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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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About the Kota Doria  Often regarded the finest amongst the gossamer textiles and sarees of India, the Masuria Malmal or Kota Doria  is recognized by it’s graph like geometric pattern called “khats”. Woven in pure cotton and silk in different densities, the saree is much loved and treasured for it’s lightness that retains a very versatile grandeur.   It’s origin as a craft are shrouded in mystery and there are several myths all handed down from generation to genertation.  One theory is that the word “Masuria” part of the local lexicon of the Kota saree attributes it’s name to its origin – the erstwhile Kingdom state of Mysore, while other’s believe that it is a tribute to the use of...

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