Source: The Journal ofTextile Association


From about 600 yearsago, when the Indian city of Delhi was being governed by emperors from theTuglak dynasty, a noticeable amount of interchanges were taking place betweenIndian and Persian weavers. During an ebullient time in Indian history, whenemperor Mohammed Bin Tuglak and his loyal herd of elephants tried to relocatetheir headquarters to Daulatabad in Maharashtra, some precious trade secrets ofPersian shawl weaving techniques clandestinely found their way into the narrowalleys of Aurangabad. At a later period in history, and in the Mogul period,weavers who enjoyed imperial patronage began challenging the supremacy of thePersian weavers. The Himroo shawls produced in India evoked intense curiosityin neighboring foreign lands. This not only guaranteed a lucrative exportmarket, but also uplifted the image of the Mogul dynasty. However, thedisintegration of the empire of Aurangazeb resulted in the Maratha and Britishincursions. These unwarranted political upheavals not only inflicted deepinjuries upon civil society, but also disrupted everyday life and stifled theartistic spirit central to Indian culture.

Thisshort piece of literature, we wish to awaken a new spurt of interest in theancient fabric weaving art of Himroo. While doing so, we have tried to employ astyle of narration that was once the hallmark of British historians digginginto Indias rich past. We have collected relevant bits and pieces ofinformation from Indian history and woven it into a story about Himroo.

Keywords: Himroo weaving, Persianweaving


Culturally,weavers in Turkey and Persia had been burning the midnight oil to conserve avibrant fabric weaving tradition that often gave a purpose to ones life. Whilesome aging historians hold the view that Himroo weaving originated from Persia, others wish to remain uncommitted to this controversial view.

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Originally published in Journal of the Textile Association, Vol. 71 No.6, March-April 2011

The authors areassociated with SNDT Womens University, Premlila Vithaldas Polytechnic,Mumbai.