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Archive for May, 2007

Bandhani from Jaipur

bandhani-sareeBhandhni is different from patola as the tye and dye process is done after the fabric is woven. Tye and dye fabrics of bhandhni’s are popular among the women of gujrat, khatiavar, rajasthan and sindh. It is called pattern dyeing(resist method of printing) which is one of the most preventive method of printing.

Part of the fabric is dyed and dyed with the dipping method, rubia, silk, linen and cotton threads are used for dyeing the material. Thickneess of the thread depends on the thickness of the fabric. In rajasthan usually women are engaged in doing this work.

The utility items made of this methodare dupattas, kurta’s, turbans, quilts, ghagras, sarees. Also cusion covers, table mats, covers are quite popular. Colors used in bhandni are very bright and multi coloured which are auspicious and are known as a symbol of youth and romance.The designed are based on the shapes of animals, birds, flowers, dancing figures etc.

Sometimes dots are grouped together to form a design. These are called ek bhandhni, dupattas and lehngas are made on both silk and cotton. There are four methods of tye and dye

BHANDNI:Dyed with tyeing different knots.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       SEUO BHANDNI:Stitching method                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  DO RUKNA:Dipping method.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             MULTI COLOR: The traditional colors are usually red, green, yellow, blue and black with white range of combination possible with their huge. Lehariya, veer bhatt, mountain designs, kute design, doll design, dana pattern are some of its designs.

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Zari metal wire embroidery

zarimetalwire-embroidered-sareeKala battu or zari embroidery is very famous embroidery and Sumrat, Banaras, West Bengal are important centre. Firstly metal is melted into bars (pasa) which is then drawn into a length by gently beating it after treatement. The material is next passed through perforated steel plates to turn it into long wire form after which comes tarkash. Last stage is called badla. When the wire is finally flatened and then wound on silk or cotton thread, which when twisted becomes kasab.

Zari embroidery is used in weaving and embroidery types:

a. Zardoza- ground material is silk, velvet, satin. In this salma sitara, sea pearl etc are used. Zardozi is a persian word-gold sewing.

b. Kamdani-a lighter needle work done on lighter material.

c. Mina- pleasing flower pattern are kataoki bel.

d. Mukaish- done with the use of silver wire badalau. It serves as a needle for piercing the material.

e. Tilla or Moroni  work done to the basic cloth. Also gota kinari work. Zari embroidery is practised all over India-kashmir, delhi, agra and lucknow.

Saree blouse styles

Different blouse styles:


BOLERO: Popular in 1923, long waisted blouse, having an overlapping section.

BALKAN: Along waisted blouse shirred into a wide hip-hand with long full sleeves gathered into tight waist-cuffs; made of fine linen / lawn /voile, colorfully embroidered. A western fashion during the Balkan war in 1913.
MIDDY BLOUSE: A popular feminine fashion early 20th century. A copy of the U.S Many seaman’s blouse. Occasionally worn by midship men. While cotton/twill with dark blue flannel sailor’s collar.

HALTER BLOUSE: High panel on the front of a dress/blouse which is buttoned/tied around the back of the neck leaving the shoulders and sometimes the back exposed. Very popular in the 1930’s for evening and beach wear.
SASH BLOUSE: With long ends crossed in front in surplice style and tied at the back.
STEP IN BLOUSE: A blouse and drawers made in one piece to obviate bouching at the waist.
RUSSIAN BLOUSE: White/color liner, hip length or longer with long, slightly full sleeves, gathered into cuffs and a standing collar opening to the left side of the neck. Collar, cuffs and front opening embroidered in colorful stitchery.
CAMISA: Afitted blouse in lace fabric with full bell sleeves.
GIBSON WAIST: A Starched blouse worn low waisted with a raised peter pan collar and necktie. Full sleeves gathered at the shoulders.

CORSET: A closely fitted, elasticised under garment for giving slimmer shape to the figure.

South Indian silk sarees

southindiansareeSouth indian sarees have a quality and characterstics of their own. They are very heavy silk and rich in color. South Indian are popular both in silk and in cotton. The shades of these sarees are traditionally dark with very contrasting borders. The designs are typical south Indian motifs and a lot of importance is given to the border and the palla.

The best south silk come from ‘Armi’ and ‘Dharmavaram’ in Tamil Nadu and Kanchipuram also in Tamil Nadu and Ikat in mysore.

TRIVANDRUM: At other part of kerala trivandrum produces saree in white with golden borders and pallas other centre of these sources are banglore and tanjore.

KARNATAKA SAREES: Although dark in color these sarees are different from other sarees. They all have red borders with white designs on them.

SHAHPUR SAREES FROM MYSORE: They are made in pastel colors with delicate shaded effect that means the warp or weft made of different colors.

VENKATAGIRI: These are unbleached cotton sarees with zari borders The motifs are flowers, birds and animals in contrasting colors. These sarees came from Andra pradesh.

TRAVANCORE: They have a white base with border in pleasing colors and zari checks and strips on the body are popular in these sarees                                                                                                                                                      comes from batore, madras and salem.

COIMBATORE: They make sarees which look like chanderies. They are cotton base with small zari work.

GADWAL: Also on andra pradesh these sarees traditionally have the body of pure cotton with the border and palla’s being on pure silk. The bodies are of lighter color and the border are dark. Garwal’s may or may not have zari work on them. Today these sarees are also being made on pure silk.

