Spinning Yarns

The balucharis of Bishnupur will narrate in silk and skein, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
Spinning Yarns

Why do ancient textiles have such power over us! Remember how you watched in silent awe the tattered golden threads of your great-grandmother’s gorgeous Banarasi saree or dupatta. And how even black and white photos of beautiful yesteryear women inspire reverential feelings in us. How you ache to touch the rawness of a length of ikkat. And wonder if razors were used to carve the sharp design on a Dhakai jamdani.

There is an emotional resonance that handmade textiles come with. In colours that stroke love into our eyes… rich reds, tender peaches, spice greens, mysterious blues and compelling violets. And then the exacting criss-cross of thread on thread, of warp and weft. The world of silk worms, cocoons, vats overflowing with high coloured dyes, carved wooden blocks, handfuls of flax fibres. Luxurious pashmina shawls made with just the neck hair of mountain goats. A whole shawl so dreamily soft that it can pass through a finger ring.

Then there are textiles that tell stories… the Suzanis and silks of Uzbekistan tell spellbinding stories of the silk route and the caravan dwellers. The balucharis of Bishnupur will narrate in silk and skein, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The chintz made in Surat in the 16th century was banned… such was its popularity in the western world that the domestic textile industry could not survive without a complete ban on the textile beauties headed from Surat.

Essentially textile is fragile and not a craft that stands the test of time like stone, glass, ceramic etc. However, textiles have a romance, an ability to be ephemeral and yet, because of their intimate proximity to the human body, also feel ergonomic. They rouse the memory with a sense of the familiar.

The only way to participate in this beautiful role-playing of textile love of our times is to wear and buy the handcrafted. Intuitively you know you are looking and being your better self.

Written By: Anupamaa Dayal.

This fashion designer is about happy clothes and happy homes for happy women

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