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From Farm to Fiber from Fiber to Factory from Factory to Fabric and from Fabric to Fashion, this is the story of five Fs of Fabric and Fashion. Indians mainly have been wearing clothing’s made of locally grown cotton. As far as our knowledge goes India was one of the first places where the cultivation of cotton existed and cotton was used and it is during the period as early as 2500 BC ie during the Indus valley civilization or what we call the Harappan era. The presence of fabric worn by the people can be seen as a proof in the rock cut sculptures. These sculptures show the figures of human wearing the clothes or fabrics which can be wrapped around the body, for eg the Sari or Turban and the Dhoti these are traditionally Indian wears which are tied around the body to cover oneself but done in various ways in different part of India and in different cast or communities around India.
Textiles can be felt or spun fibers made into yarn and then netted, looped, knit or woven to make fabrics, these appeared in the Middle East during the late Stone Age. It is seen that from the ancient times to the present day, there were various methods of textile production which were continually evolved and this led to choices of textiles available and it influenced how people carried their possessions, clothed themselves and also decorated their houses and surroundings. The rich and stylized worn by the aristocrats and ordinary and simple garments worn by the common people.
Textiles are connected to communities and no other region in India is as rich in folk costumes even now. Kutch in Gujarat which is the western most state of India you will find not one or two or three but more than 25 different types of embroideries or patch work or weaving patterns in Gujarat, each belonging to different ethnic groups and each ethnic group have their own unique style of embroidery, different motifs, patterns that gives them their visual identity. To name a few ethnic groups like jat Muthwa, Rabari, Ahir, Sodha Rajputs, Haliputra, Meghwals etc have different style of embroidery namely, Suf, Kharek, Ari etc, Not only is the embroidery of Gujarat Famous but is famous for its weaving also like the Double Ikkat Patola, or Mushroo weaving or the Tangaliya weaving, also Single ikkat weaving etc or let it be the shawls for the Rabari community also known as Dhabada in the local language. You can also see felt making in kutch region. Ajrak printing work of the Khatri community people who have been doing this for the past 9 generations can be seen here, Kharad weaving is another unique art that can be seen here and the most beautiful art is Rogan Painting an art been done by only a hand full of people of the same family and probably the only family doing this work in India and may be even in the world. Gujarat is the place to visit if you are on a textile tour to India.
Gujarat Textiles and Handicrafts reflect the splendid work of colours played in different forms of design. The major factor behind the success of the textile industry in Gujarat is the fact that it has managed to preserve its old tradition and rich cultural heritage. The state excels in both quality and designs of textiles, both customary and recent. Gujarat produce the widest range of woven fabrics like the patola, double ikat, bandhej tie and dye, the woven mushroo and the resist printing on cotton and silk.
Gujarat’s rich tribal folk contribute to the different variety of embroidery work from hundreds of years as per the tradition of each tribe or communities, this can be identified from the various stitches they do on motifs, patterns which are in use for hundreds of years Popularly termed as the textile state of India, Gujarat has one of the most flourishing textile industries in the country. And it was very truly said and called the Manchester of the East during the British era, and the Denim Capital of India.