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Top 15 Textile Crafts of India -  An Overview by Fabriclore

Top 15 Textile Crafts of India - An Overview by Fabriclore

The Indian diaspora of textiles is as vast as an ocean featuring more than 30 fabric crafts spread across 29 states & 7 union territories. With each state nurturing their own textile craft for countless years, these crafts are no less than the breezy, sparkling and majestic rivers merging to form the most diverse and prolific heritage and culture of all times.  

With textiles like Cotton, Jute, and Silk reigning the trade game between India and the rest of the world since ancient times, our history with fabrics and crafts is as bright as the fierce morning sun. Right from the Mughal Era to Swadeshi Movement, British Raj & even after independence, artisans and weavers across the country have been experimenting and adding new flavors to the home-grown textile crafts.

Spend some time to dig deeper into the legacy textile crafts of India and know what you wear well! Read below:

Dabu from Rajasthan

Our team of textile designers & curators closely work with the Chhipa Community of Akola & Bagru in Rajasthan and artisans of Nandana located in the Neemuch district, Madhya Pradesh. Each district has its own unique taste of printing Dabu! While Bagru remains the heart of Dabu printing, Akola is known for precision and additional detail in production hence resulting in 80% less bleeding.

In Nandana, Dabu printing is no less than a premium culinary experience where natural dyes extracted from Anar Ka Chilka, Dhawde Ka Fool, Imli ke Beej to name a few are all stirred to create a flavorsome recipe of earthy Hand Block fabrics. Since they are purely done by hands, artisans leave behind certain irregularities that only adds to the beauty of the designs.

Indigo from Akola and Bagru

During our initial brainstorming sessions, we were caught up in a dilemma whether to consider Indigo just as a color or a textile craft. Given its strong history and the wearying process of extracting Indigo dye, our team decided that Indigo deserves a lot more than being called just another dye. Right from the British Raj to the 21st Century, this textile craft has never looked back and has received boundless love from across the globe. Our team curate and co-design Indigo fabrics with the Chhipa Community of Bagru and Akola in Rajasthan.

While Bagru remains the heart of Indigo Hand Block printing, in Akola the artisans invest additional hours in design & process, leading to 80% less bleeding. At Fabriclore, you will spot a variety of materials like Cotton, Chanderi, Rayon & Modal being soaked in deep blue Indigo dye, fashioned into a choice of dupattas, stoles, unstitched suits & running length fabrics.

Kalamkari from Machlipatnam

Each craft that we bring to the fore is backed by a story of artisans for whom there is no greater happiness than retaining the legacy of the craft and passing it on to their future generations. We hand-pick our Kalamkari fabrics from a village called Pedana in Andhra Pradesh. Listening to their tedious journey of printing Kalamkari and heading out on a 150 km stretch for just washing the fabric, gives us all the more reasons to acknowledge their work, while also giving them inputs on trending designs and featuring their fabrics on our store.

Our Kalamkari prints are soaked in natural dyes extracted from regional plants, roots, dried pulp to name a few. Done on a choice of Cotton, Chanderi & Cotton Silk, our assortment flaunts a kaleidoscopic mix of fabrics, Hand-painted & Applique Kalamkari dupattas, all narrating folklores through intricate motifs.

Banarasi Silk from Banaras

Known for its rich sacred history, heritage & opulent textile crafts, Banaras (Varanasi) is one city that needs no institutional recognition. We love roving to cities that are backed with deep-rooted tales, strolling on the ghats of Banaras and attending the holy Ganga Aarti makes us fall in love with this city all over again. While the weavers still strive to keep the legacy of handwoven Banarasi alive in certain parts of the city, the surging demands has to lead to the introduction of the power loom.

The ornamental gold zari motifs are achieved out of either the traditional Jacquard weaving or Kadva technique (hand weaving). At Fabriclore you will spot a mesmerizing variety of Banarasi ranging from Pure Hand Woven Kinkhab Silk to machine Kataan Silk, Taffeta Silk bent into running length fabrics, unstitched suits & dupattas.

