If embroidery is an art,textile and fabric acts as the canvas on which our beloved craft-persons pour their hearts out.
When we started our artistic voyage of Indian handmade embroideries and textile,we did not anticipate our journey to be so beautiful. Indian textiles are unmatched because of their extraordinary diversity in aesthetics and techniques. Each textile craft is created with so much passion and details and they tell a beautiful story which creates an indelible impression.
Based on our research till date,we have shortlisted our top seven favorite textile craft.
- Banarasi Silk from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
An excellent example of intricate artistry, Banarasi silk is a fine variety of silk originated from the one of the oldest city of human civilization named Varanasi or Banaras or also popularly called Kashi.
It is distinguished by unique design which includes variety of motifs like flower motifs (kalga and bel), Jhallar and Mughal and Persian inspired motifs.They have special Zari which is silver or gold.
The craftsmanship have been passed from one generation to the next over centuries. The art is so delicate that a good finished product can take up to six months to complete by skilled artisans.
Based on primary design Banarasi silk can be categorized into different varieties like Jangla, Tissue, Butidar, Cutwork etc.
- Sambalpuri Saree from Odisha
Originated from the Sambalpur region of Odisha, Sambalpuri saree is an extraordinary example of intricate craftsmanship.
These are handwoven ikat which is weaved once the weft and warp are tie-dyed.Ikat sarees are beautiful ensemble of motifs and design like shankha,chakra,flower etc.
There are many varieties of Sambalpuri saree like Pasapali,Bomkai,Bapta,Barpali etc. These names are mostly derived from their place of origin and they are also popularly called Pata. These sarees can be weaved using both cotton or silk fabric.
These sarees are created using bandha kala or tie art which is similar to Bandhani art of Gujarat and Rajasthan.
- Kanchipuram Silk from Tamil Nadu
As the name suggests “Kanchipuram Silk” is primarily made in Kanchipuram( also called city of 100 temples) region in Tamilnadu, India.
As per Hindu mythology the silk weavers are the descendants of the master weaver of Gods, Sage Markanda who as per mythology is supposed to have woven tissue from lotus fiber. The pure mulberry silk used in the making of Kanchipuram saris comes from Karnataka and the zari comes from Gujarat.
The distinguishing feature of Kanchipuram silk saree is that colour and design of body is quite different from Pallu. Pallu and main body is weaved quite separately and joined later in very delicate manner. A zig-zag pattern (also called pitni) can be traced where body meets pallu.
As this art form originates from the city of temples, the same is reflected in eye catching design and vibrant colours motifs from the temples, palaces and general paintings, fruits, animals etc.
- Chanderi from Chanderi, Madhya Pradesh
Distinguished by sheer texture, transparency, lightweight and glossy feel; Chanderi has got a special place in our ethnic fabric list.
It is primarily produced by the weavers and craft person from a small town in Madhya Pradesh named Chanderi.The weave consists of beautiful buttis and motifs which are handwoven using needle by weavers. These motifs are mostly inspired by nature like peacocks,lotus,coins,animals etc.
One of the most popular form of buttis is Asharfi Butti, which is in shape of Asharfi (woven in pure gold and silver Zari and now a day it is also woven in Tested Zari).Again this craft is generational in nature wherein the weaving skill is passed on from one generation to the next.
The Chanderi fabric has three different types : Pure Silk, Chanderi Cotton and Silk Cotton.
- Bandhej or Bandhani from Rajasthan and Gujarat
One of the oldest embroidery art form which can be traced back to Indus Valley Civilization. The art form widely prevalent in Gujrat, Rajasthan, Sindh and Punjab region.
The name “bandhani” is derived from the Sanskrit root “bandh” which means “to bind” .This is a type of tie-die textile formed by highly delicate and skilled process where fabric after dying is tied tightly at several points producing a variety of patterns like Chandrakala, Bavan Baug, Shikari etc.
The variety can also be distinguished by number of knots used in tying process : Ekdali means single knot, Trikunti means three knots, Chaubandi means four knots and Boond means small dot with a dark centre.
- Kalamkari from Andhra Pradesh
Etymologically Kalamkari means Pen(Kalam) work(Kari). It is one of the traditional textile art form where beautiful hand paintings is done on a piece of fabric.
The Kalamkari craft persons uses special pen to draw the art form on textile.The dye process uses purely natural and organic ingredients which is derived from natural vegetables,roots, fruits, cowdung , buffalo milk etc.
This art form is primarily prevalent in AndhraPradesh. Sri Kalahasti and Machilipatnam are the two major place for Kalamkari craft in Andhrapradesh.The hand and block printing both are mainly done on cotton fabrics.
The Machilipatnam style mainly uses block printing while the Sri Kalahasti style is more delicate and intricate in nature where pen is used to draw the craft which is more religious in nature depicting temples,chariots and mythological scenes from Ramayana, Mahabharat etc.
- Bhagalpuri Silk from Bhagalpur, Bihar
Produced in Bhagalpur,also known as “Silk city of India” this is very popular variety of silk called ‘Tussar Silk’.
Bhagalpur has many mulberry gardens to produce tussar silk.This is one of the purest and oldest form of silk whose origin can be traced back to Vedic ages. It has got very strong protection during Maurya Empire.
The yarns are derived from tussar cocoons and then weaved into beautiful and intricate designs.Tussar silk is particularly known for its resilience and bright texture.
This embroidered artwork is one of the oldest form of art with know-how being passed from one generation to the next over ages.
Have we covered your favourite textile craft ? Please let us know your favourite by commenting !