Handlooms of India EVS Grade 4 Learning Concepts | Orchids
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Concept: Handlooms of India

  • The weaving industry in India dates back to the Indus valley civilization, when people started growing cotton and were skilled in how to make fabric with that.
  • India is a diverse country with a variety of weavers who produce different types of fabric.
  • In ancient India, weavers learnt about silk manufacturing from China.
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How is yarn transformed into a cloth?

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Handloom industry in India:

  • The handloom industry is the most diversified in our country.
  • A handloom is a device that weaves fabric manually without electricity. It takes a lot of labour and time to weave these fabrics.
  • India produces some of the finest handlooms that are shown in the following map—
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The different and unique handlooms of India are briefly described below—

1. Kanjeevaram silk-

  • State of origin: Tamil Nadu.
  • It is one of the most expensive handwoven silk fabrics.
  • The fabric got its name from the city of Kanchipuram, where it is made.
  • The fabric is lustrous and has elaborated zari work.
  • The expensive sarees have designs made with gold threads.
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2. Chanderi:

  • State of origin: Madhya Pradesh.
  • It is a traditional saree mentioned in many Hindu mythological books.
  • Chanderi fabrics are of three types— made with silk, cotton, and silk and cotton.
  • Due to its light and sheer texture it is also called ‘woven air’.
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3. Muga silk:

  • State of origin: Assam.
  • The Muga silk is made only in Assam and is known as the ‘golden fibre’.
  • This silk has a very fine texture with high durability, and the colour of this silk is naturally yellow.
  • This fabric is washable, and with each wash, the lustre of the fabric increases.
  • Mekhela-chador, the traditional attire of Assamese women, is made with Muga silk.
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4. Bandhani:

  • State of origin: Gujarat.
  • It is a tie and dye type of textile found in bright colours like yellow, red, blue, black, etc.
  • This fabric is made by the local Khatri community of Gujarat.
  • A distinguishable feature of this fabric is its light-coloured dots in various patterns and designs.
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5. Kosa silk:

  • State of origin: Chattisgarh.
  • Desi Tussar silk sarees are called by the Sanskrit name Kosa silk sarees.
  • Kosa silk is more durable than pure silk and is obtained from specific breeds of silkworm whose cocoons are found in Sal and Arjun trees.
  • A single saree takes five days to complete.
  • Champa and Korba in Chattisgarh produce the maximum quantity of Kosa silk.
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6. Baluchari:

  • State of origin: West Bengal.
  • It is made of tussar silk and is primarily made in the Murshidabad and Bishnupur districts of West Bengal.
  • Mythological scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharata are depicted on such sarees.
  • Using jacquard looms, a saree takes at least five to six days to complete.
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7. Kalamkari:

  • State of origin: Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is a hand-painted or block-printed cotton-based textile.
  • The designs of the kalamkari fabric are done with vegetable colours.
  • Wooden stamps are also used to make the designs.
  • In this era, digital machines are used to print kalamkari fabrics.
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8. Paithani:

  • State of origin: Maharashtra.
  • It is a type of handwoven silk saree worn by the Maratha royals.
  • The pallus of Paithani sarees have peacocks, parrot, or flower motifs.
  • Due to its weaving pattern, a Paithani saree looks exactly the same on both sides.
  • This saree is an integral part of Maharashtrian culture.
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9. Banarasi:

  • State of origin: Uttar Pradesh.
  • These sarees are pretty heavy and made with silk fabrics.
  • They are designed with intricate patterns of zari or silver brocade.
  • Kalga, bel, and upright leafy motifs are used to design these sarees.
  • As per designs, these sarees take twenty days to six months to complete.
  • The fabrics are gorgeous and used for weddings and other grand functions.
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10. Patan patola:

  • State of origin: Gujarat.
  • These are silk-made double-woven sarees.
  • Patola is an expensive saree, and the weaving process of this fabric takes a long time.
  • These sarees are famous for their intricate and complex geometrical style.
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11. Bomkai:

  • State of origin: Odisha.
  • It is also known as the Sonepuri saree.
  • These sarees are made of cotton or silk and are famous for their thread work and pallu.
  • Temple, tortoise, and lotus motifs are used to design these sarees.
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12. Pochampalli:

  • State of origin: Telangana.
  • These sarees can be made with cotton, silk, or a blend of cotton and silk.
  • Pochampally fabric is a type of double ikat textile.
  • Colours are used from natural sources and their mixtures.
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New Words:

Loom: A loom is a machine to weave fabrics from threads.

Motif: A figure or decorative image used repeatedly to design fabrics.

Pallu: It is the loose end of a saree worn over one shoulder.

Ikat: It is a type of fabric that is woven from a tied and dyed yarn.


Did You Know?

  • Jamdani fabric is originally from Bangladesh but is also made in West Bengal. Traditional jamdani fabrics used to be made with muslins.
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  • Chikan Kari and Phulkari are types of embroidery designs from Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. Phulkari is done with flower motif stitches on light-coloured fabrics. Chikan Kari is done with chikan stitches.
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  • Shisha is a type of embroidery work with designer glass pieces. This artwork was brought to India by the Mughals. Shisha toranas are hung over the entrances of homes to ward off evil.
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