Madhya Pradesh is the centre of numerous time-tested handicrafts and handloom products that are innovative and creative. Whether it is metal Dokra ware, Chanderi fabric from fine silk or sustainable use of paper in papier mache, there is a sea of human creations in this nature-blessed state.


Madhya Pradesh is proud to be the originator of woven wonders like the Chanderi and Maheshwari fabrics made with cotton and silk yarns, carpets woven in Gwalior, Guna, Morena, while printing centres like Bagh and Jawad are famous for vegetable dye and resist block prints. Bhairogarh is known for batik and chemical block prints, Burhanpur for cotton, Bhopal for zari, zardozi and Gotampura for tie-and- dye and block printing.


Apart from the above, major handicrafts created in the state include bamboo and cane work, woodcraft, lacquer ware, floor coverings like carpets, folk painting, jute works, jewellery, stone carving, terracotta and doll making.


These can be categorised on the basis of techniques involved like weaving, printing, braiding, embroidery, or on the basis of regions involved. Here, both classifications are done in tabular forms.


DEFINITIONS

Textile Craft Cluster


Textile

"A textile or cloth is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibres often referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting, or pressing fibres together (felt)."


The words fabric and cloth are used in textile assembly trades (such as tailoring and dressmaking) as synonyms for textile. However, there are subtle differences in these terms in specialised usage. Textile refers to any material made of interlacing fibres. Fabric refers to any material made through weaving, knitting, spreading, crocheting, or bonding that may be used in production of further goods (like, garments). Cloth may be used synonymously with fabric but often refers to a finished piece of fabric used for a specific purpose (e.g., table cloth)."


Craft

"A craft is a pastime or a profession that requires particular skills and knowledge of skilled work. In a historical sense, particularly as pertinent to the Middle Ages and earlier, the term is usually applied to people occupied in small-scale production of goods, or their maintenance, for example by tinkers. The traditional terms craftsman and craftswoman are nowadays often replaced by artisan and also by craftsperson".

Cluster

"A cluster is defined as a geographic concentration (a city/town/few adjacent villages and their adjoining areas) of units producing near similar products and facing common opportunities and threats. An artisan cluster is defined as geographically concentrated (mostly in villages/townships) household units producing handicraft/handloom products. In a typical cluster, such producers often belong to a traditional community, producing the long established products for generations. Indeed, many artisan clusters are centuries old".

 

Textile Craft Cluster

Any cluster creating craft which includes natural or manmade textile is called textile craft cluster. It includes creation of textile material itself, or its surface embellishment or product development.


Bagh, Bastar, Bilaspur, Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Bundelkhand, Gondwana, Ujjain Khajuraho, Malwa, Mandla, Jhabua, Raigarh and Shahdol are main clusters of art and craft in Madhya Pradesh.


History and culture

The state was established by Chandragupta Maurya in 320 B.C. The region gained its present status after being under influences of tribes like Bhil and Gond and the civilisation of Aryans. Some of the tribal groups in Madhya Pradesh are Baigas, Bhilals, Bhils, Gonds, Halba, Kamaras, Kols, Korkens, Murias, Oraons, Sahariya, Panikas, Khaiwas, and Mangetri Pradhans. It came under the influence of Buddhism from Mauryans, while other influences included that of the Guptas, Chandels, Parmaras, Bundelas, and lately, Mughals and British.


This explains the vivid art and culture of Madhya Pradesh. The major languages spoken is Hindi, but with a Bhopali dialect.


The incorporation of the varied tradition of different groups made the culture of the state vivacious and multi-dimensional. The state has specialities in all streams of art and craft. Influence of tribal culture displays the different customs and social activities as well as the rich traditions.


Classification of Textile Craft Clusters of Madhya Pradesh

They can be categorised on the basis of techniques. For instance, weaving, printing, embroidery, braiding, and beading clusters (Table 1.1) or region it is practiced like, Chanderi, Bagh, Gwalior (Table 1.2).


Table No.1 Classification of Madhya Pradesh textile clusters on the basis of techniques.


Sr.no.

Weaving

Printing

Jute Braiding

Beading and other textile crafts

Emboridery (Zardozi)


Cluster

Product

Cluster

Product

Cluster

Product

Cluster

Product

Cluster

Product

1

Chanderi

Sari and Dress material

Bagh, District-Dhar

Apparel and home furnishing fabric

Govinpura, Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore,

Furniture and accessories

Bhopal

Beaded Purses, handbags, accessories

Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore,

Apparel, and home furnishing and Accessories

2

Maheshwar

Sari and Dress material

Block and Batik print,Bherugarh Ujjain

Apparel and home furnishing fabric

  

  

Gwalior

Battobai dolls from rags, paper or jute.

