6 books that document heritage of handlooms in India

6 books that document heritage of handlooms in India

August 7 is National Handloom Day. It commemorates the Swadeshi movement launched in 1905

Saris of India: Tradition and beyond

National Handloom Day showcases the immense contribution of India’s handloom industry towards the socio-economic development of the country. It is also celebrated to spread awareness about our traditional textiles and fabrics among the people. 

Metrolife puts together six books that document the history, trade, and manufacturing techniques of the handloom sector of India.         

Saris of India: Tradition and beyond

Author: Martand Singh and Rta Kapur Chishti

Built on a research spanning two decades and covering 14 states, this book brings to its readers comprehensive documentation on the ethnic wear of India. The book is completely based on the knowledge of weavers, inherited from their ancestors. It comprises detailed documentation of the design, structure, colour, format and technology used in making a sari. Interestingly, the book provides up to 100 different illustrations of draping a sari.

Indian textiles

Author: John Gillow

All of three chapters, this book explains to its readers the history and techniques of textile production in the Indian subcontinent and delves into the clear-cut difference between the work of regional and ethnic groups. It describes the process of regional embroidery, dyeing, weaving styles in a simplified manner, understandable to a layman. Photographs and illustrations make it an excellent reference book for textile enthusiasts.

Rapture: The Art of Indian Textiles

Author: Rahul Jain

This 2011 book shows the evolution made in the designs of Indian textiles between the 15th and early 20th centuries. Designs of trees and plants, birds and animals, rituals, worships, and iconic symbols, and imaginary landscapes are incorporated into some of the varieties of textiles explained in the book. Textile connoisseurs, design experts, and tastemakers will benefit from reading this book on spectacular textile art.

Textiles and Weavers in South India

Author: Vijaya Ramaswamy

This 2006 book explores the role and socio-economic world of weavers and the status of the handloom industry in south India. The importance of caste, religion, and culture in textile production and trade are well illustrated in this book. The loom technology, the domestic and foreign trade of textiles, textile policies, and challenges faced by the traditional weaving community are also enumerated in this diversely researched 271-page book.

Pashmina: The Kashmir shawl and beyond

Author: Janet Rizvi, Monisha Ahmed

Based on the exquisite textile of India, the book explores the history and trade surrounding the famous Pashmina shawls. The author sheds light on the exploited community of workers who produce the most beautiful cultural product of Kashmir. Detailed analysis and documentation put forth the nature of the industries of the textile and debunks several myths surrounding it.

The Fabric of India 

Author: Rosemary Crill

This comprehensive book on textiles features designs from all over the country. Different materials, techniques, and the dyeing and embroidery process in creating these resplendent fabrics are explicitly described in this 2015 written book. The book also emphasises the importance of silk, cotton, wool, and other forms of fabrics. The designs of the Kashmiri map shawl, Tipu Sultan’s tent, and an 18th-century temple of South India are also recorded in this lavishly illustrated book.