Beautiful textiles are my thing. They are not only reminders of places I’ve been, they demonstrate the skills in and traditions of other countries. It’s hard to find places for them all, but I cannot bear to have them hidden away.
This lovely embroidered piece is from Bikaner, India. Each day it is placed on the end of my bed, and I never fail to give it a good long look of appreciation.
It’s pattern is intricate and beautifully crafted.
In a place or two, it appears that the stitcher pricked a finger. Somehow the stain makes the piece more human.
I am reminded of the women who were doing such handwork.
I don’t know how many hours each day they spent sitting on the floor or how many days it took them to complete a single piece.
As I watched fingers going in and out of fabric I could only marvel at their patience and wonder what they were paid to do such beautiful work. I am quite sure their compensation didn’t adequately reward the time spent sitting on a hard floor.
India is known for its textiles, and except for the embroidered pieces, most seem to be done by men. They make block printed cloth using what seemed to me a very complex process. This is not one I am going to pursue!
Men were also weavers making some of the most beautiful cloth I have ever seen on what struck me as very primitive looms.
Finished the cloth is used for everything from table linens to scarves to wearables. I could only look with awe at such beautiful pieces, some of which came home with me. I did not try to bargain because no way will I ever use threads so fine to create such phenomenal work.
For each of the artisans whose work I admired, I have the utmost appreciation.