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Jewel tones,Jamdani and Jamewar#AtoZChallenge 2017

Jewel tones

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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 Topaz

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

Sapphire Blue

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 


Image for my Dhakai Beauties

My Dhakai Beauties

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Originally made in Dhaka, these saris  also called Jamdani are commonly known as Bengali Saris.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.

Acknowledgements :


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.

Join me and hundreds of other bloggers participating in the #AtoZ Challenge 2017. I am also linking this up with #UltimateBlogChallenge and @Blogchatter.

Image for BellyBytes


A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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34 Responses

  1. Lata Sunil says:

    Rightly said, my mother and mother-in-law own them. But I was not knowing the names. This is good info.
    Lata Sunil recently posted…Book Blitz : Finding the Angel by Rubina RameshMy Profile

    • Bellybytes says:

      Thanks Lata. I figured that most people who own such stuff are more familiar with mosquito nets rather than the Internet 🙁 sorry for the bad joke )

  2. Rajlakshmi says:

    All I knew was about indigo. Never really gave it a thought from where other colors are derived from. I saw the mention of sewali phool, which is quite the favorite of Assamese womenfolk.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…Yogasana: Janu Sirsasana #atozchallengeMy Profile

  3. Vidya Sury says:

    Didn’t know the process for the colors. And don’t own jamavar or jamdani. Sigh. 🙂 Lovely post!
    Vidya Sury recently posted…Intentional Living #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  4. Sreesha says:

    Yes, the Jamdani sari does look familiar, either from my mom’s cupboard or my grandmom’s, I forget.
    The shawl looks gorgeous! The embroidery work is so intricate.
    Sreesha recently posted…Jealous Gods | #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

  5. Arti says:

    Lovely post. I have a couple of tant sarees (one I got from Bellur Math) and love them.
    Would love to wear jamdani…maybe next time I visit Kolkatta:)
    J is for JOYN

  6. Geets says:

    Jewel stones give an exquisite look to the attire! I like them here and there..not too much on one piece of fabric. I also like stone work. The big stones that add so much of royalty to the outfit, I simply adore that!

    Geets recently posted…J- JudgementalMy Profile

  7. Shalini R says:

    I don’t think I have this one! But looks so pretty that it makes me want to buy one 😛
    Shalini R recently posted…Jal JeeraMy Profile

  8. Love the info on the colours- so many of them were unknown to me!! Thanks for doing such a wonderful theme Sunita- Jamdabi is missing from my cupboard and moms too! HMMMM
    As for Jamawars, my mom is a veritable hoarder of them!! 😉

    Theme: Peregrination Chronicles (travel)
    J is for Japanese dancers in the hot sands of Pushkar #atozchallenge
    SHALINI BAISIWALA recently posted…[J] Japanese Kalbeliya in Pushkar |#atozchallenge 2017|My Profile

  9. I have a jamdaani and the jamawaar shawl I bought in Kashmir is stunning.Thanks for highlightING these beautiful fabrics
    Amrita Basu (Misra) recently posted…Jackfruit : Jack of all fruits #AtoZ fruitsMy Profile

  10. Shilpa Garg says:

    My mother has a Jamawar shawl and it was a part of wedding trousseau. It still looks so rich and elegant. I like your Jamdani sarees… our neighbour in Lucknow used to wear these always! Another interesting and insightful post, Sunita. Thanks!
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Just Jejune #AtoZChallenge @AprilA2ZMy Profile

  11. I live for jewel tone colors in my life 🙂 i am just discovering sarees, and yr theme is just right 🙂

  12. bushra says:

    i’ve seen jamdaani in may Indian serials though never have one, but the jamawar shawl is in my wardrobe and I’m loving it
    Thanks for sharing
    Dr bushra
    do visit mine
    J for Jubilant Yourself with the Healthy Diet for Pregnancy

  13. I had no idea that is how they got the colors! Learning so much from your posts! Thank you:)

  14. Ramya Rao says:

    I have stayed in Gujarat for two years, so have a little knowledge but this is amazing info. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  15. Dahlia says:

    Oh yes! I think I have a dhakai jamdani 😀

  16. Deepa says:

    I never heard of Jamdani but I love jewels and Ruby is my favourite.

  17. Debbie D. says:

    I absolutely adore the vibrant colours of Indian fashions! Such beautiful saris, scarves and light, airy cotton items. If I ever get to India (and I would love to!), there will be many shopping trips. 🙂
    Debbie D. recently posted…JE TAIME…MOI NON PLUS | #AtoZCHALLENGE (J) #MusicalMemoriesMy Profile

  18. Jacqui says:

    I didn’t think of that, the jewel tones. Useful info.

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