhi Handloom Haveli (or similar). There were, at one point of time, six state govt emporiums. Now, there're two - the J&K one, that i find overpriced and a UP one, that was so sadly under-stocked - he had seven, yes, i could count them, pieces of fine banarasi. I've never seen such a good price for such an amazing banarasi - there was zari intricately woven through and through the sari. Sadly, I had no use for it and passed it up.

The weaves I find most fascinating all involve designs inspired from nature - typically flowers and mangoes - or animals - banarasi and kanchipuram in silk and nomadic rabari pieces from kutch and rajasthan.
#4 Jan 11th, 2018, 10:18
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#4
I will post some pictures. But first I need to take some. Maybe on the weekend.
#5 Feb 20th, 2018, 22:27
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Rogan josh: A dying art kept alive in a few enthusiastic households


Photo: Alamy

Quote:
Sumar Khatri sits cross-legged on the bare floor of his house. A blue plastic container that looks just like a simple spice box, found in most Indian kitchens, is lying open next to him. Inside, however, are an array of pigments soaked in water.

He works oblivious to his surroundings in what looks like a composed scene. He takes some of the yellow dye, places it on the heel of his hand and mixes it with a metal stylus.

Soon, the dye is malleable and can be stretched into a thin yellow string; it's like a conjurer performing magic with his wand. Khatri then places a piece of fabric on his now stretched legs and then twists, turns and pulls the dye coated stylus to place a floral motif on the cloth in seconds—without the stylus touching the fabric.

He is done soon with a couple of them, after which he slowly folds the cloth. When he unfolds it, an imprint of the design is found on the other side—an exact mirror image. One look at it and anyone would be tricked by the even design of the rogan art into thinking that it's printed work.

This is Nirona, a dusty, sleepy village near Bhuj in Gujarat where cows laze and children hop through its narrow streets. Mud houses with crumbling walls sport intricate facades that once stood majestic.

I had travelled by road from Ahmedabad the day before and halted at Bhuj, the district headquarters of Kutch, for the night. The seven-hour drive had taken me through the semi-arid zone of Kutch—acacias in the scrubland, forage grasses in the Banni grasslands, vast fields of castor and, of course, the ubiquitous salt pans. The Tropic of Cancer running across the district implies hot weather conditions and an average annual rainfall of just around 350mm.
Livemint
#6 Mar 13th, 2018, 21:47
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#6

The life of a weaver


One of Abdullah’s designs

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“If you weave good pieces, you will get good returns, this is what I feel,” says Abdullah, whose words belie his 37 years. He is the recepient of the Sutrakar Samman Award 2017, which is presented annually by the Delhi Craft Council to a weaver for his innovation and skill

Abdullah is from Mubarakpur, a small town about 13 km from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh. Mubarakpur has been the bastion of Benares sari weaving. Over the years, it seemed to be losing its significance, but timely interventions have led to renewed interest among the weavers and consumers.

Passion for the loom

Abdullah has been weaving for over 25 years. What marks him out is his unceasing love for the loom and the willingness to learn. “Thankfully there have never been any complaints about my work. I have had long stints with master weavers who used to love my creations, I have worked independently and now I work with a SHG. I believe in my work.” His specialty is the khadua or weaving the brocaded borders and motifs for which Benarasis are known. “Khadna or khadai on the loom which is done using small attachments or tillis give that brocaded look. We have to see if the threads are uniformly drawn; they should not criss cross.”

Abdullah started weaving when he was 11; he learnt the technique from his father. His sisters would work on the brocaded pieces and he learnt from them. In a year or so, he was proficient enough to weave a sari on his own. When he was 20, he installed two hand looms in his house. “I used to buy the yarn and do my own designs. My saris had many takers.” However, when market conditions deteriorated it hit the weavers hard. Master weavers make saris for traders from Benares. Their earnings depend on what the buyer fixes. Wages for weavers are not high. “Gradually I learnt what works and what doesn’t in the market. I also mastered the technique with the help of the master weavers with whom I worked. Today I can make any pattern, if you show me the design I can replicate it,” says Abdullah, who takes immense pride in his work.
Hindu
#7 Mar 14th, 2018, 09:48
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#7
Quote:
Rogan josh
Wow, I thought this was a foodie thread. Do they still have this in Srinagar, Rishta.?
#8 Oct 5th, 2018, 12:28
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A good explanation of stages of Ajrakh print -

http://www.dsource.in/resource/ajrak...g-and-printing
#9 Oct 5th, 2018, 13:16
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I am very fond of many kinds of Indian textiles. I despair of finding some things ever again now that the community khadi shops are gone.

