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The Dying Art and Artisans

By Chandana Biswas


India is a country rich in culture, heritage, diversity, and our very own textiles. Making its way through are our natural textiles like cotton, silk, wool, and khadi.

Decades back when the Swadeshi Movement started to oppose the Britisher’s and fight back, to boycott foreign cloth, the Charkha became a symbol of revolution, self-sufficiency, freedom and a mark of faith. The movement was initiated by Mahatma Gandhi to encourage Indians to spin their own cloth. This marked the beginning of the spinning industry in India. The cloth woven from the Charkha was known as Khadi. It’s a natural fibre, handwoven, hand spun cloth. It’s one of the versatile fabrics, cool in summer and warm in winters. Popular dresses are made using khadi cloth such as dhoti, kurta, and handloom sarees.

Indians have forgotten the importance of why The Khadi movement was started in the first place, and we are back to where we are, purchasing foreign cloth at a much higher price, rather than looking back at what we already have with us, i.e. pure gold. The richness of Khadi is so well spread, which is why foreign countries are grabbing them, thus, automatically raising the rate of the cloth, making it impossible for rural parts of India to access it. Because of which the Indian economy is going downhill.

Now coming back to our age old natural techniques and prints, inspired from all over the country, Indian Handloom is known for its quality, weaves, patterns, unique textiles, love for color and so much more. As we are a diverse nation, different cultures give rises to unique prints, patterns and colors of their own.

Tie dye – Bandhani being around since the Indus Valley Civilization, it has its roots in the land of Gujarat and Rajasthan. It’s a process of making patterns like dots, stripes, waves or squares by tying the fabric and dyeing it in natural colors.

Ikat and Batik - One of the oldest forms of textile decorations is Ikat, which is a dyeing technique. It is popularly woven in Gujarat and Telangana. Whereas Batik being around for more than 2000 years, it is a resist dyeing process, by using wax to create beautiful patterns.

Block printing – Block printing such as Bagru in Rajasthan and Bagh in Madhya Pradesh are our traditional, all-natural prints, from the wooden blocks to natural colors as the dye. The artisans and craftsmen are skilled in designing the patterns, from the knowledge passed down from their ancestors.

The love for embroidery creating, shapes pattern, motifs is another bliss to enjoy. In the early ages, women did embroidery out of love for their beloved. Embroidery of India includes dozens of regional embroidery styles like Kantha of West Bengal, Kashida of Kashmir, Phulkari of Punjab, Chikankari of Uttar Pradesh, Kasuti of Karnataka.

Here in The Narration family we have started taking small steps, to go back to our roots, starting from our choice of fabrics, incorporating natural fabrics such as Cotton, silk and linen, to give an earthy touch and feel with different patterns and a wide range of colors.

All these types, techniques, color, patterns, fabrics are our shine and pride, celebrate the diversity and indulge yourself in natural, manmade, environment friendly, eco-choices of living.

Hope you are careful and safe!



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