Rajasthan Textiles, fabric and handloom

Last Updated on August 6, 2021 by asoulwindow

All About Rajasthan Textiles, handloom & fabric! What sets it apart?

In this blog, we will discuss Rajasthan textiles, fabric and handloom in great detail. Rajasthan dresses have many variations which most people do not know about. The state of Rajasthan has so many different styles of Rajasthani local textiles.

The style, designs and even colors used in fabric varies from region to region in Rajasthan. This complete guide on the weaving traditions of Rajasthan will acquaint you with the best of textiles. Below is the list of various Rajasthani handlooms and Rajasthani textiles.

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Barmeri Print: textiles in Rajasthan 

The Barmeri Print comes from the Barmer region of Rajasthan. The bold designs of Barmeri Print stand out. The prints which are inspired from the Sindh region was invented by the Sindhi Muslims. This is one of the most famous of textiles of Rajasthan.

It is common to see Barmeri Print on Pagdis, Lungis, shoulder cloth, sarees and Odhnis. The Chirkala Booti is a common Barmeri Print design. Bedsheets made in the Barmeri Print is also very popular. Balotra, the small town of Barmeris known for producing traditional hand block printed textiles.

Soul Window Observations

I saw at many places in Rajasthan that the hand block is done with wooden blocks. The dyes used are in the hues of primary colors such as red, Indigo, yellow etc. Motifs of plants, animals, birds and elements of Rajasthan are recurrent themes of the famous Barmeri Print.

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Kota Doria: Rajasthan textile 

During my visit to Bundi, Kota and Chiitorgarh, I came across the famous Kota Doria weave. Also known as Kota Doriya, it is a light woven fabric which originated in the city of Kota. Kaithoon near Kota is famous for producing the popular Kota Doriya sarees. Made on cotton, the Kota Doria sarees are very popular with women.Kota Doria was originally known as Kota Masuriya because that is where its origin was. Kota Dariya can be hand block printed, hand finished or embellished with rich embroidery.

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Bagru print: Textiles of Rajasthan

The ‘Chippa’ community of remote Rajasthan practice the art of Bagru print. Only natural colors are used in Bagru print. Traditionally done on indigo or blue background, the Bagru Print is a unique handloom of Rajasthan. The seyali bagru print however, is done in the hues of cream/yellow ochre and black.

Another type of print prevalent in this region is known as Dabru print. It is done with a unique resist technique.

Some of the recurrent patterns of Bagru Print include motifs of animals, birds, flowers and geometrical designs. Rajasthan Textile indeed has many variations.

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Bandhani Print

Perhaps one of the most popular of all Rajasthani weaves, the Bandhani print is a version of tie and dye.  Also called as Bandhej, it is also practiced in my home state Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat in West India. The literal meaning of the word Banda, the Sanskrit word it has been derived from is ‘to tie’. It is the finest of Rajasthan textiles. 

Bandhani sarees of Gujarat and Rajasthan are in high demand across India and abroad.  Some of the primary colors used in Bandhani Print are yellow, saffron, red, maroon and black. Many foreign tourists also love buying Bandhani Print when they visit Rajasthan. Ekdali, Mothra are other notable patterns.

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Mothara Print: Rajasthan textiles 

This is another tie and dye technique of printing. Did you know that Mothara print is named after the Moth Daal? In Mothra print, a technique is applied checkered patterns are interspersed with undyed areas.

This pattern is repeated at regular frequency.  Since the size of undyed area is similar to the size of one grain of moth or lentil, it is thus named as Mothara Print. Did you know about these textiles of Rajasthan?

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Leheriya Print: Famous Rajasthan textile 

Another version of tie and dye, the famous Leheriya print is also a popular textile of Rajasthan. Leher means wave which explains the patterns in use here. The zigzag patterns of Leheriya print have found many takers off late. The irregular color stipres makes for a visually appealing design.

Leheriya design can be printed on turbans, cotton Sarees, odhnis, duppattas and Ghaghras. Using exclusively natural dyes, Leheriya print is made in Rajasthani cities such as Nathdwara, Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur.

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Soul Window Tips

You can easily buy Rajasthani prints in and around monuments of major big and small cities of Rajasthan such as Bikaner, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer etc. Shopping at places where locals shop also helps save money.

