India is a vast and diverse country with rich history of weaving and textile evolution. The legacy of weaving in India has not only celebrated its glorious expedition, but has also majorly contributed towards the journey of development in the art of fabric weaving across the globe. ‘The Story of Indian Bunkari’ by Keya Seth Exclusive introduces us with this Golden Tradtion of Indian Handloom Weaves,
Historical evidences point out that cotton weaving was practiced in India as early as 3000 B.C. Archeological discoveries has revealed that the art of spinning & weaving cotton was known to the Harappans, around five million years ago. According to the Historians, most probably, it was the Indian subcontinent where spinning & weaving clothes from cotton first begun, though the idea of stitched garment was introduced much later.
Not only weaving, Indian subcontinent was known for creating colorful dyed fabric that was exported across the globe. Natural colors like indigo, turmeric & lal maddar were used for dyeing. The complex mordant dyeing technique was also in use in the Indian subcontinent during the Mohenjo-Daro civilization.
Use of different materials & different techniques for spinning has been mentioned in many Indian ancient scriptures. Detailed description of the craft of weaving can be found in the Rigveda as well as the Indian epics like Ramayana & Mahabharata.
Silk weaving first started in China around 1000 B.C. & spread to the Indian subcontinent. The amalgamation of advanced Indian weaving techniques with the know-how of silk weaving from China helped in creating the finest silk varieties. India was established as the leading manufacturer & exporter of fine handmade fabric owing to the rich weaving techniques, advanced handlooms & finesse of the India craftsmen.
During early medieval period fabrics were exported from India to Egyptian countries. It was during this time that India had developed extensive trade links with different parts of the world and progressively it became the hub of fabric trading. Not just Egyptian countries, India’s overseas export with South East Asia, East Asia, Persian Gulf and east Africa flourished with time.
From the tombs of Fostat, Egypt a bunch of resist-dyed & block printed fabrics, mainly of Gujrati origin has been discovered, where the hot weather & sand has preserved the fabric over the years. Interestingly, these fabrics are still colorful & carry proof of printing intricacies in ancient India.
Know about the Handloom Sarees of India