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indian hand looms
india has been the home of fine textiles for centuries. throughout history this rich and sophisticated culture has exported fine cottons, silks and wools to the world. words such as muslin, cashmere, pashmina and chintz have permanently entered the english language. at planet we have commissioned more and more hand-spun and hand-loomed fabrics over the last few years. we are beginning to be a little obsessed. we make quilts and cushions from hand spun and hand woven fabrics and have towels and blankets and even hand loomed carpets.
this scarf above is hand-spun and hand-woven silk blended with wool. the fibres are yarn dyed with natural pigments to have beautiful subtle variations. being handspun, the fibres vary in thickness and take up the dye differently. the fish, turtle and crab motifs relate to the costal environment in kutch gujurat
local kutch cotton is a short fibre and hand-spinning and weaving in yarn dyed natural indigo creates a beautiful texture. this classic stripe is quite timeless. mahatma gandhi promoted handloom as a way that indians could claim back their heritage from the british, who were selling indian cotton textiles made cheaply on power looms in europe back to india. as a result there is still more than a million indian handlooms in use daily.
the cotton blanket above has been handwoven just for us at planet. a generous size and perfect for summer and humbling how affordable it is. two weavers sit side by side on the loom to make this full width
superfine sheer cloth is an indian specialty. the scarf above has been block printed in mud as a resist and then dyed in natural indigo. its from a village in rajasthan that specialises in this style
muslin was immensely popular in the 18th and 19th centuries in europe because of its strength, softness and delicacy. this long staple cotton could only be hand-spun in humid climates of the north east on india. finer and finer cloth was made for the tastes of europeans and indian royalty and when a supplementary weft thread was added it becomes jamdani. empire line dresses and men's georgian cravats were mostly made of this sheer delight.