The interaction of peoples—indigenous tribes, invaders, traders, explorers—throughout India’s history has built a culture legendary for its variety and color. From the Rann of Kutch to the Coromandel coast, from city to village, handloom weavers, block printers, textile painters, dyers, and embroiderers continue India’s flourishing textile traditions.
The authors have traveled thousands of miles in a country they know intimately to gather information and photographs of tribal and folk textiles woven for use within the family, as well as of workshop production in villages and towns. They first examine the cultural background to the textiles: the history, from the earliest civilizations to Post-Independence; the materials, including silks, cottons, and wool; and the techniques of weaving, printing, painting, and tie-dye.
The second part of the book comprises a detailed region-by-region account of traditional textile production, including western India, famous for its dyed and printed cloth, appliqué, and beadwork, plus other centers in the north, south, and east, and in Sri Lanka. An array of 365 photographs, 335 in color, including over one hundred new images, provides an unrivaled visual presentation of the textiles. The reference section includes information on technical terms, a list of museums and galleries, and an updated bibliography.
John Gillow has spent over three decades studying, collecting, and lecturing on textiles. His other books include Textiles of the Islamic World and Indian Textiles.
Nicholas Barnard’s other books include Living with Decorative Textiles. He lives in England.