Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Journey to India

At our January meeting we were whisked away on a magical journey to India. Well... not quite, but almost! Jean S shared with us some tales of her journies to India and best of all, showed us many of the wonderful silks and other fabrics she has purchased there. She kindly passed many of them around, allowing us all to indulge our "quilter's desire" to fondle and pat, and enjoy the luxurious textures. She also showed her sari and explained how it is wrapped and worn.

Besides fabrics, Jean has also collected numerous pieces of Indian embroidery and needlework.
Of course different regions of the country have different styles and patterns. In the north, in Rajastan they are famous for their mirror work and Jean told us just about everything is decorated with shisha mirrors stitched into patterns.

 Beading and sequins are an art form and are used in many ways, on beautiful ornaments, clothes,
wall hangings and of course saris.

 Block printing seems to be popular in northern Maharashtra where Jean visited this time.  The art of block printing is quite labor intensive with colors printed over each other and some beautiful saris have individual block printing  and are one of a kind.

Wedding Saris are usually in red and gold and have 5,000 threads running across the width of the fabric which is 5 meters long.  Kamchapuram silks in Tamil Nadu are the finest and people travel from miles to buy there; this is where Jean's sari is from.

It's always exciting to see fabrics and needlework from another part of the world. Thank you Jean, for this inspiring textile journey to India. It was a very special evening and we will be anxious to see what you create with these beautiful fabrics.

By the way, if you haven't been in to Government House yet to see the wonderful display of hooked rugs by the Fredericton Heritage Rug Hooking Guild, you only have a few days left! The display finishes this Friday, Feb. 1 at 4p.m. Better hurry! You'll be sorry if you miss it.

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