Friday, August 18, 2017

Katan Silk Saree

Photo Curtsey: Adi Mohini Mohan Kanjilal
Katan, a thread, prepared by twisting a different number of silk filaments according to requirement gives a firm structure to the background fabric. Katan is a plane woven fabric with pure silk threads. It consists of two threads twisted together and is mostly used for the warp of light fabrics. Due to the nature of its creation, it also makes an interesting textured background for any work that is to be done on the fabric to make it unique. Katan silk is one of the most easily identified fabrics as it has a unique look that helps it stand out from other forms of silk.

Katan can be further classified into the following:

Katan Butidar: This fabric has resham or gold butis on it.
Katan Butidar Mina: The design work on this fabric is made out of zari threads.
Katan Butidar Paga: This type has a weft made of resham and contains buti work that is spaced 4 inches apart all over the body of the garment.
Katan Brocade: Figures or patterns on this garment are made with goldthread and both, the warp and weft are made of katan.

The most popular forms of katan these days are the Katan Stripes and Katan Checks as they add a little bit of modernity to the design.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Mehndi Design

Mehndi is a form of body art from Ancient India, in which decorative design are created on a person’s body, using a paste, created from the powdered dry leaves of Henna plant. Mehndi is a popular form of body art among the women of the Indian Subcontinent and the Middle East.

There are many variations and types in mehndi designs which are categorized, such as Indian Mehndi Designs, Pakistani Mehndi Designs and Arabic Mehndi Designs. Women usually apply variations of mehndi design patterns on their hands and feet. Mehndi decorations became fashionable in the West in late 1990s, where they are called Henna Tattoos.

In the modern age due to limited supply of Indian Traditional Mehndi Artists, people usually buy ready-made Henna cones, which are ready to use and make painting easy.

Traditional Hindu or Sikh weddings in India can often be long, ritualistic and elaborate affairs with many pre-wedding, wedding and post wedding ceremonies. According to Hindu tradition, the ceremony is mainly held at the bride’s house on the eve of the marriage ceremony or few days before the marriage. On the occasion a professional mehndi artist or a relative applies mehndi to the bride’s hands and feet. The designs are very intricate.

In Pakistan, the Mehndi is often one of the most important pre-wedding ceremonies, which is celebrated mainly by the bride’s family.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Bhagalpuri Silk Saree

Bhagalpur is a small town situated on the banks of river Ganga in the state of Bihar, India. The specialty of this town is the special silk fabric known as Tusser Silk or Bhagalpuri Silk. The silk produced in this town is exported globally. Bhagalpur is also known as silk city. The dying technique of a Bhagalpuri Silk Saree is what sets them apart from the regular art silk sarees available in India.

These yarns are weaved with silk threads of multicolor which are reared from the Tussar cocoons. They are thus weaved into exotic and symbolic designs and motifs making a Bhagalpuri Saree vibrant and bright in its texture and feel. There are many specialties and varieties that enhance the beauty of this artwork. Verities like Katia, Giccha, Eri, Mulberry have given this fabric an elegance look and an essence of delicateness to its texture. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Kashmiri Aari Work Poncho

Poncho is an article of clothing of ancient origin, a cloak made of square or rectangle of cloth with a hole in the middle. The original poncho, consisting of a rough, brightly coloured, handloomed cloth, was worn in the early cultures of Latin America. Ponchos are worn with the edges hanging either parallel or diagonally, forming a diamond shape. The style also was adapted as rain gear, made of a waterproof material, and often hooded.

Alternative ponchos are now designed as fashion items. They are the same shape but of different material. They are designed to look fashionable and provide warmth and comfort, rather than to ward off wind and rain. These are often made out of wool and pashmina.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Anarkali Suit

The anarkali suit is made up of a long, frock-style top and features a slim fitted bottom. The anarkali is an extremely elegent style that is worn by India, Pakistan and other countries in South- Asia. The anarkali suit varies in many different lengths and embroideries including floor length anarkali style.

