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



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.