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Home > Profile> Prespective > Silk Embroidery

Silk Embroidery

Tie-dye technique is used as a base for embroidery in which the fabric is stretched over a board on which the pattern is marked with tiny raised nails and the cloth is tied with fine threads to resist the dye.

Most of the times the dyed silk is left un-ironed, so that the creases and raised points give an attractive texture. (It, however, disappears after the first wash). Chain stitch is also used to done with hooked needles for ghagra and salwar by the professional embroiderers of Kutch and Gujarat. Tiny mirrors or mica is also used to highlight the pattern.

India is the second largest producer of silk, next only to China. India, the only country which produces all the four commercially known varieties of silk. Each area of the country has a rich and varied variety of silk production, distinctly its own.

Caring for your Silks

Each fabric survives wear and tear according to its built-in characteristics and earlier treatments, but when different fibers are used to weave their reaction on humidity alters. Pure silk can withstand wear and tear better than a fabric woven of silk and cotton or any other combination. Damage to silk could be caused by light, dust, dirt, grease, excess moisture and excessive dryness. It is imperative that silk is protected from light as light fades colors and attack the fibers making them brittle. Dust and dirt contain small particles of dirt which might cut the fabric. So it is important to keep dirt well away. Water can mark silks and cause dyes to run. Together with heat, it provides the conditions for moulds to grow. Dryness can make the fibers brittle, so they break. Hence, correct moisture content is necessary for suppleness. The ideal storage and display temperature for silk is between 12 and 18 degree centigrade and a stable humidity of 50 to 55 percent will be good for the fabric. Silk should be stored in a dark place, at a moderate and constant temperature and carefully wrapped in acid-free tissue paper. Layers of fabric should be protected from each other and you should put crumpled tissue paper inserted inside sleeves and folds to prevent cracking. Prevention of damage is the best form of taking care of silk for there is no remedy for damaged silk.

Silk Weaves and Brocades of India
The 6th and 7th century AD paintings of Ajanta caves and others like Harsha Charitra are rich in description of woven hangings. For the purpose of conducting religious rites silk was used mostly because it was considered to be pure which need not be washed. For Party, luxury and elegance finely woven silk was given more importance. There is another type of silk wherein one does not have to end the life of a cocoon of whose of whose fiber is fallen out after it is dead. The silk garments produced under this process are used by the Jains and orthodox Brahmins who believe in that this process is the best, since killing of the insect is not done for obtaining the silk.

The Indian Holy scriptural evidences of Vedic culture and understanding gives the use of cloth made out of gold thread and jari some 5000 years ago. These golden silks were either woven in plain or embroidered whose technique of gold thread weaving is unknown. But know, there is luxurious metal thread inter woven with cotton, silk or golden thread using which a beautiful saree comes out as a result.

The Silk had passed through various stages under various rulers in India . Today in India there so many centers which are providing elegant silk varieties. There are quite a number of silk production centers in the southern part of India , at Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu district. There are also other places like Arni, Tanjore, Madhurai and Coimbatore . In the state of Karnataka, Bangalore and Mysore produce a lot of silk variety sarees. In the North, Banaras in Uttar Pradesh produces a very famous and fabulous world class designer's sarees in silk. In West Bengal, Calcutta is famous for production and export of silk sarees and good. Yet there are so many Places in India those are producing silk for different uses.

Weaving cloth from silk started only in the seventeenth century. Examples of some of the works done during that period could also be seen in museums and churches in the country.

The first ones to start using silk thread for producing rich cloth were the artisans of Varanasi (Benaris). They produced silk sari's probably to adorn the deities of the Goddesses and dhotis for the Gods.

It was probably later, when the zamindars or people belonging to the ruling class, started treating silk garments as a status symbol that more number of weavers got engaged and the mass production of silk cloth started. The silk cloth produced in Varanasi as a craze among the aristocrat society around the world and this silk society city continues to be one of the major exporters of silk in the world.

Thus the use of silk thread spread to other parts of the country and weavers began to experiment with the threads and patterns. The Amru silk brocades of Varanasi are famous. Gradually different cities developed their own distinctive patterns for silk saris. Yeola and Paithan in Maharashtra, Gadwal, Wanaparti and Armoor in Andhra Pradesh were important brocade centers with different styles, which made each one of them differentfrom the rest. Most of them combined their Paithani pallus with their silk saris. The Paithani pallu carries a four-sided border in tapestry technique, which combine zari and silk threads, thus the weaving of this pallu is very complicated.

Kumbakonam, Tanjore and Kancheepuram in Tamil Nadu, Sangareddy and Dharmeswaram in Andhra Pradesh, and Kolegaland Molkalmoru in Mysore, are also famous silk-weaving centers in South India.

Usage of heavy lustrous silk, broad borders and elaborate pallus with contrasting color combinations resulting in harmonious blends are the common features of the silk saris produced here.

Tanjore specialized in weaving the over-all gold-work saris for weddings and for temples. Molkamoru has its own distinctive tradition of simple ikkat weave which is always in white and is combined with a rich silk or gold border carrying stylized motifs or parrots.

The Baluchar technique of weaving brocades with untwisted silk thread was developed in the Murshidabad district of Bengal. It is perhaps the only form of weaving where the patterns are based on miniature paintings. The Surat tanchoi, is based on the technique used in Chinese brocades in which the extra weft floats are absorbed into the fabric itself. Gujarat was an important brocade centre with a distinctive style of its own. Yeola and Paithan in Maharashtra, and Gadwal, Wanaparti and Armoor in Andhra Pradesh were important centers which combined Paithani pallus with their silk Sarees. The weaving of the paithani pallu is quite complicated. The pallu carries a four-sided border in tapestry technique which combines zari and silk threads.



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