Our Textiles and Techniques
In the simplest way, a textile is called khadi when it is made using handspun yarn and then is handwoven on a loom. This process can be used for cotton, silk and wool.
Khadi cloth comes in variations from rough spun and woven for thicker textile to the finest softest lightest fabric that comes from extremely deft yarn spinning and weaving.
It is also popularly known as the “fabric of freedom” given its historical significance in, and association with, India’s freedom movement.
It is a traditional centuries-old weaving technique that finds its roots in the Bengal region of south Asia (now Bangladesh and West Bengal in India). The craft is characterized by its supplementary weft technique of weaving to create motifs and patterns, giving it an almost three-dimensional pattern. The work, which is all done by hand, requires a high degree of skill and time. In 2013, the art of Jamdani weaving was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
This fabric is made by crossing silk thread and cotton thread. It can be done in different rations of cotton to silk threads to achieve different levels of sheen and softness in the textile. It’s a skin-friendly rich looking fabric that is appropriate in any season—summers or winters.
MULMUL / MUSLIN
Also known as muslin, is the lightest softest woven cotton that is perfect for summer and for humid climates. It is said to have originated in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and was a prized product and originally worn only by royalty. Given its long history, it even finds mention in texts written by ancient Greek and Roman writers and was a prized import trade product in Europe in the 17th century.
Mulmul is now more easily available and simple handwoven mulmul fabric (plain or dyed using various techniques like block printing) is popularly used across the world even today.
Linen is a fabric made from flax plants. It is extremely absorbent and durable and can be worn for years with care. Handwoven linen has an extremely beautiful texture because of the nature of hand weaving.
SHIBORI / CLAMP DYEING / TIE-DYE / BATIK
These are manual resist dyeing techniques and are popular across the world. In Japan, Shibori finds mentions in texts as old as the 8th century. Indigo was the most popular dye used for this technique. To create different patterns on the cloth, different clamping, binding, stitching, folding techniques are used, creating simple or elaborate patterns. The nature of the cloth also determines the nature of the technique to be used. The skill takes time to learn and making elaborate Shibori patterns comes from years of experience, high skill, and deep knowledge of the materials—cloth and dye.
HAND BLOCK PRINTING