THE COLOURLESS TEXTILES – DESIGNER DEEPIKA GOVIND
India has always been a fertile land of powerful fashion elements that talk not just about vigour or vibrancy but class and craftsmanship too. Much like the swirling kaliedoscope, our traditional Indian textiles have a marble-like effect taking hue of different colours every time they are twisted.
Ironically some of the finest colourless fabrics and eastern textiles like Kanjeevaram, Uppada, Patola, Orissa Ikat, Paithani, Mysore silk, Benarasi Jamdani, Khatan and Kora tissues offer extraordinary layering and implacably textured colours. Although the term ‘colourless’ doesn’t necessarily mean the same but that the colours are to a certain point insignificant. The contrasting example can be dull-white cotton with tiny Ikat motifs, Bengal Jamdani with a border and motifs, small or big checkered cottons from Gujarat, small butti Pochampalli of Telengana, small butti jacquards of Varanasi, Kasuvu sarees and Mundu of Kerala, fine kola cottons to the Hyderabad antique cottons and Nanded antique sarees.
Personally, I believe that there is no distinction in our textiles, because colours and weaves are interconnected. Remarkably every colourless cotton and silk textile has so many layers. From especially fine mulls to Pochampalli Ikats and Orissa Cottons-Ikats – they all are epitome of colourless cool. Putting it together, the Sambalpuri, Venkatgiri, Narayanpet, cotton silks of Kolhapur, Mangalgiri, self-stripes and checks of Gujarat, Maheshwari textiles, Chanderi to Pune cottons are some of the classic colourless examples.
As analysts rightly call the colourless look as the European vision of India, these textiles have a definitive look in terms of the weaves, areas, usage and patronage.
Concluding with 3 of my most favourite colourless textiles of India:
~ Fine cotton mulls of Gujarat, Kasavu of Kerala, Uppada of Andhra.
~ Jamdani sarees from West Bengal mostly in ecru and off-white.
~ Inapi, the finest cotton from Manipur with the warp and weft loosely woven to create a transparent fabric with fine floral motifs.
Add the ultimate power to your fashion self with this refined, sophisticated and inimitable look.