What is a korvai?

The word Korvai in Tamil applies to structured patterns used in music, dance and textiles. In music and dance, it’s about presenting lyrics in rhythmic syllables. In textiles, Korvai is a technique which connects the concepts of contrast and colour between the border and body of a sari.The hallmark of a Kanchipuram sari, Korvai is a design which connects the heavier ply of zari borders to the body of the ...

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Eri, The Ahimsa silk

So what is Eri Silk? It is the silk which is produced from the Eri yarn and spun by the silkworm called Samia ricini, and is indigenous to Assam. The Eri silkworm has a unique ability to weave an open-ended cocoon. Since it completes its life cycle and flies away, the resulting yarn from the cocoon is humane, and is thus referred to as the Ahimsa Silk. Eri Silk is one of ...

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Celebrate the dupattas!

This elegant piece of clothing was always open to tremendous ways of dressing up our ensemble. Traditionally a dupatta was worn to denote modesty and worn on the upper part of the body as an “odhni”, “chunri” or dupatta. You can fashion out a dupatta with a variety of materials - from the sheer georgette, chiffon, chanderi, tussar to the traditional embroidered fabrics. And with the handwoven extravaganza in silk brocades ...

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Timeless Motifs

Colours and motifs in our Kanchipuram sarees add sparkle to our celebrations of festivals and weddings. The love for ornamentation binds our whole nation together; in our Kanchipuram saris, we have superlative examples of artistry and craftsmanship. The Kanchipuram weavers produced elaborate designed textiles with their own distinctive patterns. The zari motifs were used a surface embellishment and provided a new dimension to the visual appeal of a “pattu pudavai”Greatly influenced ...

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Kasuti – Embroidery of Karnataka

Each region of India has a heritage of different kinds of embroideries peculiar to each region. These embroideries are spontaneous expressions of the local culture. Kasuti, the needle speciality of the south is the embroidery of Karnataka. Kasida means embroidery in Hindi, while Kasuti is its equivalent in Canarese. This craft stemmed from the regions of Dharwad, Belgaum, Hubballi and Bijapur districts of Karnataka. The geometric embroidery, done by the women ...

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Korvai kanjivaram

One of the most prized gifts to an Indian woman continues to be a richly brocaded Kanchipuram handwoven sari, illustrating the central role of the beautiful drape. The sheer beauty of the fabulous silks of the South, with jewel-toned colours enriched with threads of gold, has overwhelmed people. Kanchi pattu pudavai always has a special place in the handlooms of India!In Tamilnadu, the essential parts of a sari are classified into ...

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Kantha embroidery

Living traditions of embroidery in India demonstrate the validity of one of the world's richest cultural expressions. It was a language used by women to communicate their wisdom and the values they protect and nurture for themselves and their families. Bengal embroideries were commissioned by Portuguese and English at Satgaon, the mercantile capital of Calcutta then. Known as the quilts, they consisted of large-sized bedspreads, wall hangings and shawls.The quilted embroidery ...

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Zardozi embroidery

India is home to most beautiful embroidery skills like zardozi, chikankari, sujni, kantha, kasuti, mirror work, toda. Zardozi craft was a luxurious metallic embellishment of India, dates back to Vedic times. It also adorned the nobilities of Moghul Royal courts, from their court costumes, shawls and their shoes. Zardoz were the traditional craft persons who worked with gold wire, and their craft skill was called as Zardozi. Originally this elaborate technique of embroidery used ...

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How do you care for naturally dyed fabrics and sarees?

The first thing one should understand is the nature of the fabric and the source of natural dyes used in it. Storage, wash and laundry care are very important for naturally dyed fabrics since they tend to fade more quickly than the synthetic dyes. What are Natural dyes? Natural dyes are those dyes which are made from vegetables, minerals and of animal origin. They were the only source of colouring before ...

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Drapes of India – The Maharashtrian Nauvari saree

The astonishing versatility of a saree in India has been expressed by the countless women who wear this garment in different styles. In our blog this month on Drapes of India, we look at the Nauvari saree, the distinctive nine yards saree of Maharashtra. The history and origin of the saree are shrouded in mystery, but the archaeological sculptural references of earlier civilizations show the saree being draped like ‘kacham’ or a dhoti by both ...

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