Gujarat Textiles

Popularly termed as the textile state of India, Gujarat has one of the most flourishing textile industries in the country. Also said to be the Manchester of the East and the Denim Capital of India the textile industry in Gujarat contributes almost 3% towards the GDP of India. India holds a major portion of global textile market share. Textiles in Gujarat are responsible for contributing a major share of India's art and crafts.

It is also among the oldest industries in the state. Due to its perfect combination of skilled labor, vast variety of raw materials, seamless blend of yarns and the use of traditional techniques the state produces the finest range of textiles.

One of the major factors behind the success of the textile industry in Gujarat is that the state has managed to preserve its old tradition and culture.

The textile industry in Gujarat involves quite a sizable chunk of the population. Brands like Arvind Mills, Parag and Praful belong to Gujarat. More than 90% of the polyester used in India is produced in Surat. The two major textile manufacturing cities in Gujarat are Ahmedabad and Surat. Both these cities together account for almost 50% of the total textiles produced in Gujarat.

Bandhej : is the name given to the tie and dye fabric of Jamnagar, Mandvi and Bhuj. The art of bandhej is known for its typical designs and patterns. These are often used in wedding outfits when they are called gharchola odhni and sarees.

The tie-dyed fabrics or the bandhej of Gujarat are certainly the best of its kind produced in India. Also known as bandhani or bandhni, it is made on superfine cotton mulmul. Sometimes you will find the use of muslin along with the gold checks and motifs created in the jamdani style.

The maximum concentration of bandhej dyeing is in Kutch. Nevertheless there is a substantial volume of quality work from Jamnagar and Saurashtra, lying on the southern coast of Gulf of Kutch.

You must be very eager to know how this special art is done. Here are the steps:

  • The printed portion of the fabric are pinched and pushed into small points
  • then knotted with 2 or 3 twists of thread
  • The knotted parts remain uncolored
  • the fabric is dyed in the lightest shade first
  • re-tied and dyed in the darker color
  • The fabric may be tied and dyed many a times, depending on the number of shades in the final color scheme
The cost of the bandhej of Gujarat rests not only on the quality of the fabric, but also on the number of times it has to be tied and dyed as well as the intricacy of the pattern.

You can have a piece of bandhej from the State Government Emporium of Gujarat known as the 'Gurjari' or any other outlet. If you are really keen to know about the making of the art please walk into the villages where you will find people, both men as well as women are equally busy with their work on bandhej.

Patola :The Patola silk from Patan is very popular and one of the largest selling fabrics in the country. The sarees are a mark of tradition and grandeur depicting Gujarat as a land of prosperity and wealth. This is unique to Patan and is known for its utmost delicate designs woven with great expertize and quality.

Surat is popular for velvets with Patola designs. You can identify four characteristic patterns in the Patola of Gujarat woven traditionally by the Salvi community.

  • The double ikat sarees with all over motifs of flowers, parrots, dancing figures and elephants. These are for the use of the Jains and Hindus.
  • For the Muslim Vora community, sarees with geometric and floral designs are made.
  • There are the sarees woven for the Maharashtrian Brahmins with a plain, dark-colored body and borders with women and birds, called the Nari Kunj.
  • There are sarees specially woven for the traditional export markets in the Far East.
All these patterns are unique in style and composition and they have been developed keeping in mind the actual choice of the different communities.

The weaving of Patola is done on simple traditional handlooms. The dyes employed in these fabrics are made from vegetable extracts and other natural colors. A Patola saree requires 4 to 6 months to be made on an average.

Gujarat Patola exhibits a passion for color and a deep sense for design and form. They convey a message of the state's rich cultural heritage.

You can look for a Patola silk in the State Government Emporium of Gujarat called the 'Gurjari'. Or you can actually walk along the muddy paths of the weavers' villages and see yourself how laboriously are they making Patola.

Last Updated on : 09 January 2013