Indian handlooms are known all over the world for their richness, variety and quality. They represent our precious heritage. Our love for colours and prints goes a long way back as our country has always been associated with rich weaves and unique textiles. The unique identity of our fabric comes from the prints and weaves unique to a particular region. The prints are inspired by nature, the architecture of temples and forts, rural life and geometric patterns. There are rich vibrant colours in these patterns. Each pattern tells a story to the beholder. A variety of dress materials featuring different types of print on them are sold by the best dress material retailers in Gariahat.
From every part of the country, talented craftsmen pour out their imagination on cloth. Every time the artists and craftsmen try to produce something new, be it florals, animal prints or abstracts. The following are some of the most popular Indian prints that have a high demand all over the world:
The roots of Bandhani are there in the land of Gujarat and Rajasthan and it is one of the most recognizable Indian prints. From the Sanskrit word ‘Bandha’ meaning ‘to tie’, comes the term Bandhani. By plucking the cloth with the fingernails into many tiny bindings that form a figurative design, the textile is decorated. By first tying small portions of the fabric at intervals with continuous thread to form interesting patterns and then dyeing it, patterns like dots, stripes, waves or squares are formed. In Gujarat, Rajasthan, Sindh, Punjab and in Tamil Nadu where it’s known as Sungudi, the most popular Bandhani making centres are located.
The term Kalamkari is of Persian origin. The meaning of it is ‘the art of drawing with a pen’. Groups of musicians, artists and storytellers would draw out episodes or stories from Hindu mythology, when they moved from one part to another. In these paintings, natural colours from natural ingredients were used and this is an interesting point about them. Freehand abstracts and intricate floral and animal prints are included in the art nowadays. For over months, these are tediously created by the artisans. Exclusive sarees with this print are available with famous saree retailers in Kolkata.
Ikat is actually a dyeing technique rather than a print or pattern and is one of the oldest forms of textile decorations. The yarns are dyed before weaving them into a fabric in this popular art form. To create patterns or textiles, it uses a resist dyeing process, quite similar to tie-dye. The warp or weft is used in this technique to weave a pattern or design. It is called double Ikat when both warp and weft are tie-dyed. In the chosen design, individual yarns or bundles of yarns are bound with tight wrapping. Then it is dyed to create the desired pattern. The blurriness of Ikat is its special characteristic and on the part of the craftsman, it requires immense skill to line the threads in place. It is more expensive if it is less blurry as more time, effort and skill has gone into it. The silk saree retailers in Kolkata sell wonderful Ikat sarees suitable for different occasions.
Varak gold and silver leaf printing
A delicate way of embellishing clothes or fabrics is ‘Chandi Ki Chhapai’ or ‘Silver Printing’, which is a traditional form of printing. This kind of printing uses varaks made by flattening gold or silver into a thin paper-like consistency and also called ‘Varak Gold or Silver Leaf Printing’. To reflect the status and prestige of the possessor, it was hand printed onto flags, royal tents and other insignias of power. In Jaipur, there are only two printers who do varak block printing, which is extremely rare today. Nowadays, on rich Chanderi sarees and dupattas, silver and gold leaf printing can be seen and these are done by some of the finest craftsmen in the country. These sarees are available with Chanderi Saree retailers in Kolkata.
Bagru block printing, the brainchild of the Chippa community in Rajasthan, has been alive for centuries and creates some of the best Indian prints. You can buy sarees having attractive Bagru prints from top handloom saree retailers in Gariahat. Wash resistant prints are created in a tediously long process and master craftsmen are dedicated to it for more than 30 years. Everything in the Bagru block printing technique, right from the dye to the wooden blocks. For their simplicity and effortless elegance, Bagru prints are appreciated all over the world.