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Textile of Gujarat


Gujarat has a large flourishing textile industry which contributes to the arts and crafts of India. The textiles have a large variety to offer to the end consumers. It mainly depends on factors like varied raw materials, combination of yarns and effective use of traditional techniques. The enriched range of textiles owes to the people of different communities, castes, tribes and regions of the state, who have kept the age old tradition alive. For instance, Tangalia fabric from Surendranagar is inlaid with thread during weaving, to create geometrical patterns and peacock motifs. Deesa fabric was originally worn by tribes of Gujarat. It contains geometric patterns with bold black outlines, in deep earthy colors.

Bandhani

Bandhani or Bandhej of Gujarat is one of the best tie and dye fabrics in India. These are produced on the mulmul (muslin) cloth, often combined with gold checks and motif work in the jamdani style. In this technique, a portion of the fabric is tied into tiny knots, following a pattern. Then, the fabric is dipped into a base color, followed by retying and dyeing. This is done several times till the final color scheme and pattern is achieved. Eventually, the complexity of the process and the quality of the fabric decides the price of a Bandhani piece. The main centers of Bandhani work in Gujarat are Kutch, Jamnagar and Saurashtra. You can also find Bandhani sarees, adorned with Zari work, in the markets of Jamnagar.

Dhamadka and Ajrakh

Dhamadka is the art of printing fabrics with wooden blocks. This is a major foreign exchange earner of the region, along with the modern screen printing art. The technique uses wooden blocks of around 1 ½ " to 3" thickness. The design to be printed on the fabric is first pin pricked on the wooden surface and later chiseled. After this, the blocks are dipped in different colors and stamped across the fabric. This leaves an imprint of the design of the block on the fabric. After printing, the fabric is fixed in river Gondali and spread to dry.

Dhamadka is widely practiced along the riverside town of Jetpur, midway Gondal and Junagadh. Its block prints are well known for the river water which brightens the colors of the fabric. Dhamadka block printing is available in a range of contrasting colors like maroons, yellows, blues and reds with patterns generated through tiny dots. Another popular area of printing is Kutch. Apart from block printing, artisans here also use vegetable dyes, paraffin wax resist and patricate-printing material. Though synthetic dyes and modern techniques have come up, bright Ajrakh prints are still in vogue.

Mashru

Mashru is a mixed fabric, woven with a combination of cotton and silk. It was originally used by Muslim men, as they were prohibited from wearing pure silk. This weaving technique was prevalent in Iraq and the Arab countries. This might have been the influencing factor for the rise of Mashru tradition in India. It was once woven in the whole country, but has now been confined to the state boundaries of Gujarat. Patan is one of the most important centers of Mashru weaving. It is practiced in different styles, like ikkat patterns in stripes, with extra warp threads, by the depression of the warp threads and even on a pit loom

Brocades

The brocades has a distinct style of weaving of silk satin cloth, gold brocading with coloured threads on the borders and in the lay technique in some cases. They carried traditional patterns of popat vel, stylized parrot flower border, jhardh, jhardh, flowering strub or tree motiff or the mango and ashorfi curcular gold coin. Today only ismple ashorfi brocade used in the rural areas is woven in Mehsana district of Gujarat.

Prints

The oldest known patterned fabrics from India are from Gujarat. They are resist dyed and printed cottons excavated at Fostate. Which was the centre of distribution of Indian printed cotton to the west. Their stylic delineation of the patterns was based on the decorative styles of west Indian paintings and designs.

The Matani

Pechedi made by the vaghris for ritual purpose used a combinations of block printing for the outline of the pattern and the painting of the mordants. The dominant motif is of the mother Goddess in her many forms and aspects.

Embroidery

Gujarat has the most vibrant, fine and varied collection of embroidery to be found in any part of India. The movement of pastoral no made and their settlement in different parts of Gujarat gave a wide variation in embroidery styles. Strong class and community instincts maintained the distinct style. Kutch in North Western Gujarat, and Saurashtra in western Gujarat have the finest embroidery and variety of styles.

Specimens of folk tradition, with its bold and igorous patterns and colours, are made by peasant women for their own use. It is this embroidery which even today enriched the life of the people of Kutch and Saurashtra.

Textile of Gujarat