The word anarkali literally means the delicate bud of the pomegranate flower. The name signifies the qualities of softness, vulnerability, innocence and beauty, associated with the women who wore anarkali.

The majestic anarkali suit ensemble is quite popular in India and many South East Asian communities. It generally consists of 3 separates – a fitted till waist and then flared long kurta (top), achuridar (fitted bottom) and a dupatta. The graceful anarkali suit finds its roots in the Mughal and Persian cultures.The various forms of regal anarkali silhouette are also related to the Indian culture in many ways. Anarkali is closely associated to the Indian classic dance Kathak. Anarkali tends to be the regular costume of the dancers, practicing the Kathak form of Lucknow Gharana.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Lucknow Chikan Saree

Chikan is a traditional embroidery style from the State of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, India. Believed to have been introduced by Nur Jehan, the wife of Mughal emperor Jahangir.  It is one of Lucknow’s best known textile decoration styles.

Chikan embroidery is mostly done on fabrics like cotton, semi-georgette, pure-georgette, crepe, chiffon, silk and any other fabric which is light and which highlights the embroidery. The fabric cannot be too thick or hard, else the embroidery needle won’t pierce it. The embroiderer stitches the pattern, and the finished piece is carefully washed to remove all traces of the printed pattern. The pattern and effects created depend on the stitches and the thicknesses of the threads used.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Kashmiri Arri Work Saree

Photo Curtsey: KashmirVilla

Kashmiri embroidery has evolved over centuries with influence from many cultures. Designs have developed over time from the Moors, Persians, Turks and beyond. The color palettes compliment the four seasons, while the designs are inspired by science and art in nature. Kashmiri embroidery is essentially a harmonious blend of charming flowers, fruits, and birds.

One type of embroidery Kashmir Rose focuses on is called “Aari.” Aari embroidery is a specialty of Kashmiri artisans who create it in fine, concentric rings of chain stitch using a special hooked needle known as ‘Aar’ which is similar to a crochet needle.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Mysore Silk Saree

The Mysore Silk crepe is woven from handspun silk yarn and is one of the most widely used form of silk across India. The Mysore Silk comes from the city of Mysore in Karnataka, India. Since Mysore Silk crepe belongs to an era of ancient India, it traditionally is made of pure gold Zari. Inspired by the natural ambiance and customs of the time, the Mysore Silk crepe saree got a face that preserves the heritage of India.

The Mysore Silk Sarees are going through heavy makeover and new styles are being introduced to make the already popular form of silk even more attractive and tempting. Some special features of Indian textile designing like Bandhini Styles and Kasuti Embroidery are being infused into the making of Mysore Silk Sarees. A wide range of attractive colors are also used in the making of the sarees. The beauty of the Silk Sarees of Mysore depend largely on the intricate work of 'Zari'. Mostly these sarees contain golden lace on the saree edges and on the part of the saree that covers the shoulder.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Kashmiri Stole

Photo Curtsey: KashmirVilla

Handicrafts in Kashmir have traditionally been family run business. While the women are involved in wool spinning and embroidery, the men assist in the heavy handlooms. Once the product are woven, the stoles are sent to the dyers and go through a process of hand dyeing which is done using natural colours. Kashmiri stole are designed with earthly colours, but more recently, all other colour are also being used. After dyeing, the stoles go back to the craftsmen and then starts the intricate process of designing patterns using different size of needles depending on the kinds of embroidery.

Kashmiri shawls are primarily made from three types of fibres: wool, pashmina and silk. The pashmina yarn comes from the hair of the Himalayan goat, a rare animal living above 4,000 metres altitude, only found in Kashmir. A variety of blends of Kashmiri wool with pashmina, and silk with pashmina are also used to weave semi-pashmina stoles.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Kashmiri Kaftan

A Kaftan is a long and loose dress which have been worn by several cultures around the world. The dress is long enough to cover the ankles for length, and each arm goes to the wrist. It can be made of wool, cashmere, silk or cotton.

Photo curtesy: KashmirVilla

Traditional Kaftans cover Islamic women as per their tradition. However, modern Kaftans have a more haute.