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Textiles Shopping in India
One of the India’s main industries is textiles. Extreme softness, vivid colors and translucent texture characterize the most famous silk weaving of India. Brocade Silk from Varanasi is the most famous. Rajasthan cotton with its distinctive tie and dye design is brilliant and colorful, while Chennai cotton is quite attractive. Kashmir produces some of the beautiful woolens, particularly shawls.
Brocade Textiles : Varanasi, a famous center for silk weaving is popular for its brocade or kinkab (weaving in gold & silver), with a wide variety of its various techniques and styles. The brocades are distinguished by poetic names like chand tara (moon & star), dhupchaon (sunshine & shade), mazchar (ripples of silver), morgala (peacock’s neck), bulbul chasm (nightingale’s eyes). Varanasi is also famous for tanchoi saree, which resembles a fine miniature.
Ideal destinations to shop: Varanasi for Tanchoi sarees, Jamdani is the speciality of Tanda in Faizabad, Silk sarees of Mysore, Kanchipuram, Murshidabad and Kashmir, Cotton sarees of Bengal and Madhya Pradesh, and Patola sarees of Gujarat and Orissa.
Embroidery : It is an expression of emotions, rendered with patient labor, which includes grace and elegance into articles of everyday use. The chikan work of Lucknow, patterned on lace is delicate and subtle. The stitch by its sheer excellence provides ornamentation to the material. The charm lies in the minuteness of the floral motifs, stitches used are satin stitch, button- hole stitch, and dar stitch knot stitch netting and applique work, which bring a charming shadowy effect on lace.
Embroidery done in metal wires with zari is also very popular. The heavier and more elaborate form Zardozi. Kamdani is a lighter needlework done on lighter material producing a glitter effect.
Ideal destinations to shop: Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Chikan embroidery of Lucknow and other north Indian tourist’s towns.
Hand Block Printing : In this technique, fabric is decorated by printing designs on it. Hand block printing in India was the chief occupation of the chippas – a community of printers. They use metal or wooden blocks to print designs on the fabrics by hand. Ethnic Dresses : India a land of various communities has a wide variety of ethnic dresses from various parts of the country. Kashmiri Shikara, Rajasthani ghagra choli are famous among them. They are freely available in local markets.
Ideal destinations to shop: Uttar Pradesh, Kutch, Kathiawar, Rajasthan and Gujarat, well known for bandini designs.
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