Navaratri – The Festive Fortnight

The air reverberates with the spirit of goodness and togetherness, as seen through the grand celebrations and prayers during the festival of Navaratri. The word translates to 'nine nights' in Sanskrit and at the heart of its festivities lies the legendary story of Goddess Durga, who represents the 'Divine Feminine' and triumphed in the battle against the demon Mahishashura who had taken the form of a buffalo. A season to ...

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TGIF MOTIFS: Pushpam – Nature’s remarkable masterpiece

Vibrant, fragrant and fresh, flowers are synonymous with our culture in innumerable ways. From dusk to dawn, flowers are interwoven into the daily routine of people all over India. Right from decorating the house to offerings while worshipping deities to medicinal uses, these bright and beautiful blooms represent the very spirit of our community and has great symbolic connotations. It is a practice as old as time amongst households to ...

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The A-Z of Indian Embroidery

India is home to a stunning array of artistic traditions that include a host of embroidery techniques that are as diverse as our land and the many cultures it is home to. Every region boasts of a distinctive style where the embroidery is not seen just as ornamentation but a means of communication. Fabrics are woven threads that are spun with the stories and beliefs of the community and reflect ...

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TGIF Motifs – Pulli Kolam: Method, meaning and mathematics

The dynamic and diverse landscape of a region is inscribed onto its weave through motifs, which also have a deeper symbolic meaning attached to it. In this week's edition of The Great Indian Fabric blog, we will be immersing ourselves into the art and science of Pulli Kolams, a centuries-old craft that is central to a multitude of cultural customs. Known through a host of names across the country, ranging from ...

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Silk Stories from Assam

Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas on the banks of the mighty Brahmaputra, amongst lush tea plantations, archaeological marvels and ancient pilgrimage sites lies the state renowned for its wild silk production, Assam. Rearing and weaving silk is an integral part of Assam's culture and almost every village across the state is home to generations of silk-producing communities. Esteemed as the pride of Assam, the art and science behind ...

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TGIF Motifs – The magic of the Mayilkann

Over centuries, the timeless Kanchipuram weave has become synonymous with certain patterns that constitute a myriad of motifs and weaving techniques. The school of design from this temple town in South India was born not just with the purpose of an aesthetic appeal but to represent the strong symbolic connotations that it carried in every stroke. Inspired by a treasure chest of religious, spiritual, mythological and social metaphors, these motifs ...

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The Opulence of Organza

From the vintage moments of the Victorian era, Organza was considered to be one of the prettiest fabrics with a powerful feminine allure. Its name has been derived from the term "Organzine", which is a material made from strong silk fibres twisted into strands. The word Organza first came into use during the Middle ages where it was integrated into Italian and French languages as "organzano" and "organsin" respectively. The ...

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TGIF – The Timeless Thazamburekku Motif

The "thazhampoo" or "thazambu" is a fragrant yellow flower that grows along the river banks of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In the olden days, these flowers were kept inside wardrobes as fabric fresheners and insect repellants. Young maidens used the flowers as ornaments to adorn their long thick jadais, especially during auspicious occasions like "seemanthams" and weddings. These flowers have leaves with distinctive saw-like edges, which are used for making soft ...

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Caring for your textiles – Part 2

Caring for your textiles is a series of blogs which focusses on preventive and conservation methods. In our last blog, we discussed the need to know about the composition of fibres and yarns in our collection, storage methods and ways handling of fabrics. Your precious wedding and heirloom sarees need preventive care and maintenance regularly. In addition to being damaged by use, fabrics become fragile due to a lot of external ...

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Muqaish – The metallic embroidery

The craft of embroiders is no less than the art of poets and painters who have defined cultures and civilizations.    This week’s blog is an ode to the shimmering embroidery of Awadh, which is now a part of Uttar Pradesh, but was established as Faizabad in 1722 AD under the Nawabs. Known as Kamdani or Fardi ka kaam, this shimmering embroidery was a part of the rich Lucknowi culture and tradition. The ...

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