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Traditional textiles sector merits set of four stamps
Dec '09
The President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil released a set of four special postage stamps on Traditional Indian Textiles at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The function was attended by Thiru Dayanadhi Maran, Minister for Textiles, Thiru A.Raja, Minister for Communications and Information Technology and Tmt Panabaaka Lakshmi, Minister of State for Textiles and Thiru. D. Napoleon, Minister of State, Social Justice and Empowerment.

While introducing the stamps, Tmt. Panabaaka Lakshmi recalled the rich traditions of Indian Handlooms and enumerated the various steps being taken by the Textiles Ministry for the welfare of the Handloom weavers. In his address, Thiru A. Raja said that these postage stamps will help in popularizing further the rich traditions and culture of India.

While delivering vote of thanks, Thiru Maran said that this is the first time that Department of Posts is releasing the Postage Stamps on Indian Textiles. He hoped that this step of Textiles Ministry will provide inspiration to millions of weavers who weave magic on their looms with their humble fingers.

A set of four stamps of denomination of Rs. 5/- each depicts Varanasi Brocade, Kanchipuram Silk, Kalamkari and Apa Tani Weaves. The details of two of these, Apa Tani Weaves and Kanchipuram Silk, accompanied by images alongside are as follows.

Apa Tani Weaves–
The Apa Tani tribe inhabits the lower Subansiri distict of Arunachal Pradesh. Ziro, a picturesque valley-town in the Apa Tani Plateau is situated north of the capital Itanagar, and is the home of the tribe. All the tribes in Arunachal Pradesh weave their own cloth and the Apa Tani are no exception. Almost every household possesses implements for weaving and one or two portable loin loom, property inherited by the women of the family.

The traditional Apatani colours are red, green & yellow obtained from leaves, roots, creepers and the barks of trees. The ordinary Apa Tani cloth gets its character from the use of broad stripes alternating with narrow ones. Of other geometric patterns achieved with the extra weft technique, there is an almost inexhaustible variety.

Kanchipuram Silk–
The temple town of Kanchipuram, South of the city of Chennai in Tamilnadu, has been famous centre for Hindu pilgrimage for close to two millennia. It has been equally famous for its figured and brocaded silk woven sarees. The great specialty of the Kanchipuram saree is solid coloured borders and pallus, shoulder pieces, which require the use of interlocking threads, a process called petni.

The techniques for obtaining a pure contrasting colour for the boarder are called korvai. Gold zari of varying thicknesses and silk yarn are used for the extra warp figured in the boarder and extra weft figured in the body. The silk is comparatively compact, thick and richly textured due to the use of twisted three –ply yarn.

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