Tag Archives: crafting

Crafts of India 3

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Whilst my trip to India was a wonderful adventure, I was extremely disappointed to find on arrival in Delhi that the block printing section had been removed from the itinerary ( as were most other people on the tour) The travel company “Colouriscious” had removed that leg of the holiday and no one realised until we arrived in Delhi. The remaining elements of the adventure however, were amazingly good.

We did see a small example of block printing when attending other workshops.

Used blocks covered in Indigo paint.

Cloth printed and partially embroidered. This fabric is destined to become a sari. When the embroidery is complete it will be washed in the river ( Which didn’t look too clean!) and dried in the sun. The washing removes the indigo print and leaves the white embroidery. It will become a beautiful, very white sari.

Bear with me! Only one more Textile Adventure blog to go!

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Shopping in India

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Surajkund International Craft Fair reputed to be one of the largest in the World! It was huge! There was a great atmosphere with all ages visiting the annual fair. It felt completely safe with much friendly banter. We were the only white faces to be seen and obviously a spectacle of interest. We were constantly asked for permission for the locals to take selfies with us. I felt like a celebrity when even three policemen asked could they pose with me!

There was music everywhere, dance troupes at every corner and street food of every description.

I learned to barter which doesn’t sit easily with my shopping habit! I did, however buy pashminas, scarves and cushion covers!

It was the hottest day of the holiday but that added to the atmosphere of a never to be forgotten experience, in India.

The People of India (2)

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There was men weaving on “pit looms” the most exquisite silk saris. Their sons would often sit with them to learn the trade. The homes where this takes place, were frequently poorly lit. Interestingly they were also listening to cricket on the radio ( and India was winning!)This lady attempted to show us how to work Chiken stitch a traditional shadow stitch often worked on saris and pashminas. I tried hard but failed miserably!Market stalls were piled high with traditional textiles in eye popping colours.

Traditional crafts were apparent in the maintenance of buildings, contrasting with the poverty on the roadsides and city streets.

on my recent “Textile Treasure Hunt” to India I saw many people working long hours in often, difficult conditions. They were invariably pleasant, smiley and happy.

The People of India

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I recently had a holiday to India when I visited Delhi, Varanasi, Lucknow and Agra. It was a fantastic trip aimed at learning about Indian textiles. The experience was wonderful, enhanced by the many people that I met en route. How do they do this?.

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IMG_2478Making fishing nets , the whole family involved

IMG_2498Still working! This time assembling packets for sale Could be a knit and natter group

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The Village water supply

The Indian Terracotta Army?

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Don’t you just love these Terracotta horses? We visited the Sanskrit Centre today. It is a museum and arts centre with three museums. The museums are dedicated to Terracotta (or pottery) Everyday art and Textiles. Sadly we could not take pictures of the inside and their beautiful textile display. Also they did not have post cards or photographs of the displays as it would not be in keeping with their philosophy of no commercialism.

There were artists in residence with accommodation available. We saw a potter making these clay horses and I met a photographer who was on a seven week sabbatical. A lovely place to retreat into crafts.

The exhibition of textiles was amazing and inspiring. Another Forget me not sort of a day.

Taj Mahal

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Memorable visit to Taj Mahal today in this wonderful, amazing land of contrasts.The poverty is difficult to swallow but the culture is immersive. I love love love the textiles and crafts. I am with a specialist textile company called Colouricious who have taken us to hidden gems. Whilst I am devastated that we have not had a block printing workshop ( my reason for coming) I am loving the other textiles. I am learning as much from my travel companions as we are all like minded.Marble inlaid with semi precious stones

Only a few more days to go before home.

Let the Adventure Begin

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Today is the start of my latest big adventure. India here I come! I’ve packed everything that is important. The most important being my sewing! Oh and my books and just a few clothes!

I’m currently on my way to Heathrow where I meet the group I’m travelling with! Just hoping that they are a good group but I’m sure they will be I am travelling with a specialist textile holiday company called http://www.Colouriciousholidays.com

I will blog all about it as it is going to be bloggylicious!

A Little Slow Stitching

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I’m attempting a little slow stitching, which in other times was called “embroidery!”

Slow stitching centres around the “make do and mend” and “waste not, want not” ethos of yesteryear. It is a nod to the generations that came before ours in which reusing and recycling were necessary and admirable.

This is not a complicated process which relies on numerous fancy, perfectly executed stitches and fastidious neatness. Rather, we embrace the timeworn nature of our materials, and the individuality of our stitching methods.

Simplicity is key.

We are passionate fabric lovers, and we have a stash of “just because” pieces we’ve found along the way to prove it. We love to hunt at flea markets, charity stores and church fetes for the cloth treasures and embellishments we will repurpose. We can lose ourselves in the online world of instagram and etsy…..oh the possibilities…

I am currently using some of my vintage stash to create a Hexi quilt, which is the ethos of the Slow stitching movement.

No Room At The Inn?

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I recently visited Chester Cathedral with the intention of seeing a knitting exhibition. There was a display of knitted Bible stories, Hand crafted and lovely.

There was a “side” show of knitting hats and scarves for the homeless. Very admirable and kind idea.

The cathedral is a beautiful, large church, warm and cosy. What I couldn’t understand was why ?

Why Heat the lovely space to such an extent when all the visitors are warmly wrapped up in scarves and good coats?

Why have such a large attractive space open to the public when some of the public are homeless ( for whatever reason) and sleeping rough in doorways?

Why close the doors at night to keep the Church warm when some are shivering with no bed to sleep in?

I know that the homeless is a complex issue. Many people do help and do their best. Maybe I’m doing Churches in the UK a disservice . Maybe they do open their doors at night. Just maybe a little more could be done?

I must give full credit to the Chester shareshop and all their hard work for the homeless people of Chester and elsewhere. When I shop in Chester I always buy myself a coffee. It costs me only a little to buy another coffee for someone out there.

Vintage Reading

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IMG_2328.JPGOne reason that I wanted to make the Harris Tweed quilt that I mentioned in my previous post is because I want to improve my embroidery skills. My Grandmother and to a lesser extent my Mother were great needlewomen. I can embroider to a certain extent but there is always room for improvement.

I found this book in my Grandmother’s belongings many years ago. It is a small paperback book first published in 1967.The instructions are clear and simple and it’s a delight to learn from.

I also have another book, not quite so old, published in 1981. So….. back to slow stitching.