Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Pochampally & Bharwad embroidery

Pochampally, is a group of many many villages, in Nalgonda in the South Indian state of Telangana where skillfull weavers on traditional hand operated looms make these amazing woven fabrics. They weave stunning silk sarees and cotton fabric that I constantly dream of and ensured that I picked up a bunch of this fabric during the Hyderabad leg of the trip. This top was made from some of the Pochampally ikat fabric I fell in love with, it is a simple shirt/ kurta that I can wear with denim or churidar and dupatta or even wear to work with a skirt. I love the fact that slowly I am creating a wardrobe that includes things that I consider staples; ikat, block-print, bandhani, leheriya, shibori, traditional embroidery etc.

This bag is made by the ladies of the Bharwad tribe in Kutch and was picked up in Dhordo a tiny village in the Rann of Kutch. I am currently in love and wear it with everything. All the jewellery worn in this post is silver from various silver-smiths who cater to and specialise in designs specific to certain tribes. While I was walking around the markets one day, an older gentleman was very confused as to which tribe I was from because I was wearing jewellery from three different tribal clans. The cuff that I am wearing on my left wrist is something I haven't taken off in over a year and the jumbled bunch that is my anklets stay put all through summer. I am also wearing a hooked clasp silver key ring at the waist similar to a 'chatelaine'. It is called 'Chabi ka Challa' or 'Chabi ka Guccha' in Hindi I think. The lady of a house wears one of these with all the important keys of the house. Depending on their socio-economic status these could be of 22 carat gold with precious stones or silver with semi-precious stones.

I just don't see the point of changing things that are already perfect. Instead of trying to get my hands on what's trendy every season I try to source traditional jewellery and handicraft items that will last me for years and something that will hopefully be passed down generations. I'd rather spend my money ensuring that traditional craftmanship remains profitable.

I am wearing these with Kolhapuri leather chappals that I bought from a street stall in Colaba, they are destined to be used like crazy over the summers to come. I wish one day I am able to spend extensive time in some places with a rich textile heritage and master some of these crafts, until then I am going to live in them and hope the magic of creating beauty rubs off on me.


deeps said...

you know what?
let alone your attitude n aptitude to be in front of the lens in stunning manner every time, you got a cool photographer around you..

Richa Sahni said...


We are in search for images for our article 'highlight your waistline with chabi challas.'I saw your image with the same in "Pochampally & Bharwad embroidery." If possible can you kindly provide the hi-resolution (more than 1 mb) of that image. You can contact me on Pic courtesy will be provided.

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