THE TEXTILES OF INDIA

Textiles are not just a pleasure to look at, they are a marvel to be experienced with all five senses.

– Reiko Sudo

For ages, India has charmed, inspired and drawn fabric fanatics from far off corners of the globe. Take look at an Indian home, and you’ll see the many manners textiles are used in, from carpets and cushion covers to tea cosies and wine bags. Cloth has always taken centre stage in Indian attire – the people have aced the art of wrapping it in countless ways. And the styles continue to evolve.

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A Peep into the Past

The history of Indian textiles dates back to the Indus Valley civilisation, where cotton and silk were spun. Texts like the Rig Veda and Ramayana describe the fabrics of their times. India traded with other parts of the world through the Silk Route. The world began to take notice of the beauty. Alexander the Great penned his admiration for Indian muslins and embroidery. Marco Polo wrote about seeing some of loveliest fabrics here. Exceptional artistry could be found in cloth adorning temples. During the Mughal period, the wealthy indulged in the finest silks and satins. Banaras made brilliant brocades. Later, the Europeans carried Indian textiles back to their continent, where they were highly valued. The majesty of India’s past is still alive in its textiles today.

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Fabulous Fibres

Silk is among the few fabrics that boast of such an intriguing history. India, along with China, creates most of the world’s silk. Silk is called paat in the east, pattu in the south and resham in the north. With its gleaming fibres, it creates an air of splendour and festivity. In home decor and fashion, silk is used to create pieces that are gorgeous as well as durable. India has a variety of silks like pure silk, Banaras silk, Paithani brocade, Chanderi, Tussar silk and Ghicha.

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This country has been spinning cotton for thousands of years. Cotton’s lovely feathery feel makes it a summer staple. Artisans enjoy blending cotton with other textiles to create saris, tapestries, bed sheets, cushion covers and scarves. There are over twenty kinds of cottons like Muslin, Chanderi, Mangalagiri cotton, Madras cotton and plain cottons. Khadi, a classic handspun Indian cotton, has the wonderful ability to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

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India’s woollen weaves attract people from across the world. Kashmir’s Pashmina shawls are adored for their soft texture and elaborate Sonzi embroidery. Its woollen rugs, carpets and tapestries are results of wonderful workmanship. Jute is another popular Indian fabric. It’s robust and eco-friendly. Indian craftsmen use its golden lustrous fibres to create rugs, doormats, curtains, lampshades, and handicrafts. Jute’s rustic, earthy charm makes it a sought after textile in home decor.

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Desi Designs

India’s women folk take delight in embroidering stories of their landscapes and life onto cloth. You’ll find striking geometric designs in regions like Saurashtra, vivid nature-inspired motif work in Punjab, white satin stitched work the Ganga valley, texture-focused thread work in Karnataka, and embroidery that makes carpets look “right” on either side in Kashmir. Appliqué work with mirrors, glass, beads, wood, and wires is common in clothing, tablemats, lampshades and accessories. The ancient craft of block printing is still widely done by hand. The designs vary across the country – plants, animals, birds, tribal patterns, geometric shapes, elaborate patterns as well as delicate ones.

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Wrapping Up

Its sheer variety of textures and patterns sets India’s textiles apart from the rest…they are as diverse as the people and landscapes. Each weave holds together tales, melodies and faiths rooted in centuries of culture. That’s why the textiles of India are a treasure to the world.

THE HANDICRAFTS INDUSTRY IN INDIA – FOCUS ON FASHION

Handicrafts make India’s ancient culture timeless. Crafting things by hand is less of a job and more of artisans’ expression of their vibrant traditions and lifestyles. These are pieces of utility as well as beauty, faith and whimsy. Taking elements straight from nature’s bounty, artisans create symbols of their tribes’ pride. When you buy their handiworks, you own slices of their rich ancestral legacy.

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The Indian Industry

Over six million artisans and 60,000 export houses make up India’s handicrafts industry. Largely women hailing from villages scattered across the land, they bring to the table some of the most exotic designs – carving, spinning, weaving, shaping, engraving, dyeing and enamelling handiworks that travel around the globe.

Handloom weaving is among India’s prime livelihoods – 95% of the world’s fabric is made here. We celebrated our first National Handloom Day on the 7th of August 2015 to appreciate the artisans for the sheer magic they weave.
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Fashion Celebrates Indian Roots

Handicrafts are redefining Indian fashion as designers embrace their ethnic charm. People simply can’t get enough of all the textures, layers upon layers, tribal prints, mirror work, chiming danglers, engraved metals and landscape-inspired embroidery.

