Handlooms

Oh, busy weaver! unseen weaver!-whither flows the fabric? what palace may it deck? wherefore all these ceaseless toilings? Speak weaver!—stay thy hand!—but one single word with thee! Nay—the shuttle flies—the figures float forth from the loom; the freshet-rushing carpet forever slides away. The weaver-god, he weaves; and by that humming, we, too, who look on the loom are deafened; and only when we escape it shall we hear the thousand voices that speak through it.

Indian hand woven fabrics have been known since time immemorial. Poets of the Mughal durbar likened our muslins to baft hawa (woven air), abe rawan (running water) and shabnam (morning dew). A tale runs that Emperor Aurangzeb had a fit of rage when he one day saw his daughter princess Zeb-un-Nissa clad in almost nothing. On being severely rebuked, the princess explained that she had not one but seven jamahs (dresses) on her body. Such was the fineness of the hand woven fabrics.

In the world of handlooms, there are Madras checks from Tamil Nadu, ikats from Andhra and Orissa, tie and dye from Gujarat and Rajasthan, brocades from Banaras, jacquards form Uttar Pradesh. Daccai from West Bengal, and phulkari from Punjab. Yet, despite this regional distinction there has been a great deal of technical and stylistic exchange.

The famed Coimbatore saris have developed while imitating the Chanderi pattern of Madhya Pradesh. Daccai saris are now woven in Bengal, no Dhaka. The Surat tanchoi based on a technique of satin weaving with the extra weft floats that are absorbed in the fabric itself has been reproduced in Varanasi. Besides its own traditional weaves, there is hardly any style of weaving that Varanasi cannot reproduce. The Baluchar technique of plain woven fabric brocaded with untwisted silk thread, which began in Murshidabad district of West Bengal, has taken root in Varanasi. Their craftsmen have also borrowed the jamdani technique.

Woolen weaves are no less subtle. The Kashmiri weaver is known the world over for his Pashmina and Shahtoosh shawls. The shawls are unbelievably light and warm.

The states of Kashmir and Karnataka are known for their mulberry silk. India is the only country in the world producing all four commercially known silks - mulberry, tasser (tussore), eri and muga tasser is found in the remote forests of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Another kind of raw silk is eri. Eri is soft, dull and has wool like finish. Assam is the home of eri and muga silk. Muga is durable and its natural tones of golden yellow and rare sheen becomes more lustrous with every wash. The designs used in Assam, Tripura and Manipur are mostly stylized symbols, cross borders and the galaxy of stars. Assamese weavers produce beautiful designs on the borders of their mekhla, chaddar, riha (traditional garments used by the women) and gamosa (towel).

From Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Gujarat come the ikats. The ikat technique in India is commonly known as patola in Gujarat, bandha in Orissa, pagdu bandhu, buddavasi and chitki in Andhra Pradesh.

India is a land known the world over for its various forms of handlooms. With its variety in type, method and designs, it gives the user an ultimate variety. Indiainnings Handlooms presents that variety to you with all the pleasure. Here we give an exhaustive list of all the weavers from each state of India listed with us along with details about them.

So start surfing and choose the best handlooms for your wardrobe