Fabric Painting and Weaving

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Different techniques of fabric painting and weaving  are practised in India. Some of the important ones are outlined below.

Bandhani or Tie and Dye : It is a sophisticated method of tie and dye used for decorating the cloth.  It is an ancient art practiced in many places in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. This technique involves two stages: tying sections of a length of cloth (silk or cotton) and then dunking it into vats of colour. The rainbow-tinged turbans of the Rajputs and the odhnis of women are shaded by this method of resist dyeing. The main colours used in Bandhani are yellow, green, red and black.

Batik Art : It is a resist process in which the fabric is painted with molten wax and then dyed in cold dyes. Multi-coloured batik saris, dupattas and bed sheets are popular for their contrasting colour schemes. Batik is done on a large scale in Madhya Pradesh.

Block-printing : This art involves printing of cloth with carved wooden blocks. Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Jodhpur and Bikaner in Rajasthan are the strongholds of this craft. The floral motifs favoured by the printers of Bagru and Sanganer are Persian in origin and usually have a white or pale background decorated with colorful twigs or sprays.

Jamdani : It is a type of weaving in which small shuttles filled with coloured, gold or silver threads are used to produce highly decorative material. It is done in various styles like butidar, tircha, jhalar, panna hazara, phulwari and toradar.  It is very common in Tanda in Uttar Pradesh.

Ikat:  It is a complex and rather meticulous process that involves the repeated dyeing of the warp and weft threads before the cloth is woven. Andhra Pradesh and Orissa are major centres of ikat weaving in silk and cotton.

Kalamkari :  This involves hand painting of fabrics using vegetable dyes of deep rich shades.  The motifs may range from gods and goddesses to demons, women, animals and other forms.  These fabrics are used as tapestries and as hangings in temples.  This is practiced in Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesh and in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Orissa and West Bengal.

Laharia:  It is a special process of the Bandhani technique or tie-and dye in Rajasthan that creates a ripple effect. Turbans and odhnis with laharia patterns are generally used on festive occasions, especially the Teej. Jaipur and Jodhpur are major centres of laharia.

Tanchoi : The tanchoi style of weaving, which resembles fine miniatures, owes its origin to China and is practiced mainly in Surat in Gujarat.  The tanchoi saris are very popular.


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