Handmade accessories and textiles feature in collections ranging from traditional and romantic to bohemian, quirky and eclectic. Handloom is particularly adored – designers like Ritu Kumar, Anita Dongre, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Rohit Bal and Wendell Rodricks are incorporating it in their creations. On the smaller scale, “green” design houses that take pride in using organic fabrics like Khadi are sprouting up all over.

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Trendy Textiles

Scarves are wardrobe essentials, and India’s artisans make some of the loveliest. Cotton scarves in mild colours and silk ones in brighter shades are block printed with floral, geometric, tribal and bird-and-animal patterns. Rajasthan’s popular tie-dyed bandhani dupattas feature vivid hues, bold patterns and mirror work. Kashmir’s splendid Pashmina shawls are famous for their texture and stunning threadwork. The tassels hanging from these scarves and shawls are a beautiful finishing touch.

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Ornamental Allure

Local artisans make much of India’s jewellery. There’s something to bedeck everything – the ears, nose, neck, fingers, toes, ankles, hair, forehead, wrists, waist and even the thighs. Meenakari earrings are results of excellent artisty, with intricate designs engraved on metal, coloured brightly and enamelled. Craftsmen enjoy studding their regions’ beloved gems and semi-precious stones on ornaments. With its unparalleled appeal, antique jewellery never grows old-fashioned. Beads crafted with material borrowed from nature, like shells, have made a huge comeback.

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Handmade Handbags

Traditional Indian handbags make for splendid statement wear. Artisans across the country have distinct styles of shaping, painting, detailing and embellishing bags. They feature traditional prints, patches, colourful threads, appliqué, crochet, sequins, tassels, mirrors and zaris. Artisans use various kinds of fabrics like leather in messenger bags, jute and cotton in jholas and carefully choosen fabrics like Chanderi and brocade to make ornate potlis, clutches and purses.

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The Closing Note…

In the age of machines and mass production, the Indian handicrafts industry bubbles with uniqueness rooted in rich heritage. The beauty of these pieces is one that goes beyond time and fashion trends – it’s forever in bloom!

START UPS & THE MAGIC BEANSTALK

We live in times where we have heard super seductive and exciting real time stories of rags to riches. Start-ups are started by young ones with a beedi (hand rolled Indian cigarette) in their pockets and a barsaati (matchbox dwelling) over their heads. Suddenly fairy God fathers (unfortunately most invedtors are men) and the occasional God mother lands up and voila … you are the biggest and the best-est thing going around. The walking chappals get replaced by a swanky beamer and the world starts chasing you with more money than it contains.

Every entrepreneur today dreams of this and so did I. (secretly still do even though I do not deal in Tech)

It is not our fault. We are looking for the magic bean also. The question is are you the bean stalk that grows overnight or the banyan tree that grows slowly layer by layer over many years. I attended many events revolving around funding and heard a lot about top lines, bottom lines, client acquisition lines, and all sorts of other incomprehensible lines. All this left me quite bereft and feeling rather worthless. I am sure I don’t even know the number of zeroes in the kind of numbers that are spoken about casually.

Is that the catch? How can a company be more than the sum total of value available? To elaborate this point I have always asked one question… if all the companies sold at their projected value would there be enough money… as in tangible currency? Not got a clear answer on this one. Somehow I doubt I will.

For all those who got funded all the best. And to all of us who didn’t some of my learnings are below.

  1. Keep your targets modest and real.
  2. Unless you are able to invent a flying car or the next I phone the world is not waiting for your offering with baited breath.
  3. Some things are organic and need the space to grow at their own pace.
  4. Never deviate from your own core strength.
  5. Unless someone is investing all advice should be taken with a pinch of salt and should be evaluated with reference to context. All advice comes from a personal perspective and needs to be curated / customized.
  6. Don’t talk … listen. Even then you will find that there are things you should have listened to and some things that you shouldn’t have.
  7. Keep your faith and never give up hope. Hope is the best strategy.
  8. Do not work only with the aim of getting funds. Work and build something substantial.

All the best and Tra-la-lala.

(Hoping to write from the top of a bean stalk that is as stable as a banyan tree someday. Why not ? It is the era of the impossibles.)