However, if you are unable to travel personally to Rajasthan then you can always buy online. Do read my guide on main markets of Jaipur for starters.

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Sanganeri Print

The Sanganeri Print became very popular with the British invaders when they were busy exploiting the rich land of India and other culturally strong Asian nations. Back in 16th and 17th century C.E., the shrewd East Indian Company had spread its tentacles in India. The Sanganeri print had caught their attention as the exported these in large quantities to Europe.

Sanganer in the Jaipur district produces the best Sanganeri print. Wooden blocks are used on a plain off white or stark white background. The Sanganeri block prints are also known as calico printing.

The detailed designs of Sanganeri Print include motifs of lotus flower, lotus buds, roses, rosettes, marigold, sunflowers and lilies. Traditionally only natural dyes are used in making Sanganeri print, however, chemical dyes may also be used. The patterns and designs are often repeated in diagonal sections. In the doo rookhi style of block printing, the fabric is printed on both the sides.

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Mukesh Work

Mukesh work is a type of embroidery done in Rajasthan and in Lucknow in my home state Uttar Pradesh. Also spelt as Mukeish, dupattas, odhnis and sleeves of salwar suits can be done in Mukesh work. It is also done on sarees, shits, kurtis etc. Pure Mukesh work is always more expensive. It is also known as fardi, badla or kaamdani work in gold and silver.

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Rajasthan textiles products

There are many products which are made using the traditional Rajasthani fabric. Some of the most popular upholstery products with designs from Rajasthan are listed as below:

Rajasthani Quilts and Rajai

My parents are a huge fan of Rajasthani quilts, blankets and Razais. Every time we visit Rajasthan, we make sure we buy some quilts and blankets. These blankets have beautiful hand blocked designs, floral and geometrical patterns.

Reasonable priced, the Rajasthani blankets are light weight, visually stunning and functional. The blankets have successfully kept us warm in harsh winters. You can buy now and thank me later!

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Rajasthani bedsheets

We always pick bedsheets for our home too every time we visit Rajasthan. These bed sheets can be in any of the print style and fabric mentioned above. It is always better to buy Rajasthan textiles than opting for foreign brands. Not only buying Rajasthan textiles support the local economy but it also adds a touch of ethnic in your interiors.

Rajasthani Cushion Covers

The Rajasthani Cushion Covers have become a rage off late. These cushion covers may feature the above-mentioned prints of Rajasthan textiles. Available in various Rajasthani fabric, these cushion covers sell like hot pyaz kachoris.

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Rajasthani Cloths

You can buy a variety of Rajasthan handloom which includes Rajasthan handloom sarees, suits, Angarakhas, Jodhpuri suits, Choli, Ghaghra, Odhni and what not. You name it and they have it! You can even select a print type and custom order your outfit with most tailors in Rajasthan.

Also read: When I was treated like a Royal at Alwar Bagh.

What are the Rajasthani fabric names?

The main Rajasthani fabric names are cotton, georgette, chiffon, linen, wool etc. Work is also done on silk. However, I do not support silk as it is made with cruel practices of boiling silk worms alive. Even the Ahimsa Silk is not cruelty free.

Where to buy Rajasthani handlooms and weaves?

All big and small Rajasthani cities such as Jodhpur, Udaipur, Jaipur, Kota, Bundi, Chittorgarh, Nathdwara, Kumbhalgarh have shops located near the main touristy attractions. I and my parents had bought bag full of clothes and non-leather shoes, mojaris, jootis, belts and bags from shops near Hawa Mahal in Jaipur.

You can either buy from independent shops or from Government run emporiums.

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When travelling in Rajasthan, it is hard to resist from buying some exclusive local textiles and handlooms of Rajasthan. The most preferred Rajasthani fabric cotton is also what sells the most here. Textiles of Rajasthan have had a long history which also evolved with time.

There are many tourists who are interested only in the textiles of Rajasthan. If you are on of the fans of Rajasthani handlooms, then you must reserve at least 2-3 days for just shopping in different cities of Rajasthan. This comprehensive guide of Rajasthan textiles, handloom and Rajasthani fabric will help you select a suitable print for you and your family.

The view from my Soul Window is so vibrant!

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