[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css=".vc_custom_1623043300818{padding-right: 15px !important;}" z_index=""][vc_column offset="vc_col-xs-12"][vc_column_text]Enameled Jewelry: In the story of my career, I've had much to do with the popularising of fashion jewelry in India.  But that's another story, which I will tell one day.  For the moment, I want to start a new blog series on the various genres of jewelry, not just in India but worldwide.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css=".vc_custom_1622248632215{padding-right: 15px !important;}" z_index=""][vc_column offset="vc_col-xs-12"][vc_column_text]Draped Apparel: In our first blog in this series, we talked about the Indian tradition of wearing unstitched clothing from pre-Vedic times, possibly because applying a needle to cloth was believed to be polluting. [caption id="attachment_4173" align="alignleft" width="126"]The Genesis of Draped Apparel in India A kid in a langot, still worn in India by traditional wrestlers. Image Source: https://www.danielmalikyar.com/kushti-india/[/caption] Because of this belief, and probably because of the climate, India has always had a tradition of draped apparel, starting from the langot, a rectangular cloth worn as underwear.  Interestingly. I remember my grandfather still wore a langot until the 1960s, as I remember long strips of cloth drying on the washing line. 

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css=".vc_custom_1620800676193{padding-right: 15px !important;}" z_index=""][vc_column offset="vc_col-xs-12"][vc_column_text] [caption id="attachment_4052" align="alignleft" width="260"]Silhouettes of Indian Apparel Statue of Saraswati at the National Museum Delhi. Note her apparel.[/caption] Silhouettes of Indian Apparel : India is perhaps unique in its history of wearing unstitched clothing from pre-Vedic times, draped on the body in stylized ways.  Interestingly, in Vedic India, the body was considered an integral part of a human personality. Therefore there was no stigma attached to body parts being on display. As a culture, too, India has traditionally believed in the fluidity of form, matching well with draped garments. 

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css=".vc_custom_1613962117888{padding-right: 15px !important;}" z_index=""][vc_column offset="vc_col-xs-12"][vc_column_text]Persian Carpets: There is something about the Persian carpet that makes it the most potent and symbolic of all textiles.  Of course, it's just a floor covering, so why has it made its way into art, poetry, music, and fashion?  Delving into the history and the marvelous workmanship may answer these questions.  

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css=".vc_custom_1613361368117{padding-right: 15px !important;}" z_index=""][vc_column offset="vc_col-xs-12"][vc_column_text]Famous Carpet Traditions  [caption id="attachment_3653" align="alignleft" width="375"]India's most Famous Carpet Traditions from Kashmir and Agra A prayer carpet. James F Ballard[/caption]  Imagine a home, an airport, or a hotel with just bare floors room after room, no matter how lovely that floor might be.  Through the ages, carpets have warmed our homes literally and visually, added to the decor, and provided insulation. In many cultures, they are regarded with enormous esteem, part of prayer ceremonies and religious places.  The motifs are replete with history and cultural references, common across geographies and nations.

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css=".vc_custom_1612749018323{padding-right: 15px !important;}" z_index=""][vc_column offset="vc_col-xs-12"][vc_column_text]Historic Design Motifs: There are recurring motifs in textile, architecture, tombs, and artifacts that we have seen through our lifetimes, and we are so used to them that we pass them by without a thought. Many of these motifs have long and complicated histories spanning time and straddling nations. An understanding of these is to understand culture and anthropology, and it is especially vital to craft.  In earlier blogs, we have discussed the Paisley and the Cypress, arguably two of the most important.  Today, let us look at a few more, perhaps less known but equally historical. 

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css=".vc_custom_1611460407530{padding-right: 15px !important;}" z_index=""][vc_column offset="vc_col-xs-12"][vc_single_image image="3501" img_size="full" add_caption="yes" qode_css_animation=""][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Silk Route: History, as it is taught, has a strong and very narrow bias to the West. Most history concentrates on the rise of Europe, to the cost of ancient civilizations like China, India, and Persia.  Yet, through much of ancient history, civilizations were concentrated around the Black Sea and eastwards.  Harappa had a teeming population, as did Babylon and Mohenjo Daro. And at the center of this great melting pot of culture, religion, and language were the Silk Roads, a bridge between West and East, carrying goods, produce, ideas and disease. 

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css=".vc_custom_1610939143383{padding-right: 15px !important;}" z_index=""][vc_column offset="vc_col-xs-12"][vc_column_text] Cypress Motif: When studying the history of motifs in the arts and crafts, we often read about the Paisley.  But there is another motif, more mysterious, more philosophical, one that represents death and eternal life. And that is the Cypress.  Many say that the Paisley was born of the cypress when a stray songbird sat on its very tip, bending it slightly.  But let's go back to the beginning. 

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css=".vc_custom_1608448837036{padding-right: 15px !important;}" z_index=""][vc_column offset="vc_col-xs-12"][vc_column_text]Art Nouveau : As a young girl, I remember attending a book fair in Delhi and spotting a book with black and white illustrations. Curling and sinuous, at once decorative yet a little naughty, these were by the famous Art Nouveau illustrator Aubrey Beardsley. I've been hooked to this movement ever since, from the architecture of Gaudi, the jewelry of Tiffany, and of course the art of Beardsley and Alphonse Mucha

[vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern" css=".vc_custom_1607483106680{padding-right: 15px !important;}" z_index=""][vc_column offset="vc_col-xs-12"][vc_column_text]

Indian Floral : For centuries, plants and flowers have inspired Indian artists of different genres. The lotus flowers and floral meanders depicted in the Buddhist sites dating back to the 3rd century, the depiction of Hindu God Vishnu on a throne of a lotus flower, and the famous paintings of Ajanta and Ellora caves from the 5th century are the most excellent and oldest examples depicting florals in Indian Art. However, florals did not become the design language for Indian textiles for a long time, not until the beginning of the Sultanate Period in the twelfth century when Islamic culture started influencing Indian art & design.

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