The geo-climatic and bio diversity of India has given birth to myriad of textiles and weaving pattern throughout India. The textile tradition in India has been determined by a number of factors like climate, geography, local culture, social customs, availability of raw material etc. A variety of raw material like silk, cotton, jute, wool etc is used for creating fabric in India. Cotton and silk weaving dominates the weaving traditions in India. Silk weaving is common in most parts of the country, important centers being Assam, Banaras, Murshidabad, Surat, Kanchipuram and Patan etc. There are several centers in India that specializes in silk and cotton sari weaving. No doubt, Indian Fabrics are popular across the world and this is the reason why India is termed as the ultimate shopping paradise.
Follwoing are the top 10 fabric hot spots in India
Apart from the Lucknow cuisines and the Nawabs culture and mannerisms, the Chikankari of Lucknow, which is a work of embroidery, is famous all over India and across the globe. The old Lucknow area is exclusively famous for the Chikankari work. Lucknow chikankari work is a complex and delicate procedure of embroidery using muslin clothes. The Chowk area of old Lucknow and Hazrat Ganj has the highest concentration of Chikan shops.
Srikalahasti, also known as the temple town in Chitoor district of Andhra Pradesh, located 60 km from Tirupati is renowned for the Kalamkari style of textile printing. Kalamkari refers to a method of painting natural dyes onto silk or cotton fabric with a bamboo pen or kalam. The 3,000 year old craft mainly relies on free-hand drawing depicting mainly Hindu deities and mythology.
Kasuti Embroidery, Dharwad
Located 425 km northwest of Bangalore, Dharwad is famous for a traditional form of embroidery which is popularly known as known as ‘Kasuti’ practiced in Karnataka. Kasuti or Kashidakari is a very ancient and traditional form of embroidery that can be traces back to the 8th century. This special Kasuti embroidery work is entirely done by women. This Kasuti embroidery depicts the best of folk craft. The exclusive geometric designs are derived from temple sculptures, images of chariots, flora and fauna and also resemble the rangoli.
Banarasi Brocade, Varanasi
Varanasi or the city of “Moksha” is also renowned for the fine art work of brocades with intricate designs of silk and gold threads. Also known as ‘Kinkhab’, the Banarasi brocade is made by interweaving gold threads and colored silk. The brocades are extremely attractive and fascinating and are every woman’s desire. Varanasi is one of the renowned places throughout the country for its brocade designs. There are around 10,000 shops in Varanasi that are into the selling of Banarasi saris.
Silk city, Kanchipuram
The city of Sankaracharya Math and thousand of temples, Kanchipuram is also famous for its silk saris and known as the silk city. The specialty of these saris is that each thread is made up of three silk fibers twisted together, making the cloth more durable, compared to saris from other weaving centers. Nearly three fourth of Kanchipuram`s population earns livelihood though Silk Sari industry. All the raw materials come from different parts of the state. All the fabrics are hand-woven and contain elements of pure gold and silver, making the sari more costly.
Bandhani-Tie and Dye, Kutch
The Kutch region in Gujarat comprising Mandvi, Anjar, Bhuj, Dhamanka, Khavda, Bara and Tera is famous for the Bandhani saris in India. Bandhani work involves tying and dyeing of pieces of cotton or silk cloth. The fabric may be tied and dyed several times, depending on the number of shades in the final color scheme. The process is simple but difficult and time consuming. The tie-dyed fabrics of Gujarat are the best produced in India.
Mashru Fabric, Patan
Situated 130 km from Ahmadabad in Gujarat, Patan is famous for a unique fabric called Mashru, other than its popular Patola saris. It is the main trade center of Mashru saris. Mashru has two faces, silk on the outer side of the fabric and cotton on the reverse side. It was used initially only by the Muslim men because the Islamic law prohibited pure silk, but Hindu communities too began using it later.
Batik Work, Shantiniketan
Around 215 km from Kolkata, Shantiniketan which is also popularly known as Tagore’s own country, is famous for the fine work of batik. Previously Batik art was introduced as a subject in the Visva Bharati University. Batik involves the process of covering a part of the cloth with a coat of wax and then the cloth is dyed. It’s a unique process of decorating the cloth. Saris, bags, dress material, scarves, dupattas and many other types of garments are made in Batik designs all over Shantiniketan.
Muga Silk work, Saulkuchi
About 35 kms from Guwahati, in Kamrup District on the bank of the river Brahmaputra, Sualkuchi is famous for silk saris and is also popularly known as silk village of Assam. The weaving tradition of this village can be traced back to the 11th century. The Muga silks are not dyed and so in naturally golden in color.
Sambalpuri Textile, Sambalpur
Sambalpur located in western Orissa is famous for Sambalpuri handloom textile. The Sambalpuri Sarees are made using tie and dye method. Typical designs include fish, flower and conch shell done on both cotton and silk fabrics. Sambalpuri handloom Sari, bed sheets, handkerchief and other items can be bought in the shops at Gole Bazaar including the Sambalpur Hand Loom Co-operative show rooms.