  

  

 

3

Gwalior, Mandla, Shahdol, Chattarpur

KnottedCarpet

Tarapur, Jawad at Neemuch,

Nandana prints for Apparel and home furnishing fabric








Jabalpur, Sidhi, Sironj, Shahdol, Jabot(Alirajpur), Jhabua, Morena,Mandsour,Satna, Guna

Woolen Dhurrie making with punja technique

Tie dye of Jawad, and Mandsour

Chunaries and Dupattasa











Mandala

Pankha weavers creat yardages for women

Guna

Batik








Burhanpur

Cotton yardages

Block print, Datia,Sarangpur

Apparel and home furnishing fabric








Sarangpur, Padana

Bed sheets, towels, gamcha










 

Table No. 1.2 Classification of Madhya Pradesh textile clusters on the basis of regions.


Sr.no.

Craft Cluster name

Craft technique

Product

Region

Market

1

Chanderi

Weaving with silk warp and cotton weft

Sari, Salwar suit fabric, and other yardages.

Chanderi

Well marketed

2

Maheshwari

Weaving with cotton silk thread

Sari, Salwar suit fabric, and other yardages.

Chanderi

Well marketed

3.

Bherugarh

Batik printing


Apparel and home furnishing products

Ujjain

Too commercialised resulting in loss of traditional motifs and quality.

Resist block printing with wax, Pigment/chemical block printing


Ujjain

Bohra Crochet Cap

Cap

Ujjain

For personal need

4.

Gwalior

Carpet making


Carpets

Gwalior


Jute Craft

Baskets,

hanging lamps, flower vases, hammocks, swings, purses, footwear, table mats etc



Zardozi

Apparel and lifestyle acessories.

Battobai Doll from rags and paper, jute dolls


5

Mandla

Carpet making

Carpets



6

Shahdol

Knotted Carpet and

Carpet



Punja Dhurrie making

Dhurrie



7

Sironj

Woolen Dhurrie making with punja technique

Dhurrie



8

Jabalpur


Woolen Dhurrie making with punja technique

Dhurrie



 

9

Jhabua

Woolen Dhurrie making with punja technique

Dhurrie

  

  

10

Raigarh

Woolen Dhurrie making with punja technique

Dhurrie

  

  

11

Bhopal (sehore, barkheda, Vidisha)


Zardozi

Apparel and lifestyle acessories.

  

  

Jute craft

Baskets,

hanging lamps, flower vases, hammocks, swings, purses, footwear, table mats etc

  

  


Bagh,

Kukshi and Manawar

Natural dye printing (specially Madder and Alijarine)

Apparel and furnishing Yardages.

Dhar District

Commercial

For local shops, fairs, government support organisations, like MPHSVN, few for dealers outside the state


Indore

Jute craft

Baskets,

hanging lamps, flower vases, hammocks, swings, purses, footwear, table mats etc

Indore

Craft fairs, shops, MPHSVN

Zardozi

Apparel and lifestyle accessories

For local shops, fairs, few cater to out of the state dealers.

Batik

Apparel and furnishing yardage like sari, dupatta, bed sheets.

Commercial.

For local shops, fairs, government support organizations, like MPHSVN, some dealers outside the state

 

    Bohra Crochet Cap Cap   For personal need


Raipur

Jute craft

Baskets,

hanging lamps, flower vases, hammocks, swings, purses, footwear, table mats etc




Umedpura

Nandana Prints

Apparel and furnishing yardage




Jawad

Nandana Prints

Apparel and furnishing yardage

Tarapura, Neemach





Tie Dye

Chunary and Dupattas


Mandsour

Durrie making

Dhurrie





Tie Dye

Chunaries and Dupattasa




Sidhi

Dhurrie making with punja technique

Dhurries, mats,

Rugs




Jabot

Dhurrie making with punja technique

Dhurries, mats,

Rugs




Morena

Carpet and Dhurrie making

Carpets, Dhurries, mats, rugs




Satna

Rag Rugs

Dhurries, mats, rugs




Guna

Durrie weaving

Dhurries



batik




Chadharia sari weaving

Saris


Local tribes


Dindor






mandla

Pankha weavers creat yardages for women




 

Conclusion

The varied and rich cultural diversity of Madhya Pradesh is reflected in its textile heritage. According to the classification, it is observed that handloom weaving for apparel and handloom carpet weaving are the most flourishing textile clusters in the state. Printing also survives in some places. Jute, bead and zari craft are restricted to just a few areas.


Overall, Madhya Pradesh provides a home to variety of crafts, each embedded in its particular region.


References

1. Jaya J., (2012) Craft Atlas of India, Niyogi Books.

2. Singh M., Saris Tradition and Beyond, Publisher, Lustre.

3. Tribal Arts and Crafts of Madhya Pradesh, Editor: Shampa Shah, Coordinating, Editor: Aashi Manohar, Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd. Ahmedabad.

4. Mpforest.org

5. Mapsofindia.com

6. En.wikipedia.org

7. Craftclusterofindia.in