For several years I bought handloomed himroo shawls in Ellora to sell in the US - beautiful textures and patterns, often reversible, several sizes and shapes, many colors, silk, cotton, wool, synthetics and blends of these. Around here they weave in motifs from the art of the Ellora Caves along with traditional florals and paisley/mango. You can buy fakes on the street corners of Rome and Paris now, three for ten Euros.

Silk sarees. Paithani sarees! Make me wish my life included enough saree-wearing occasions to justify. My mother bought one in Varanasi back when it was Benares and it was stuffed into a storage trunk for twenty years until she had it made into a wedding dress, ivory silk with gold embroidery. I am glad that old sarees are being collected now, and transformed into items like bedspreads and pillow covers. I bought a purple silk saree in 1969, wore it one time (my mom's wedding), and have no idea what happened to it after.

When I was retailing, I also found pashminas -- the real deal -- were very popular -- people liked the feel so much they didn't care what the price was. And that old trick of pulling it through a wedding ring to show how fine it is was a great sales technique, always sealed the deal.

Now my favorite is Jaipuri blockprint cottons. These are getting harder and harder to find, with machine-printed sheets replacing the old kind everywhere. I am headed for Jaipur next month to buy as many as I can for the new gift shop at my resort, which will be stocked with all handmade-in-India items and foodstuffs we grow ourselves.

My friend owns a famous shop in Paris (Simrane) that specializes in blockprints, but oriental tourists are in the habit of buying one small piece, and taking it home to be copied in their factories, so it became easy to buy the cheap fakes. He developed relationships in Jaipur back in the seventies that guaranteed his supply line, so his business continues to thrive, especially serving high-end decorators.

The Anokhi blockprint brand is very high quality, and sold at FabIndia, if you don't mind paying triple.

This New York Times article has a lot to say about blockprinting today and how it is vanishing.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/18/t...pur-india.html
Kathy
"Real Happiness Lies in Making Others Happy" - Avatar Meher Baba
#10 Oct 5th, 2018, 13:34
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If you go on your long trip - and are keen on block print - I'd recommend visiting the Anokhi museum of hand block printing in the old amer area (different from the Anokhi shop in KK square). You do need more time than a day in Jaipur. I'd recommend three - two for regular sightseeing and one for the visit to Sanganer - there are still some dye-pits and hand block printers in the village. It's not a very pleasant place, quite urbanized, but better chance of finding someone than in Bagru. In Bagru, quite a bit of the village land was bought up by developers and resold as plots.

Also Bagh prints in Indore or Bhopal would be worth looking out for. The block used is much larger than in other print forms and the lines very clean if you can find a good piece. The village of Bagh itself is a bit hard to reach and besides, you may find greater variety in the urban centers where a reasonable volume has been collected (to be re-sold)

Some nice photos and article on Bagh - http://gaatha.com/bagh-block-printing/
Last edited by vaibhav_arora; Oct 5th, 2018 at 15:23..
#11 Oct 5th, 2018, 13:42
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#11
You can also find hand made paper with block printing in Sanganer as well. Good for wrapping gifts.
#12 Oct 5th, 2018, 15:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post If you go on your long trip - and are keen on block print - I'd recommend visiting the Anokhi museum of hand block printing in the old amer area (different from the Anokhi shop in KK square). You do need more time than a day in Jaipur. I'd recommend three - two for regular sightseeing and one for the visit to Sanganer - there are still some dye-pits and hand block printers in the village. It's not a very pleasant place, quite urbanized, but better chance of finding someone than in Bagru. In Bagru, quite a bit of the village land was bought up by developers and resold as plots.

Also Bagh prints in Indore or Bhopal would be worth looking out for. The block used is much larger than in other print forms and the lines very clean if you can find a good piece. The village of Bagh itself is a bit hard to reach and besides, you may find greater variety in the urban centers where a reasonable volume has been collected (to be re-sold)

Some nice photos and article on Bagh - http://gaatha.com/bagh-block-printing/
Great recommendations - I will follow up! Thanks!
I agree that one day is not enough in Jaipur. My hope on this whirlwind tour - constrained by my guests' itineraries - is to identify a partner (or several) in Jaipur with whom we can do business in the future. I will be collecting names, addresses, and business cards of any vendors/printers I can find, along with merchandise. Later I will go back with the manager of our gift shop to place serious orders, once I have samples from this trip for his review. He's been in the textile business a long time and has a much better grip on price/value/quality than I do. This is a scouting trip, mainly. With five people in an Innova, we won't have much room for bales of cloth, alas.
(Also, this will be a chance to stay in a number of hotels at various price points so we can steal all their best ideas.)
#13 Oct 5th, 2018, 16:13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kathill View Post (Also, this will be a chance to stay in a number of hotels at various price points so we can steal all their best ideas.)
Spoken like a marketing genius.

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