"Katab" Appliqué in Western India

 
 
 

Our bright new line of  Katab Throw Pillowsare handmade by artisans in Rajasthan, India

 

Appliqué in Gujarat is known as katab (a word probably derived from the English 'cut-up') and usually takes the form of pieces of colored fabric stitched on to a cotton ground.

This style of textile decoration spread across India throughout the 19th-century as the process was faster, easier, and cheaper than embroidery.  Any scraps of old fabric could be used to cut out the designs which were typically highly stylized animals, foliage, and geometric shapes.




The Block-Printing Technique


our visit to a traditional block-printing studio in Udaipur

For centuries, the western states of Rajasthan and Gujarat have produced and exported textiles.  This region remains one of India's largest producers of textiles and artisans still practice the very techniques developed by their ancestors.

 



 

Another traditional method of textile design in Rajasthan, India is wooden block-printing. There are various styles of block-printing and materials used in this practice of resist-dyeing.  The patterns achieved on all block printed textiles are created by the individual stamp designs of a master printer.  

 This centuries-old technique requires the skill of various artisans: first a wood carver designs and creates the motif on each handheld stamp.  The master printer then holds this stamp and dips it in dye or in a dye-resistant material like mud or wax, and hand-prints the intended design onto a piece of natural fabric.



Decorating textiles through methods of resist-dyeing has been practiced across the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan for many centuries.  Last week we discussed "Bandhani" which uses a tie and dyeing method of resist-dyeing.

The other technique for resist-dying: "creates patterns either by painting or printing. In order to resist the dye, areas of the cloth that are to form the pattern or design are coated with impermeable substances such as wax, gum or rice paste, resin, starch or mud.  Once the cloth has been dyed, the resist subtances are removed by immersion in hot or cold water, or by ironing or brushing."   (Gillow, John, and Nicholas Barnard. Indian Textiles. London: Thames & Hudson, 2008. Print.)


CARVED WOOD BLOCKS ARE SAVED AND REUSED

A MASTER PRINTS THE DESIGN WITH MUD

VARIOUS PRINTING MATERIALS AND TOOLS


The terrain of western India is dramatic, but for most of the year it is a landscape painted with shades of yellows and browns, broken by the irrigated fields of rich green and punctuated by clusters of thorn and other hardy trees adjacent to the wells and seasonal lakes. By way of relief to the monotony of these dull tones, the people of the region have a deep-seated need for colour which is vented in the vibrancy of their clothes, animal trappings, and house decorations: the richness of the region’s textile culture is indeed evident to the visitor as well as to the follower of fashion in the west.
— Gillow, John, and Nicholas Barnard. Indian Textiles. London: Thames & Hudson, 2008. Print.

 
 

WALL ART : coming soon to the T+B shop!



TEXTILE ARTS / INDIA

... the tradition, influences, significance + styles of textile production across INDIA ...

 

BRIGHT + BOLD / DESERT HUES

The art of textile design and production have a longstanding history in this region.  The various styles and techniques portray diversity in the local population, influenced by neighboring  cultures and religions for  many centuries. Domestically, embroidery is used  during marital celebrations to show a young woman's skills to her chosen husband and his extended family.   The styles of embroidery, subject matter, materials, and the specific techniques used vary greatly across India.  For example, tribal communities that were once nomadic "wanderers" in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat are known to use shisha "mirrorwork" and typically only floral and geometric motifs, omitting any figurative symbolism.  Using  only floral or geometric symbolism and entirely non-figurative subjects suggests these regions were  strongly influenced by Muslim cultures.

“The terrain of western India is dramatic, but for most of the year it is a landscape painted with shades of yellows and browns, broken by the irrigated fields of rich green and punctuated by clusters of thorn and other hardy trees adjacent to the wells and seasonal lakes. By way of relief to the monotony of these dull tones, the people of the region have a deep-seated need for colour which is vented in the vibrancy of their clothes, animal trappings, and house decorations: the richness of the region’s textile culture is indeed evident to the visitor as well as to the follower of fashion in the west.”

— Gillow, John, and Nicholas Barnard. Indian Textiles. London: Thames & Hudson, 2008. Print.

 

BACK TO INDIA!


t + b travel / update

S P R I N G   B R E A K   I N

:: RAJASTHAN, INDIA ::

 
 

We are currently creating city + country guides with our own photo diaries from a few of our favorite destinations.  Our experiences abroad inspired T+B and will become a significant part of our website. Please e-mail us with any questions or suggestions - hello@tuluandblue.com

We are heading back to India next week!  Well, not all of us ...  but our newest T + B ambassadors will spend their spring breaks in Rajasthan!  They will be sharing photographs and diary entries from their adventures throughout the week.  We will feature these posts on our home page and on the blog!


YSR! / T+B


T H A N K  Y O U ,

 S E W A N E E.


 

WE RECENTLY HOSTED OUR FIRST TRUNK SHOW AT SEWANEE: THE UNIVERSITY OF THE SOUTH. 

 

 

THE SALE WAS SUCH A SUCCESS + WE WANTED TO THANK EVERYONE SO MUCH FOR THE SUPPORT!

 

C H E E R S  to the TKP sorority for hosting our event and to our T + B  family on the mountain for the success of our very first trunk show!

 

 
If you were unable to make it to the sale and want to order something from our online shop, please e-mail us: 
hello@tuluandblue.com
for details on our exclusive Sewanee discount!