Long before the words Jewel Tones appeared in the fashionista lexicon, they’ve been part of our the Indian Textile Tradition.
The strong colours of ruby red , amethyst , citrine , sapphire and topaz have been popular in colour palette.They perfectly complement our Indian complexions, bringing out the best in our colour tones. And many of these colours are gifts of Mother Nature , sourced from beetroot, pomegranate, henna, catechu, teak tree leaves, turmeric, madder red, kesu, haritaki, sewali flowers, and indigo.
Ruby red and Amethyst
Red for instance is derived from Madder, a plant that grows in Gujerat. When used with alum, you get different shades of red and pink.
Sappan wood that yields a deep red is got from a small tree that grows primarily in the Southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.
The bark and roots of the Morinda tree yields red and shades of deep chocolate and aubergine. It also grows in Andhra Pradehs, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujerat and West Bengal.
Yellow is obtained from various sources. Turmeric is mainly extracted from the rhizomes of the turmeric plant. Saffron that is cultivated inKashmir and Himachal Pradesh is also used. The colour is extracted from the dried stigmas of the Crocus to get a bright yellow. Other sources of yellow are the outers skin of the onion and roots and shuzomes of Himalayhan rhubarb
This is a simple no brainer for we all know about Indigo that King of all Dyes that yields the most gorgeous blues.
For more on Natural Dyes do visit here
Ever since I began this series, I’ve received comments from my readers saying that they can identify many of my saris in their own mothers’ cupboards. Well, I’m sure they’ll find some Jamdani too!
Originally made in Dhaka, these saris also called Jamdani are commonly known as Bengali Saris. Fine as they are with their intricately designed motifs, they are a treat to the eye and a pleasure to feel. You can’t help but gape in awe at the transparency and softness of this fabric. It is no wonder then that this tradition has been declared by UNESCO as a Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Do you recognise this shawl?
Many of you will be pulling it out in the Winter months. This popular Kashmiri shawl is the Jamawar, a fine blend of cotton and wool and much, much cheaper than its tony cousin – the Pashmina
[Tweet “Jamawar is derived from the words Jama=Shawl and War=Yard.”]
The beauty of the shawl lies in the fine designs that are woven into the fabric with no loose threads on the back. Traditional motifs like the Paisley are most commonly used.
Disclaimer : I am neither a textile manufacturer nor a historian . I am just passionate about textiles and fabrics. I have gathered all my information from the Internet. Please excuse any errors and omissions.
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