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The love for Indian Handloom never dies..

Updated: Aug 9, 2023




Handloom


Handloom fabric enriches our age-old culture and we must try to preserve it.

Handloom fabric can never become old-fashioned or uncool, it's a fabric that connects us to our history and politics and if the new generation doesn't accept it, it would impact the weavers financially, and they might not carry it forward to the upcoming generation. When we look at the beautiful fabrics from each state of India, we are mesmerized by the history and the craft of creating these gorgeous fabrics.


At Kirsha our main aim was to make this handloom fabric a part of everyone's daily life, whether it is used in home décor or probably an everyday workwear dress. If we don't use it frequently, the handloom industry won't survive after a decade, since the machine-made fabric is cheap and digital prints are overpowering the hand block print. The hand-block prints have their beauty. The intricate wooden carving of a specific design on the wooden block. The process of dyeing with natural colors. This cannot be compared to machine-made synthetic or nylon fabric.

Khana


We first began our Kirsha Creations journey by introducing Khun fabric in home decor products like cushion covers/ throw pillows, it's very close to our hearts. For those of you who don't know what khun fabric is Khun or Khana is an age-old fabric found in the villages of Karnataka and Maharashtra. While there is no definite historical evidence about the origin of weaves. According to some sources, it is believed to be 4000 years old. Traditionally favored by women in north Karnataka and some parts of Marathwada and Vidharbha regions in Maharashtra this lightweight fabric is used to make cholis (sari blouses). The small design motifs are a specialty of these fabrics these designs are produced using extra thread

and make the motifs appear bolder and enhance the attractiveness of the fabrics. if you would like to shop khun fabric cushion covers, please visit our website www.kirshacreations.com.


Pochampally


The traditional weaving technique used in Pochampally Ikat was brought from a town known as Chirala, where the art was given the name of “Chit-ki”. Many weavers across the country learned this art and inherited the secrets of this technique, and went on to implement these secrets in their work.


By the year 1999, the weaving method was spread to all corners of India, and leftover ten thousand families spread across hundred villages with this knowledge. The entire process of Ikat weaving became much easier due to this and was made cost-effective due to industrial efforts.


Muga Silk


Muga silk, which is mainly produced by the Garo community of Assam, is obtained from the semi-domesticated multivoltine silkworm, Antheraea assamensis. These silkworms feed on the leaves of Som and Soalu plants and the silk produced from them is known for its glossy texture and durability.

In the Brahmaputra Valley, the larvae of the Assam silkmoth feed on aromatic Som (Machilus bombycina) and Sualu (Litsea polyantha) leaves. Muga silk can be dyed after bleaching. This silk can be hand-washed with its luster increasing after every wash. Further, 1000 cocoons can generate about 125 grams of silk but a single saree requires at least 1000 grams of silk. The time taken to weave a single Muga silk saree is roughly two months, from rearing the silkworm to obtaining the finished product. The actual weaving process takes about one week to 10 days to complete.

The silk is known for its extreme durability and has a natural yellowish-golden tint with a shimmering, glossy texture.


Patola


Patola is a double ikat woven sari, usually made from silk, made in Patan, Gujarat, India.


The sarees are painted with motifs and patterns inspired by animals and other elements of nature. The artisans, who contribute to this art today, however, are only a fistful in number. There are only 3 families in Patan today who are involved in the creation of Patola. At a point in time, Patola weaving was also a part of Indonesian culture. The variations in the fabric can be attributed to the diverse number of places that work on innovating and improvising this fabric and the saris that are manufactured from it.


Khadi


Khadi cloth a natural fiber that is hand spun and hand woven - is a many-thousand-year-old craft.


Khadi fabric, also known as khaddar, is a handwoven natural fiber made with cotton. The other variations of Khadi fabric include silk and wool. The beauty of Khadi is in the irregularities that are always revealed in the length of this ancient cloth - defects derived from human hands. Mahatma Gandhi began promoting the spinning of khadi for rural self-employment and self-reliance (instead of mill manufactured) in the 1920s, thus making khadi an integral part and an icon of the Swadeshi movement.


Kalamkari


A type of hand-painted or block-printed cotton textile, produced in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.


Kalam in the Persian language means Pen and ‘Kari’ refers to craftsmanship. The coloring process involves natural dyes which are extracted from flowers and vegetables. This art involves 23 tedious steps of dyeing, bleaching, hand painting, block printing, starching, cleaning, and more.

