The state had laid its stamp on the textile market with its
excellent quality and varied designs, both traditional and modern. Its
textiles have been acclaimed all over the world. The 'rogan' and 'zari'
prints, and tie 'n' dye has a standing that cannot be easily matched. The
superb example of fine weaving is the exquisite silk saris from Patan, the
The variety in textiles lies in the differences of raw materials, the combinations of yarns and in the effective use of traditional techniques. Variations in design used by different communities, castes and regions of the state, have further enriched the range.
'Mashru', a mixed fabric, woven with a combination of cotton and silk, was essentially for the use of Muslim men as there was a prohibition on them wearing pure silk. Weaving traditions prevalent in Iraq and the Arab countries may have influenced the tradition of 'mashru'.
'Mashru' was woven all over India, though it survives today only in Gujarat. It often combines 'ikat' patterns in stripes, along with woven patterns, through the introduction of extra warp threads, or by the depression of the warp threads, and is woven on a pit loom. Today Patan is one of the most important centres where 'mashru' is woven.
Worn originally by tribes of Gujarat, this fabric is printed in geometric patterns with bold black outlines, in deep earthy colours.
DHAMADKA & AJRAKH:
The intricate art of printing fabrics using wooden blocks thrives in the riverside town of Jetpur, midway Gondal and Junagadh, and earns valuable foreign exchange alongside the more modern screen-printing workshops.
Wood is cut and flattened into blocks ranging from around 1 ½ " to 3" in thickness, pin pricked with the outline of the design to be transferred to the fabric and finally minutely carved by chiseling. Next, the colours are separated to fill the niches, and the Chhipa or Khatri expertly runs the block along the length and breadth of the fabric.
The dyed fabric is then fixed in river Gondali and kept to dry. Kachchh also specializes in block printing, and vegetable dyes, paraffin wax resist, patricate-printing material. Bright 'ajrakh' prints are still used though now synthetic dyes and modern techniques have been adopted.
'Dhamadka' are block prints that derive their name from the village of origin, well known for its river water that brightens the colours. A range of contrasting maroons, yellows, blues and reds with patterns generated through tiny dots.
TANGALIA: This fabric from Surendranagar is inlayed with thread during weaving to create geometrical patterns and peacock motifs.