Textile Trivia

 

 

In India the erliest traces of textile can be found in Rigveda, which refers to weaving. The ancient Indian epics-Ramayana and Mahabharata also speak of a variety of fabrics of those times. The Ramayana refers to the rich styles worn by the aristocracy on one hand and the simple clothes worn by the commoners and ascetics.

Ample evidence on the ancient textiles of India can also be obtained from the various sculptures belonging to Mauryan and Gupta age as well as from ancient Buddhist scripts and murals (Ajanta caves). Legend has it that when Amrapali, a courtesan from the kingdom of Vaishali met Gautam Buddha, she wore a richly woven semi transparent sari, which speaks volumes of the technical achievement of the ancient Indian weaver.

India had numerous trade links with the outside world and Indian textiles were popular in the ancient world. Indian silk was popular in Rome in the early centuries of the Christian era. Hoards of fragments of cotton material originating from Gujarat have been found in the Egyptian tombs at Fostat, belonging to 5th century A.D. Cotton textiles were also exported to China during the heydays of the silk route.

Poets of the Mughal durbar likened our muslins to baft hawa (woven air), abe rawan (running water) and shabnam (morning dew).

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