Jewels of Indian Textiles and Costumes

By Dr K S Murthy, Pidilite Industries Ltd

Dr Ela Dedhia, Head of Department of Textiles and Fashion Technology, Nirmala Niketan College of Home Science, along with other teachers, choreographed, directed and showcased Indian craft fashion during ‘Texpressions 2019’ at the Department of Fibres and Processing Technology at Pidilite Pavilion, ICT. Costumes and modelling were by the students of TY BSc and MSc (Part 1 and 2) of ICT. The show was based on the following concepts: traditional woven textiles; embroidered textiles, embroidered jewels and costumes of India.

India, the land of culture and craft has been known to the world for its traditional textile arts through the ages. Computer designed weaving has fashioned India’s timeless fabrics into garments that have mesmerised the world with beauty and splendour. At the time when speed and decision have been the hallmark of production technology, hand spun, woven and painted khadi cloth epitomised a product of ultimate uniqueness and luxury. Sarees of Kanjeevaram (TN), Dharmavaram (AP), Narayanpet (Maharashtra), Anita silk of Jharkhand, Shantipuri Tussar silk, Muga silk of Assam are multiple traditional textiles.

Traditional and contemporary woven textiles and costumes: the handloom sector generates large employment opportunities. Weavers are part of cooperative production and sales societies with the purpose of preserving the art of hand weaving and uplifting the life of economically poor weavers. The consumer weaver and designer weaver in production provide inputs for new designs. Zari originally was pure gold but synthetic zari has been used in most weaves due to affordability. Application of these woven textiles have diversified in helping and sustaining this artform. New geographical locations have been added to the existing ones.

Traditional embroidered textiles and costumes: This comes from an innate desire to practice beautiful stitches on the articles of daily use. The embroidery results in delicate pieces of colourful art and costumes. The stitches used include darning, pattern and loop and running in systematic rhythm. With precision, this looks like weaving or painting and endless patterns are made such as dholak, Kasuti of Karnataka, applique woven from Odisha, applique work from Uttar Pradesh, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh, Kantha of West Bengal, Phulkari of Punjab, Aari work of Kutch, Chikankari of  Lucknow, embroidery of Manipur, Chamba rumal of Himachal Pradesh, Kashmiri kashida and Gota work of Rajasthan etc are a few names of world famous embroidery. Numerous items including quilt wallets, pillow covers, sarees, dress materials etc are decorated with embroidery.

Traditional embroidered jewels on sarees and costumes, accessories and household linen like handkerchiefs, bed covers, sofa covers, machine covers, curtains, shopping bags, carpets and garments. In the past, the threads used were drawn from the toggles of colour or sarees and instead of that, silk yarn, mercerised cotton threads with colour fastness are used for all embroideries.

Contemporary embroidered jewels: Tie and Dye and Bandhani of Kutch Gujarat and Rajasthan, Ajrakh block prints, block printing textiles of M.P. Calico prints; single and double effects of Patola of Gujarat, Pochampally (AP) and Sambalpur (Odisha) are exquisite coloured artforms. Paintings of MP, Bengal, Rajasthan, TN etc are living expressions of people linked with socio-cultural activity. They are not mere decorations but spontaneous out pouring religious devotion. Kalamkari paintings (A.P), Havana paintings of Sikkim, Warli painting of Maharashtra are world famous with a high demand for these textiles in international markets.

Exotic colour textiles and costumes: coloured textiles have come a long way in design methods and products. Woven, embroidered and coloured textiles and costumes are going through tremendous changes due to high demand in the Indian market. Up and coming fashion designers are using local textiles and tailor cut to suit national as well as international markets. Masterpieces of contemporary dyed, printed and painted textiles of India continue to inspire national and international designers satisfying consumer needs and demands.

Take a look at the SDC website for details of future events.

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