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. 

Monday 4 April 2016

Print Categories

The following are the categories of prints:

Toile Prints

1. Engraved scenic designs.
2. Printed in one color
3. Always printed on white or off white background.
4. Layouts are predominantly all-over and stripes.

Liberty Prints

1. Found in small to medium sized prints.
2. Dominantly floral motifs
3. Stripes, tossed or all-over

Geometric Prints

1. Made with circles, squares, triangles, spirals and stars.

Botanical Prints

Botanical motifs

Dot Prints

Art Nouveau Prints

Floral Prints

Scenic or Landscape Print

Motif Print

1. Motifs are simply repeated
2. Have a graphic and illustrative look

Animal Print

1. Mimic animal skins

Nautical Prints

Folklore Design

Patchwork Prints

Script Print

Oriental Print

- Inspiration from Asian countries like China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Tibet, Bhutan, Mongolia

Conversational Print

- People, birds and animals
- These prints convey and communicate

Victorian Prints

- Elaborate and ornamental
- motifs inspired from nature.
- forms such as pomegranate, stylized leaves,
- Greek mythology
- Roses

Pucci Prints

- psychedelic and abstract in multicolors
- along with geometric shapes there are swirls, circles and organic shapes

Country Inspired Prints

Graphic Prints

- Minimalist
- Bold colors
- Not very intricate
- Simple Motifs
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Art Inspiration in Textile Design

Textile Design - specially printing has its influence on major art movements in the west. It would be worthwhile to understand the movements and to recognise them so that an appreciation of existing prints and designs can be taken. Here is a brief account of the movements.

Abstract Expressionism

Freely Created Abstractions


Strokes of unmixed colors to give impression of reflected light.

Pop Art

It imitated the techniques of commercial art and the styles of popular culture and mass media.


Technique of painting with tiny dots of pure colors that would blend in the users' eyes.

Art Deco

It is marked by stylised forms and geometric designs

Art Nouveau

It is characterised by stylized natural forms and sinous outlines of objects such as leaves, vines and flowers.


Industrial materials were used to construct non representational objects.


Features surfaces of geometric planes


Emphasise Artist's expression of inner experiences


Characterised by bright and nonnatural colors and simple forms.


Tries to express the energy and values of the machine age.


Emphasised extreme simplification of form and color.


Uses fantastic images and incongruous juxtapositions in order to represent unconscious thoughts and dreams.


Tried to express abstract or mystical ideas through the symbolic use of symbols.

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Friday 1 April 2016

Is every double Ikat a Telia Rumal

Ikat is a yarn resist technique wherein the yarns are tie-dyed, and on weaving a pattern is created on the surface of the fabric.

In single Ikat fabrics, either warp or weft is tie-dyed and woven with the other thread ( weft or warp) of solid color. In double Ikat, both warp and weft are tie-dyed according to a pre-determined pattern and then woven to create design on the fabric.

Double Ikat

Telia Rumal traditionally woven in Chirala, is originally a square constructed. However now the fabrics, or sarees are woven in this construction. A Telia -as it called today- is a double ikat construction with a typical color and design pattern.

The typical colors of Telias are Terracota red and black using natural dyes. The fabrics are mordanted with iron solution and alum so that on dyeing with alizarine, areas with iron become deep black and the ones with alum turned red.

As far as design is concerned, the layout of typical Telia comprise of a geometrical grid like patterning with borders all around, thereby creating small squares at the four corners.

There is also a confusion between Pochampally Ikat and Telia. Pochampally is a commercial application of Telia Rumal technique as well as patola technique of Gujarat. They use single, double or combined ikat techniques to produce sarees and fabric which are cost effective and popular.


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