Ajrak from Bhuj & Barmer

A textile craft highly revered amongst the Khatri Community, Ajrak found its way to India in the 16th century routing its way from the Sindh province to Kutch, Gujarat. With artisans spread across Dhamadka Village & Ajrakhpur until date, their brave stories of continuing to keep the legacy of this textile craft intact even after the disastrous Bhuj Earthquake in 2001 is indeed inspiring and noteworthy. Our team of textile designers work with artisans spread across Barmer and Bhuj, featuring a mix of earthy and bright prints!

With Arcadian designs reigning the collection’s mood, grab our Ajrak collection available in a variety of fabrics like Cotton, Mashru Silk, while also featuring traditional dupattas & stoles!

Ikat from Pochampally, Baghalpur & Sambalpur

With each yarn soaked in the sweat & toil of traditional weavers, Ikat is one textile craft that has been the focus of the fashion and interior décor industry for ages. Unlike other textile crafts, in Ikat the yarns are dyed first and then woven together, giving it a unique abstract feel in every weave. The artisans follow mathematical precision in weaving the dyed yarns together to achieve the desired patterns, which leads to the blurriness in designs.

Our team of merchandisers and textile designers work with artisans spread across Pochampally in Telangana, Bhagalpur in Bihar and Sambalpur in Orissa and brings you an unparalleled variety of Cotton and Mercerized Cotton Ikat fabrics & dupattas!

Bagh Prints from Bagh, Madhya Pradesh

Ajrak Printers on their expedition from Sindh to Manawar discovered the river – Baghini! The early traces of this textile craft were found in a village Bagh situated in Dhar (Madhya Pradesh). Started more as an experiment, today this craft commands a great foothold in the fashion realm.

We bring you this treasured craft from artisans of Bagh who meticulously achieve conventional hand block prints on base materials like Cotton & Maheshwari Silk that are available in running length fabrics, unstitched suits & more only at Fabriclore.com!

Kantha from Rajasthan & West Bengal

 Decking up fabrics with a contrasting running stitch has been one of the most favorite craftwork of women residing in Bengal. Owing to the beauty & demand of this craft, over the period Kantha became popular amongst the Rajasthan artisan community. While Bengal remains the birth ground of Kantha, artisans of Rajasthan too acquired the skill and decided to add their own magic to this textile craft! Fabriclore brings you the taste of east and west with our enchanting collection of machine-work cotton fabrics, hand-done Kantha dupattas & Gudadi Kantha bedsheets and pillow covers crafted by artisans spread across Rajasthan & West Bengal!!

Chanderi Fabrics from Chanderi, MP

A fabric highly celebrated in the Handloom clusters of India, originating from a town that is said to exist since the Vedic Period, Chanderi is today a part of Ashok Nagar district, Madhya Pradesh. Known for its notable hand weaving technique, the artisans of MP have been intertwining silk, cotton and zari yarns since ages to produce opulent Chanderi sarees and fabrics. The evolution began in 1890s when the power looms took over handlooms and a lot of variation in the weaving technique begun!

At Fabriclore we love to experiment with this sheer, glossy and graceful fabric by doing a lot of design cross overs! You will find a mix of Indigo, Kalamkari, Conventional hand blocks designs of bootis, mushrooms, flowers, paisleys, leaves all customized by our team of textile designers & local artisans. You may also spot a variety of Chanderi Hand Blocks suits, screen print fabrics & dupattas!

Lucknowi Chikan from Lucknow, UP

One of the most ancient and well-known art forms of Lucknow, Chikankari, the intricate art of hand embroidery was introduced by the Mughals. Noor Jahan herself a known embroider was extremely fond of this rich textile craft. Often ornamented with pearl, mukaish or mirror work, the craft was traditionally done on a muslin cloth but now is being widely done on cotton, georgette, silk to name a few. Given its nature of production, a typical Lucknowi Chikan fabric takes 5-15 days depending on the intricacy of the motifs. Fabriclore’s Lucknowi Chikan collection showcases a select variety of Hand Embroidered Cotton & georgette suits soaked in pastel hues and soothing shirt length material.

