Tag: India

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Meharban Khan doing gota work in the workshop on his roof

Location Scout III: Sparkle and shine

So here is one final post from my trip to India last month. I was in pursuit of locations to film hand embroidery in progress and visited a variety of workshops.  Many of these also specialised in applying a range of embellishments to fabrics in order to create the highly decorative garments favoured across India. […]

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Resist block printed cotton dyed with Indigo.

Location Scout Part II: Resist block printing

After a hurried fortnight of preparing storyboards and briefing the film crew, they have now been packed onto their flights and are off to India to capture some of the remarkable textile processes that I saw on my reccie trip in January.   I visited Kaladera in Rajasthan, looking particularly for Indigo dyeing workshops.  There I was […]

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Khadi cotton being woven on the loom

Location Scout: The Khadi weavers of Kaladera

This post has been a little delayed owing to a gastric souvenir that I have bought back from my recent trip to India (not charming and you’ll be grateful that I have no plan to expand further on this point).  The visit was ostensibly a holiday to visit family there, but being in the right […]

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Beautifully Unphotogenic

“Well, that just looks awful…” You would think a beautiful textile would be easy to photograph beautifully. After all, the thing is gorgeous! Luminous! Glorious! How could it be possible for it not to look as spectacular as it is? You would be surprised. Rounding the bend of the new year, and looking down the […]

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Rickshaw in Jaipur

‘Textiles for every use’

During my recent visit to India I was searching for handmade textiles and I found them in all sorts of places. My rickshaw driver in Jaipur was very proud of his kantha embroidered seat covering and the mirror-work panels in the back. However, I was of-course confronted by the very opposite of handmade – lots of […]

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Aziz Khatri (left) Suleman Khatri (right) with father and young Mohammed. Dyeing vat in the background.  (copyrigth Divia Patel)

In Bhuj

I was in Bhuj last week, not because I was hiding from the police, but because I was in search of interesting textiles. Sorry – I really couldn’t help that reference to the film, In Bruges, but as you might imagine, being in Bhuj, Gujarat, is very different from being in Bruges, Belgium. Bhuj is […]

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‘The Arrival of the Turkey from Goa,’ from The Jahangirnama, Ustad Mansur, ca. 1612. © Victoria & Albert Museum.

Happy Thanksgiving from the Factory!

With the last days of November approaching, many American minds are turning to their Thanksgiving celebrations. Since becoming an official federal holiday in 1863, the last Thursday of the month has been reserved for visiting family and friends, watching the (American) football game, and sharing an enormous turkey dinner. Having spent weeks eagerly reviewing my […]

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Shop front of Merchant & Mills store in Rye

Modern markets for traditional techniques

Indian textiles have long held great appeal to European consumers; so much so that in the 17th Century the Indian textile industry were seen as a direct threat to British textile manufacture.  This resulted in the ban of textile imports from India and in turn gave rise to a lively trade in smuggled chintz.  Since […]

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Auto-Rickshaw samples, 2012.© Aneeth Arora

The Difference is in the Detail

Aneeth Arora with her label Péro, has emerged as one of India’s most respected young fashion designers. Her debut collection was in 2009, and I first visited her Delhi based studio in December 2010 where I spent a lovely morning admiring the use of hand-woven fabrics and hand crafted details in her outfits. Alongside her […]

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bandhani 4916

The Reject Files

When the idea for an exhibition on Indian textiles was first given the go-ahead, I had some sleepless nights wondering how we could possibly fill even one of the V&A’s massive exhibition halls. I needn’t have worried. Now I have sleepless nights about how much we can reasonably  fit in… From an initial selection of nearly 300 objects, we have […]

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