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THE HISTORY OF SILK IN KARNATAKA

India is the only country that is home to four different silk varieties: Mulberry silk (Bombyx mori), Eri silk (Philosomia ricini), wild Tussar silk (Antheraea mylitta) and the exclusive wild golden Muga silk (Antheraea assama).  Of these Karnataka played a pivotal role historically in the development of mulberry silk and subsequently silk sarees that are particular to both it’s geography and culture.   HISTORY OF SILK IN KARNATAKA  Although silk first finds mention during the Vedic period, dating back to about 5000 BC, when silk and silk garments were known to Indians. (In the Mahabharatha, there is vivid description about silk and silk garments. Lord Krishna was described as always clad in Kashi Pitambara (silk of Banaras, West Bengal).There are...

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And who shall wear a handloom saree...

   Sheer elegance! A muga jamdani accompanied by classic pearls and kundan jewellery. Indian men were robbed of their graceful wear many years back by a foreign hand at work. Very officially and Very specifically. ‘Twas so many years back that the transformation is forgotten and forgiven. Western wear for men is de rigueur today and the traditional Indian wear is relegated to weddings & festivals and worse of all for special days at workplace when it is considered akin to a fancy dress. At least men had it simpler. It was not slow and it was not by choice. When it becomes a norm the normal follow. They lose the sense of loss and they cannot be blamed or...

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MANISH SAKSENA for THE REGISTRY OF SAREES

Ahead of the launch of Manish Saksena for The Registry of Sarees, the designer spoke to us about fashion hits, keeping traditions alive in fashion, and the secrets to lasting style. Manish Saksena is a man of impeccable taste. If you’ve ever wondered what has gone on behind the scenes in defining Indian retail fashion, meeting Manish gives you a sense of how steep the learning curve of growing style in India has been.  Manish has strong roots in St. Stephens College, New Delhi and London School of Fashion, and he has worked in different genres and scopes with Madura Garments as Creative Director, with Landmark Group as Head of Buying and successfully launched the first organized ethnic wear brand...

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Discovering Cotton 2/10: When Cotton Was Banned

The English East India Company imported on average around 15 million yards of Indian cotton cloth a year between 1670 and 1760. Indian cottons were sought after by European consumers because of their desirable properties. They were the first textiles whose colour could resist washing and did not fade with light. Indian cottons were also much cheaper than silks and woollens. Though not as long-lasting as woollens, cottons’ short durability was compensated by the fact that they were seen as extremely fashionable.  Their motifs and design were perceived as exotic in the same way in which Chinese porcelain, Japanese lacquer, chinoiserie, and other Asian goods were.  The inroads of Indian cotton textiles into the consuming habits of Europeans also generated...

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Discovering Cotton 1/10

  What’s happening at The Registry of Sarees this June? We’ve been trying to understand as much about cotton as is possible and we’d like to share it with you.  South India is believed to be inherently a cotton growing and wearing economy and culture. This is of course before Silkworm was brought to us and the cultivation of the “Cotton Tree” ( Gossypium Arboreum) gave way to the Mulberry plant that literally feeds the silk industry. India is now the second largest cotton producer in the world – but the variety of cotton available commonly in the market is not the cotton of our ancestors. A genetically modified strain of cotton, Bt Cotton delivers a faster crop. Aside from...

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