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Pristine whites with silver and gold shimmer. #ethnic #homedecor #handcrafting #madeinindia #affordableluxury

 

 

 

 

 

The 3 year milestone & Entrepreneurial Struggles of a Non Enterpreneur

It has been 3 years since I started on a journey I knew nothing of. I started my own design studio/company/brand …the definition is fluid. I have no skills besides a general talent for concept development and as such like to live in my own world.I had no business plan. No funding. No one backing me. No clue about retail. No partner. All I knew was that it was an unknown path and I had to find my way through the mist if I wanted even a shred of my spirit to live. I was left with no choice. The work I was doing was headed no where and I could see no future as a designer. And for that I thank fate. It has been a tough, tougher, toughest journey. Each day bringing daunting challenges, from struggling with paperwork to making sure that the Wi Fi works. From sourcing product to designing it, giving it visibility and just about everything else. Even today a lot of days begin with a fear of what might go wrong. A lot of it does go wrong. But there is the exhiliration of conquering each hurdle. Today I see Tarusa as a toddler. And much as babies do the studio is stumbling and lurching forward.I am able to let it walk 2-3 steps without carrying it on my shoulders always. It has been a great learning experience and I have pushed myself to do things I never thought I was capable of. Most of all I am seeing a cliche come alive. People say it takes 3 years for any venture to start taking some shape and DOT on the 3 years curve the way forward if looking more visible.Wish me luck, wish me strength to keep going forward.For all of you wishing to start something I have one thing to say.Start and keep walking.        c1111 c111 DSC_0101

Tarusa turns 2!

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It’s time for revelry. We completed a successful journey of 2 years and we want you to be a part of this celebration, for it wouldn’t have been possible without your love and support. This happy occasion is more than a festival for us. Hence, it’s payback time. And we want to payback in style. We are giving all our fans 10% off on all the products – Home Decor & Fashion accessories http://www.tarusaworld.com

With Christmas and wedding season around the corner, shopping comes naturally. To make your shopping experience a delightful one, we have an exclusive discount coupon for you. The coupon code is TWS10 and the offer is valid from 23rd Nov-3rd Dec. Save your precious time by stepping out in the scorching heat & log on to our website to start filling your carts!

Let your home be embellished with our handcrafted décor accessories! What are you waiting for now? Get, set, buying! PS: Don’t forget to apply the coupon code TWS10!

A clutch for every occasion!

Stepping out of your house without a clutch is a sin. It is imperative to have a clutch for every occasion be it weddings, parties, college or routine outings. Gone are the days when we used to believe in having a common black clutch for all the occasions! To make it easier for you, we have given below a glimpse of the clutches for every outing.

Marriage:  For Indian weddings, the most preferred colors are shades of red, orange and green. With your fabulous ethnic attire, this floral designed orange clutch which is hand-embroidered and has a unique parrot clasp will act just right for you. During the reception, you can carry the charming Tarusa triangle design clutch with French knot embroidery using suede material in black color. It has an awe-inspiring finishing and can accommodate your essential items in it.
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Parties: Did you know even a small accessory can do wonders for your look? Be it birthdays or kitty parties; always step out with a clutch that can get your friends talking about it. Thread work flower embroidery on a black backdrop will look ravishing on your party dresses.

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College: A place where you can flaunt the fashionista in you! Get striking Tarusa clutch with geometric print using brocade fabric in gold color. You can team it up with both traditional as well as western outfits.

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Casual outings: This could also include going out for dinners with family or friends. Bring something that is a mix of casual and traditional like Tarusa envelope clutch gold and black color band on the flap using silk material in red color.

Tarusa envelope clutch gold and black color band on the flap using silk material in red color.
Festivals: Festivals like Diwali, Dussehra, etc. will require you to visit your relatives & friends. With your magnificent ethnic attire, if there is anything you need, it is this Tarusa patch work inspired clutch using suede material in yellow color.

Tarusa patch work inspired clucth using suede material in yellow color.
So, ditch the common black colored clutch and add a little color to your clutch collection. With more clutches, you will get more reasons to go on outings!

5 steps to look perfect in your friend’s wedding

Wedding bells are ringing for your best friend and you go all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to dress up for her wedding, more than her. You are already bewildered thinking about the hottest designers across the city and different types of dresses you’ll wear for her occasions. Here are some of the steps to get ready for your best friend’s weddingHow to get ready for your best friend's wedding:

  1. Dressing: Indian weddings are bigger than life where dressing becomes an invariable part. Just like the bride, you too are stressing over what to wear on her big day! You can find ample of designers and their designs online for your traditional wear. Select the best designer and let him do the rest.                                                 PS: Wear different types and different colored outfits for each occasion. It’s your best friend’s wedding and you have to be at your best.  Go for a smart Indo-western style for her sangeet, lehnga choli for her wedding and a saree for the reception.
  2. Make up: Prefer a professional makeup artist who can work on you according to your outfit. You can go for the all out glam look during the day. But remember one thing- Less is more! Don’t get your face made into a mask. Only accentuate your best features!
  3. Hairstyles: Make sure your hair is neat and washed before every occasion. There are innumerable fascinating hairstyles you can team up with your attire. To name a few- fishtail braided side ponytail or the stunner pulled back style during the marriage, twisted chignon, waterfall twist cascading curls, etc. for the reception.  Again, don’t repeat your hairstyles
  4. Accessories: Isn’t wedding attire incomplete without accessories? Ethnic yet classy clutch bags in a contrast color will captivate the onlooker’s attention! These clutches works best for an evening occasion. You can go completely traditional in the day by carrying lovely hand-embroidered potlis. Wear a bindi to symbolize your beauty. Have minimalist neckwear, bangles and earrings in case of a heavy dress.
  5. Footwear: Lastly, wear comfortable footwear. You don’t want to trip while dancing, right? All time safer option would be traditional wedges.