There are two distinctive styles of Kalamkari art in India – the Srikalahasti style and the Machilipatnam style. The Srikalahasti style of Kalamkari, where the "kalam" or pen is used for freehand drawing of the subject and filling in the colors, is entirely hand-worked. This style flourished in temples centered around creating unique religious identities, appearing on scrolls, temple hangings, chariot banners as well as depictions of deities and scenes taken from the Hindu epics.


Pashmina


The Pashmina wool is collected every spring, and spinning is done by hand. The yarn is spun on a spinning wheel locally known as ‘Charkha’. Before spinning, the raw material is treated by stretching and cleaning it to remove any dirt and soaked for a few days in a mixture of rice and water to make it softer. Hand-spinning is an extremely painstaking and lengthy task. It requires extreme patience and dedication and is an amazing process to watch. Pashmina yarn is too fragile for the vibration caused by power looms thus the weaving of the traditional 100% Pashmina shawls are therefore done on Hand Looms.



The history of Indian handloom dates back thousands of years, with a rich and diverse tradition of producing textiles that are deeply intertwined with the country's cultural, social, and economic fabric. Handloom weaving is an integral part of India's heritage, with each region having its own unique weaving techniques, patterns, and designs that reflect the local culture and traditions. However, this ancient craft is facing several challenges, and the need to preserve Indian handloom fabric is crucial for several reasons:

  1. Cultural Heritage: Indian handloom textiles are a living testament to the country's cultural diversity and artistic legacy. Each region's handloom products are not just textiles; they are repositories of stories, myths, and traditions passed down through generations. Preserving these textiles helps maintain a tangible link to the past and ensures that cultural narratives are not lost.

  2. Livelihoods: The handloom sector is a significant source of livelihood for millions of weavers and artisans, especially in rural areas. By supporting and preserving handloom traditions, we are sustaining the livelihoods of these skilled artisans and helping to uplift local economies.

  3. Sustainable Practices: Handloom textiles are produced using traditional techniques that often have minimal impact on the environment. Unlike mass-produced textiles, handloom fabrics generally require less energy, use natural dyes, and have a smaller carbon footprint. Preserving handloom practices aligns with the global push for more sustainable and eco-friendly production methods.

  4. Empowerment of Women: Handloom weaving has provided employment opportunities for many women in rural areas, empowering them economically and socially. The preservation of handloom practices can contribute to gender equality and women's empowerment.

  5. Diversity and Uniqueness: Indian handloom fabrics come in a wide range of styles, designs, and materials. Preserving these textiles ensures the availability of diverse and unique products, contributing to a vibrant fashion and textile industry.

  6. Artisanal Craftsmanship: Handloom weaving is a skill that requires years of training and experience. By preserving handloom traditions, we are safeguarding this craftsmanship and passing it on to future generations.

  7. National Identity: Handloom textiles are often associated with a nation's identity. They are used in traditional attire, ceremonies, and festivals, representing the cultural distinctiveness of different regions. Preserving handloom traditions helps maintain a strong sense of national identity and pride.

  8. Tourism and Trade: Handloom textiles play a significant role in attracting tourists interested in experiencing the cultural heritage of a region. Additionally, these textiles contribute to international trade, showcasing India's rich artistic heritage on a global stage.

  9. Innovation and Creativity: While preserving traditional techniques, the handloom sector also has the potential for innovation and creativity. Many designers are combining traditional handloom weaving with contemporary designs, creating unique and appealing products that bridge the gap between the old and the new.

To preserve Indian handloom fabric, various steps can be taken, such as providing financial support to weavers, promoting awareness and education about handloom traditions, incentivizing the use of handloom products, and encouraging collaborations between designers and artisans. By valuing and supporting this ancient craft, we can ensure that Indian handloom continues to thrive and contribute to the cultural, social, and economic well-being of the country.



This a request to all Kirsha Creations readers from India and elsewhere. Anyone who has been inspired by the beauty of handwoven textiles does share this post far and wide and buy handloom fabrics more often this will not only help the weavers but also preserve our age-old craft.
 

You can check out our beautiful range of handcrafted organic dresses at https://www.kirshacreations.com/shop-handblockprint-womenwear


 

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