We can’t all become technical experts in every art and craft that we admire and hope to acquire a piece off. So, what do we do?
Through her varied and personal experience with Indian handcrafted textiles, over a decade, Jaya Devi Cholayil, offers you these simple distinguishing factors. A deep knowledge of the artistic techniques and textile crafting processes lies behind the quick litmus tests that she shares here.
As a newlywed, almost 30 years ago, Jaya was introduced to the world of Ayurveda and the Cholayil culture of combining natural, ethically sourced ingredients to create products that started lifestyle trends.
Given her love for art and her compassion for the less fortunate, Jaya Devi decided to take this heritage one step further and thus was born Jullaaha. A brand that is loved and respected as much for its all-natural personal care products and authentic, Indian, handcrafted textiles as it is for its work in bettering the lives of the down-trodden.
Block printing, as we know it today, is thought to have originated in China; though this art form has probably been practiced for close to 2,000 years.
After Vasco Da Gama discovered the shipping route to India in 1498, most of the world came to know of the beautiful textiles of India and this gave a boost to all related industries including that of the traditional block print.
The Ajrak textile was so unique, that its fame spread across Asia and Africa between the 9th to the 14th century; and the Egyptians and other Arabs travelled all the way to the sub-continent to trade for what they called 'Sindhin'.
A traditional Ajrak fabric can take around a month to make, in a process very similar to that of Kalamkari, where the fabric is washed between each of the steps in flowing river water. However, unlike Kalamkari, Ajrak painting is done using only wooden blocks and not a pen.
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