Batik from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

A textile craft highly admired across the globe; Batik is said to originate in the Java island, Indonesia. This textile craft also has its roots digged deep in the Indian soil since the 1st century AD. A form of wax dyeing technique, Batik goes through tedious stages of waxing, dyeing & scraping and is usually achieved on fabrics like Cotton, Rayon, Silk & Georgette. The cloth is washed, and motifs are either marked or drawn with a pen-like tool called Tjanting. The melted wax forms lines and dots onto the fabric as it flows through the wooden handle of the tool. The cloth is then dyed and is washed in boiling water to get rid of wax stains. The motifs are unconventional in nature and usually feature wax strokes, sawa (mythical bird garuda), parang (slippery slope) & floral motifs. Hand-picked from the artisans of Ujjain, at Fabriclore you will spot a variety of customary Batik fabrics & dupattas.

Kesh Fabric from West Bengal

A little forgotten craft of West Bengal which has caught on to be a popular fabric for owning sarees, furnishings and more in the Morden world is the ‘Khesh’ fabric. I came across this beautiful blue soft cotton Saree in an exhibition with stripped pattern on the pallu and stripes at a gap throughout the body with some patchwork design. It was a khesh Saree. The ‘Khesh’ fabric is made by weaving fresh yarn with a weft made of strips of old cotton sarees. The birth of this fabric comes from the Birbhum district of West Bengal. 


The old cotton Saree strips are woven into Sarees and their pallus in different gap patterns. The colour of the strips is totally on the weaver’s imagination as to which strips he/she chooses to weave with the fresh coloured yarn. Although ‘Khesh’ sarees are the most popular, this fabric is also used to make dupattas, bed covers, cushion covers, table mats, table cloths, bags and a variety of other items. It’s beautiful how old is combined with new to produce a fabulous crafted textile.

Authored by Rach Bhargav 

Kanchipuram from Tamil Nadu

There cannot be a wedding or any auspicious event complete in the households of Tamilnadu without the ravishing silken drapes from Kanchipuram.
The heavenly combination of pure mulberry silk laden with silver and gold thread borders, feature temple tales and exquisite designs from the cultural folklore of South India, they are a must-have for every religious and traditional event.
Bold and bright shades of green, red and blue are the colors that encompass these luscious drapes suited to the various occasions.
Enchanting borders and motifs featuring temple towers, peacock, luscious mango top amongst the favorites.
Even a plain Kanjeevaram, as the locals call it, can be enough to sweep any women off her feet.
The children as well love to present themselves in the exclusive collections of "pattu pavadais", as the ethnic skirt and top sets are fondly called.
Do we need a reason any further to immerse in the blissful experience of draping one ?

Authored By Gangothri Ravi Kumaran

Patan Patola from Gujarat

Patan Patola has a royal history in the books of textiles. This craft is confined to Salvis (Jain) brothers who basically belong to Maharashtra and Karnataka and shifted to Gujarat in Patan in the 12th century. They stay in a village called Patan which is 125 km away from Ahmedabad. Patola is a double ikat silk saree which is done on hanging slant loom. It takes a minimum of a month to weave a saree. In today's date, there is only one family who is pursuing the craft technique. These are only made on orders as this is pretty much expensive. They have stored this craft technique in a museum of Patan. This was treated as a status statement as it was given to daughters at the time of marriage in Gujarat. 

Authored By Akshita Gangwal 

Mysore Silk from Mysore, Karnataka

Mysore Silk or KSIC is one of the finest silks produced in India made from natural silk yarn secured from cocoons reared exclusively in the old Mysore areas. The entire process of silk production right from reeling of cocoons to the final weaving happens under one roof. Only pure natural silk and gold zari is used in them and to assure authenticity, KSIC Mysore Silk stamps a unique code number and hologram as identification marks on each of its zari sarees. Also, Mysore Silk has been GI tagged. The silk is so luxurious and lustrous with an amazing feel and drape and a must have in every girl's wardrobe.

Authored By mysareewardrobe

We are sure by now we have lit up the fire & you can’t wait to get some of these crafts home! Get the widest variety of heritage textile crafts at Fabriclore.com & Weave Your Own Design Stories.

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2 thoughts on “Top 15 Textile Crafts of India - An Overview by Fabriclore

  1. avatar M9nika Sharma says:

    Thanks for an amazing insight into our teaditional fabric history .

  2. avatar Anupama Panwalkar says:

    Wonderful info in one article

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