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Thorthu, Kerala Thorthu

Thorthu, Kerala Thorthu The ‘u’ not to be pronounced as thor-thoo, but like ‘ue’ of Prague. Thorth.   For someone from a tropical land, cotton is undoubtedly a part and parcel of one's daily life. And for someone especially from Kerala, from a textile perspective, our most prized possessions - the most ordinary and extraordinary is cotton and with 'kara' (bands) - both revered greatly - the saree or mundu and the 'thorthu'. While the Kerala saree and mundu and mundum neriyathum get everyone's attention as Kerala’s main textiles, the thorthu humbly takes a backseat, enjoying it all hanging on the clothesline, under the sun; slowly swaying in the wind with no complaints. The thorthu, in reality, is perhaps bought...

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Stories from Maheshwar

I woke up every morning to the melody of neighbourhood children doing their riyaaz. I would put on my best khadi and take a stroll to the ghat. There it stood, the gleaming red sandstone fort Ahilya, by the glistening liquid gold river Narmada. As I would walk up to the fort, past the stunning hand-carved Shiva temples, I would hear it; the music of handloom from Rehwa society.    Ahilyabai Holkar or as she’s revered, ‘Maa Saheb’, is the patron of Maheshwari weaving. Her reign (1767-1795 AD) was considered to be the golden age of crafts and culture. As a widow herself, her wardrobe was spartan and her style of dressing was simple and elegant; which reflected in the...

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The nine-yard weave has been getting an eco-friendly makeover in modern times as self-help groups have begun to experiment with contemporary yarns going beyond cotton and silk that make up the regular repertoire of sarees. Here are a five such fibres used these days giving the loom an innovative twist.

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