Appearance becomes an inevitable part during the weddings and these 5 points will help you look the next- perfect-girl-after-the bride.

This Diwali, add some panache!

It’s almost time for lights, colors, firecrackers and harmony celebrations. What could be a better expansion to the happiness by sprucing up a little in style, this Diwali? After all, this festival leads to the period of merriment with the preparation of delicacies, refurbishing your house, visiting relatives and gifting your dear ones.

While you are going to do up your home and buy presents, we give you an easier way to do that by sitting at your place. During Diwali, decoratives are highly appreciated by your guests. We at Tarusa World present you with hand-embroidered silk cushion covers which will make them the spotlight of your home. Check out few samples:

Tarusa Gota Patti Embroidered Aqua silk cushion                                                                Tarusa Mandal Circle Zardozi Embroidered Wine silk cushion                                          Tarusa Mandal Circle with Border Zardozi Embroidered Burnt Orange silk cushion                                                                                                                                                                What is the first thing you ask your relatives once they come to your place? “Will you have tea?” A true blue Indian cannot go a day without tea! Have a look at our wide range of tea cozies. The rich color combinations and the detailing work will make them speechless, further.                                                                                                                            Tarusa Moghul motif inpired Block Printed Red Tea Cozy with  border                              Tarusa Moghul motif inpired Block Printed Yellow Tea Cozy with border

The third step is having snacks or dinner. Show off the newly bought table runners and mats. Their splendid finishing will be adorned by your relatives. Finally, time to gift your guests. Trust us; you’ll enjoy gifting them more than they receiving it. We have an array of unique hand-embroidered clutches and potlis. Their ineffable charm is sure to delight women. We even have gifts for your male friend/relative- Wine covers and tissue wraps for their cars. Here’s a glimpse of them.

Tarusa Green ornate motif with zardozi work silk clutch                                                      Tarusa Neon orange lotus flower potli with all over thread work and zari detailing                Tarusa Yellow silk wine cover with block printed leaf motif and all over jaal border                Tarusa Lotus motif with Pitta work Aqua Silk tissue holder with contrast coloured tassles

Today, it is more about drama, panache and right emotions behind gifting. Your elated guests will never forget these gestures. At Tarusa World, we make sure you all have a “Happy Diwali”.

Top 5 unique gifts of Diwali:

That excitement in your eyes when someone knocks at the door and you rush to welcome your guests, with all the zest like never before! Yes, the festival of light, colorful decorations, sweets, and tons of gifts, is just around the corner. With this, the tradition of exchanging gifts is intact. No wonder Diwali is one of the most favorite festivals of Indians!

Apart from traditional dry fruit boxes, celebration boxes, we suggest top 5 gifts that should be gifted to your family, friends, relatives and colleagues. They are not only unique in their appearance but also very useful. A quick sneak peek for you:

Unique gifting options for Diwali

Accessories:

1) Ethnic clutches:  All time favorite color for weddings and festival, Tarusa Purple embroidered clutch is another synonym of elegance! It is made of pure silk and hand embroidered with all over zardozi jaal and has gold metal threads on the flap. A treasure in disguise!

2) Potlis:  Potlis are something that is always a good idea. Quite handy, literally, Tarusa Sea Green silk potli with all over hand embroidered katdana and crystal is trendy and fashionable. Truly a festive companion!

3) Stoles & Wraps: What could be a better gift other than Stoles/Wraps in winter? Beautiful and charismatic in nature, this Tarusa Sequined Blue Stole has diagonal metallic sequins and beads embroidery on it. Wrap it up!

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4) Cozy cushion covers: Let your relatives be gifted something that they will cherish all their lives. Take our word, these cushion covers brings in a lot of enthusiasm in your house. Tarusa Burgundy silk cushion is elegantly embroidered in gota work with zari threads. Romanticize your decor!

5) Wine bags: Instead of just gifting a wine bottle to your bosses, colleagues or friends, gift them in this delightful wine covers. Tarusa Purple silk wine cover features block print over floral motif with jaal border.  It makes for a cool addition to your home décor. A friend in need, indeed!

When you look at them you’ll realize that they have lovely colors and designs with an awe-inspiring finishing. These unique gifts will be treasured by your family and friends all their lives. Let this Diwali be remarkable for all of you!