Monday, 23 May 2016

My New Book on Indian Saris

My new book on Indian Saris is out. This is the second volume. Please let me know your feedback.


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Saturday, 21 May 2016

Basic Quality Parameters of Handloom Products including Sarees

India Handloom is an initiative by the Ministry of Textile to bring the best of the handloom products to the users. They have produced a table of the basic quality parameters of the handloom fabrics, specifically sarees. 

It is useful for buyers of traditional sarees who would like to know the quality parameters such as count, constructions, length, width and fabric for Indian traditional sarees. 

7 August is celebrated as the National Handloom Day. 

To download, you can go to this link or  this link.

They have also published a list of registered users which can be a treasure for any sourcing professional.

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Sunday, 15 May 2016

Charkha or Hand Spinning Wheel

Charkha is not only synonymous with Khadi, it is also the soul of Indian Subcontinent. It reminds one of the good old villages and the simple life there. One cannot just love but feel from one's core this heart rendering song from Ustad Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan in Punjabi. I have give the translation in English.

Listen to this song from great mastero here...

Translation ( Source)

Listen oh sound of the spinning wheel I remember my love, my heart laments for my beloved... 
When will the new moon of my love rise When will you come home beloved Sorrows are intolerable and life hopeless...
 when beloved arrives I will rejoice I will unfurl my glances in his direction This separation is life threatening ...
 relatives have started hurting with their words do write letter with the date of your arrival dark night bites hurting with its sting...
my tears keep flowing constantly as I gather the thread spundo not like laughter these days how can I forget his behavior...

Charkha is embedded in the Sufism of our subcontinent, from Kabir to is a source of inspiration of many songs. Listen to this song from Lakhwinder Wasdali and Puran Sing

This is an ode to Charkha from Rahet Fatah Ali Khan

A Beautiful song from Harjit Harman

And of course - there is a spinning wheel at every corner ( Chappa Chappa Charkha Chale)

There are many, the fact remains that spinning wheel has penetrated deep from culture to our hearts.

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Monday, 25 April 2016

Patteda Anchu and Gamcha Sarees

I had the privilege to attend the launch of Patteda Anchu and Gamcha Sarees in Bangalore. It is amazing to find that there are so many kinds of art and craft of this country that are still getting discovered. 

Patteda Anchu

I met Hemlatha Jain, who has done this commendable work of reviving the Patteda Anchu Sarees which are in records since the 10th century. As a part of her PhD project, and with a support from Dastkari Haat Samiti, she was able to get these sarees produced for the first time. She recalled how she learnt Kannada to communicate with weavers. 

Briefly speaking, the saree is named after the borders and check patterns. It is also known as dundina, devaru or laxmi sare. 

Speaking on the technical aspects of it, she told us it is woven in the count combinations of 20s x 40s cotton yarn. The typical length of one warp is six sarees and is woven on the traditional pit looms. She used cold reactive dyes to dye the yarns, which are then woven with three shuttle technique.

Gamcha Sarees

These have their own story of the revival. On a trip to Phulia, Jaya Jetly of Dastkari Haat Samiti found that there were beautiful Gamchas woven in the areas of Nabadweep. The weavers used to get a pittance while weaving these. She thought it would be great if these Gamchas are woven into sarees so as to ensure its wider reach as well as ensuring a better livelihood for weavers. At the same time she did not want to put these sarees out of reach of common masses. So she started discussion with Ankit, a NIFT graduate, who in his remarkable way, had to convince the weavers to set the sarees. He not only gave them designs but also technical inputs on how to weave the sarees. Finally the first set of sarees came and are sure to create waves among the consumer communities. 

The typical length of warp is 100 Sarees which are then distributed over four  looms with 25 sarees on ach loom. 

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