The tribal textile industry in India has been in existence for centuries. It is a huge global commodity for India. Today’s trading combines the old methods with modern requirements.
The Indian textile tradition is the oldest in the world with roots that are as far back as Indus Valley civilization. Rigveda is the earliest of the Veda, and it provides literary written documentation concerning textiles in the art of weaving among Indians. Ramayana and Mahabharta show the existence of many different varieties of fabrics in ancient India. The information is not limited to just one group of people, but references both the rich and stylish garments that the well-to-do wore as well as the simply designed clothes that were symbolic of the common people. This discovery is supported by fragments of cotton material that originated from gujarat discovered in the Egyptian tombs. Most of the ancient Indian writings mention the textile craft as well. For centuries, tribal textiles have been exported to many different countries. Indications are that the textile trade was an important industry for the Vijayanagar Empire around 1504 A.D. Indian textiles are mentioned in several different sources define the art of Indian textile including that of geography, climate, customs, raw material availability and much more.
The Trade Industry
India had many trade links worldwide, which made it easy to trade the popular Indian textiles. During the birth of Christianity, Indian silk was a popular textile in Rome. At around the same time, cotton textiles were being sent to China while during the 1200′s, the exportation of silk South Indian silk fabrics to several countries including Indonesia was common. Fabrics of cotton with prints called chintz were exported to Europe as well as Far Eastern nations before Europeans arrived in India. A trade company from the British East Indies was also involved in the trading of cotton as well as silk fabrics from India, including Dacca muslins and other popular muslins originating from other areas as well as Chintz. The past traditions of the textile and handlooms are still used by the weavers to make motifs, patterns, and designs.
The Indian textile industry remains a huge commodity in the global market where it offers a large variety of products at affordable prices. Some of the products that are offered include bed linen, curtains, cushion covers, designer bags, sheets, and shoes, handmade paper and quilts, linens for the kitchen, table linen, wall decorations, and much more. For other textiles such as Banndhani or Tie-and-Dye, Batik print, and others, different techniques are employed in order to give the dcor a pleasant feeling. Modern Indian textile combine the past while at the same time catering to the contemporary market. Many different factors have influenced the tradition of India’s textile industry and have been direct influences on the growth of India’s textile tradition.