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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Indian Art and Craft : Carpets and Textiles of India (Indian History of Carpets) - 15

Travelling through India can be a sartorial adventure. Each region has an abundance of traditional outfits. The colors and the weaves are unique in each state and the ornamentation or printing, mirrors the images of the region. The peacock motifs of Lucknow, the chinar leaf of Kashmir, the royal scenes of Kanchipuram and the checks and stripes of Maharashtra, all add to make a collage rich and vibrant in color, design and fabric.

Traditional Indian textiles have romantic origins that date back several centuries. References to weaving proliferate right from the Vedas. With the birth of weaving, associated accessories like needle work and embroidery followed. The artisans from each region formed their own styles, drawing inspiration from nature.

No other land enjoys such a profusion of creative energies for the production of textiles. Styles of weaving and the choice of textiles are dependent on the topography of the region and the influences of the various cultures prevalent.

India's legendary textiles have remained unchanged in their timelessness. Carpets, silks and cottons were fabled export treasures when India was a maritime superpower in ancient times. Plush silk carpets, honed under Mughal design sensibilities, have graced many royal homes. Fine knotted cotton durries as well as sturdy rugs and Islamic prayer rugs or kilims from Rajasthan are woven even today.

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