KANCHIVARAM: Made in kanchipuram in tamil nadu. These sarees sometimes have woven designs on the body. The designs may be woven in zari in silk thread. The motifs are of human figures , animals, birds and geometric designs. They often have a temple borders along the lower side of the body coming above the borders. It is important to note that the contrasting color borders are woven seperately and joint with the help of an extra shutle. These borders are heavier and thicker than the body of sarees.

TEMPLE SAREES: Rich in ornamentation and worn as ritual occasion by temple devdasis and dancers these sarees are worn by others on certain ceremonial occasions woven on heavy silk with contrasting border and deep rich color in temple shapes along the border. These sarees are manufactured in madhurai. The silks are thick and often covered with gold work. Also made in cotton these dayz with gold and silk thread borders.

TEMPLE SAREES: Rich in ornamentation and worn as ritual occasion by temple devdasis and dancers these sarees are worn by others on certain ceremonial occasions woven on heavy silk with contrasting border and deep rich color in temple shapes along the border. These sarees are manufactured in madhurai. The silks are thick and often covered with gold work. Also made in cotton these dayz with gold and silk thread borders.

PAITHANI SAREES                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Thiruvanthapuram in kerala produces sarees in very fine cotton with gold borders and rallus. Other known centres are banglore, tanjori, madurai etc. Woven in cotton and silk. The design are traditionally Indian with special stress on borders in red with small designs woven in white.

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Traditional Chamba rumal embroidery

chamba-rumalembroideredsalwar-kameezThe art of chamba rumal involved from the embroidery which was popular in the formal hill station of kangra, basodhi chamba and other states in the region and its interaction with the pahari miniature paintings which flowreds in these hills in the 18th and 19th century. Though practice through this region the art came to be known as chamba rumal due to active and continued patronage of the rulers of the chamba hill in the 17 th century.

The embroidery were called rumals since they were generally done in a square formet. They were used to cover offerings to dyetes present for the royal court, gifts or weddings and other ospacious occasions. The earliest rumal were in the folk style and they were easily done by women on their own without any guidance. Later upper class women took up this art with the help of trained miniature actist who sketch the drawing on the cloth with charcoal and also guided the colors schemes. The rumal thus made in very stylised.

The fabric used for rumal were hand woven, unbleached thus khadi utilized pene silk thread duel in natural colors was used for the embroidery the technique consisted of double satin stitch known as do rukha. After feeling in the figure flora and dauna, outlines were worked in with black silk using the simple stemp stitch.

With the loss of patronge because of the declined of courts, along with this art have one florished chamba rumal, one distinguished by their grace and charm were reduced to mere embroidery and calender art. Delhi crafts council took up the project of chamba rumals with the intention of creating an awareness amongst the crafts persons in chamba as well as the general public that it was possible for this art to continue under charged condition and circumstances.

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Block printing

blockprinting-sareeApplying color to the surface of a garment or paper by printing gives the opportunity to create a wide variety of coloring effects. The method used in print depends on the materials used, the number of colors required and complexi ty of the design .

Block printing is one of the printing methods.

Block printing is similar to the potato printing done by the young children. The design is traced on to a block which is then cut away, leaving the design standing out. The block is coated with color and stamped onto the fabric, transferring the design. Each seperate color needs a seperate printing block.

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History of Indian textiles

Brasso-Net-SareeIndia has a vast tradition of textiles and handicrafts. In the past it was a way of life for the people. For the past 2000 years Indian history has been closely bound up with her pre-eminence as a producer of textiles. In the ancient world as well, indian fabric were proverbial. As early as 200 B.C. the romans used a sanskrit word for cotton- carbasina from sanskrit karpasa. In nero’s reign delicately transluscent indian muslin were fashionable in rome under such names as nebula and venti textiles meaning woven wind.

The quality of indian dyeing too was proverbial in the roman world. The influence of indian textiles in the english world in such names as calico, sash, shawl, pyjama, dungary, bandana, chintz, khaki and these are only a few among the textile terms which india has exported with her fabric.

In the 19th century with the advent of power loom and due to impact of industrial revolution, indian textiles and handicrafts industry suffered a massive blow and as a result the weavers suffered starvation. But even then traditional weaves, colors, prints and designs have always been reflected in indian clothes and even with western influence, the process is combined assimilation and invention rather than total replacement of indian traditional clothes.

In india there are endless possibilities to lend garments, even under western ones- a subtle ethnic touch, moulding traditional wear to produce works uniquely one’s own. This is what has happened in the past, this is what happening today. Designer’s like Ritu Kumar, Rina Dhaka, Gitanjali Kashab and JJ Valaya are using lot of Indian traditioanal styles in their creations. Ethnic wear and design is now considered to be ‘Houte Couture’ by the ethnic indian society and why not it be when india has a plethora of designs.

A convenient classification of fabrics made in india can be made on the coll basis:

1. Skilled work of professional weavers and dyers who usually worked close to the large market towns. Examples are brocade, tie dye etc.

2. Articles of luxury made under court patronage or in the court traditions.

3. Folk embroideries specially Gujrat, Rajasthan, Bengal, Punjab, Himachal, Manipur etc.

4. Fabrics of aboriginal tribes.

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