A lost and found weave: Himroo
Once said to be “the finest fabric of the Deccan,” the heritage weave of himroo is being revived by design entrepreneur Prachi Saraf of Vyusti
We all know, and rave, about the beautifully woven shawls of Kashmir up north, but did you know there’s another equally beautiful shawl weave down in the Deccan? Except that instead of wool, it uses silk and cotton grown locally in Aurangabad.
Himroo was brought to Aurangabad in the reign of Mohammad Tughlaq when he shifted his capital from Delhi to Daulatabad. The word originates from the Persian word hum-ruh which means ‘similar.’ Himroo is a replication of kinkhab, which was woven with pure gold and silver threads in the olden days, and worn by royalty. The designs, therefore, have a distinctly Persian influence.
Described by the ancient traveller, Marco Polo, as “the finest fabric of the Deccan,” it is this heritage weave restricted solely to this region that design entrepreneur Prachi Saraf, founder of Vyusti, has been busy reviving.
“It’s an impeccable handwoven twill fabric made in such a way that the two sides have a different colour. Each weave carries a distinctive mark and is a work of art in itself. Yet, in the narrow lanes of Aurangabad, this splendid tradition still struggles to survive,” says Saraf. Conceived during the pandemic, her enterprise works directly with rural weavers to support local artisans by creating a platform to showcase and sell their products.