India is a country of diversities. People from different castes and creeds live in the vast geographical region called India. Likewise, the textiles of India are also diversified. Different regions of India are famous for the production of different types of textiles. This article aims at discussing the main types of textiles produced in different areas of India.
The following are the main kinds of textile products of different places in India, which have been developed on the basis of the geographical location, climatic condition and the culture of the areas:
Muga silk is a beautiful kind of silk produced in Assam. It is mostly used in the production of sarees and ‘mekhla chaddars’ i.e. traditional sarees worn by Assamese brides that are white colored with a zari border. This material is highly durable and strong, though it looks delicate. This type of silk is produced from silkworms called Antheraea assama or muga silkworms. There are several thousands of families in Assam engaged in the production of Muga silk. The patterns traditionally used on Muga silk fabric are inspired by nature and the architecture in the area.
Manipur is famous for the production of cotton fabric, popularly known as Manipuri cotton. Different types of tribal fabrics of Manipur are famous, such as ‘Moiraingphee’, ‘Lasingphee’ and ‘Phanek’. Most of the people in Manipur undertake weaving, which is passed on from one generation to another. Children are taught how to weave since a very young age. The motifs that are traditionally used in these fabrics are inspired by nature. Usually, natural colors are used in these textiles.
Khadi or Khaddar
Khadi, which is also known as Khaddar, is the pride of India. Khadi is cloth that is hand spun and hand woven in India. Cotton, silk or wool or a mixture of these materials is used for the production of Khadi. It is a cloth that can be worn both in summers and winters. The production of Khadi is largely undertaken in the villages of India. Khadi was popularized by Mahatma Gandhi originally as an attempt to create self employment opportunities and to abolish the use of foreign-made clothes. However, Khadi is largely being used in the production of designer apparel nowadays. It has no longer remained ‘the fabric of the poor man’. It is a fabric that is in demand not only in India, but also internationally.
Kashmiri woollen fabric
Woollen fabrics from Kashmir are famous all over India and even in international markets. Kashmir is famous particularly for its shawls. In addition to shawls, Kashmir also produces woollen fabric for draperies and dresses. The Pashmina shawl of Kashmir is world famous. This shawl is prepared from the wool of a wild mountain goat ‘Capra hircus’, which is popularly known as ‘Pashm’. Kashmiri woollen fabrics are one of the most beautiful textiles of India.
Kota in Rajasthan is famous for the production of sarees, which are popularly known as ‘Kota sarees’ or ‘Kota Doria’. Kota sarees are woven using pure cotton, pure silk or a mixture of silk and cotton. The yarn used in these sarees is stiffened using starch to create stiffness in the sarees. These sarees have a pattern of checks woven into them. They are very delicate and suitable as base material for tie-and-dye, batik, block printing, patchwork, embroidery and other value addition processes.
Bandhni is a type of dyeing process undertaken largely in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. The tradition of Bandhni has been passed on from one generation to another in these states. It is a tie-and-dye process. Bandhni work is done on silk, cotton, satin or a combination of these materials. The fabric is tied and knots and then dyed to create a unique kind of design. Usually bright colors are used in Bandhni, and natural colors are used. Different kinds of designs are done in Bandhni.
Ikat fabrics are popular all over India and even internationally. Ikat weaving is undertaken on satin cloth in South India. The world famous Patola saree of Gujarat is woven using this technique. Cotton sarees are woven in South India and Orissa using Ikat technique.
The sarees made in the city of Benares are famous the world over. Silk in varied hues and golden thread are woven together to create the ultimate fantasy called Banarasi silk sarees. Nowadays silver thread is also being used in these sarees. Though the silk sarees made in Banaras are highly famous, the city also undertakes the production of other types of sarees such as organza and georgette. Traditionally, designs such as village scenes, flowers, clouds as well as designs from mosques and temples are used in these sarees.
Silk from South India
The silk produced in the southern part of India is famous all over the world. This silk is generally used for the production of sarees. The silk sarees produced in Andhra Pradesh, Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu and Mysore are world famous. Kanchipuram silk sarees are known for their exquisite looks and borders in various styles, such as ‘rudraksham’, ‘malli moggu’ and ‘gopuram’. Mysore is famous for its Mysore silk sarees that are lightweight, while Andhra Pradesh is known for its Pochampally sarees with beautiful geometrical designs.
Bengal muslin fabric
The cotton muslin fabric woven in Bengal is well known in both national and international markets. On account of its light weight and delicate looks, it is also referred to as ‘woven air’. This cloth allows for free movement of air and is suitable for wearing in warm climates.
These are some of the most famous and unique textiles from India. These textiles have been developed over time and their production has been passed on through generations. They reflect the culture of the people from the different regions in which they are produced.
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