About our Tapestries & Spreads
Given the name Tapestry as they are a form of textile art. Our tapestries and spreads are made of a light to mid-weight 100% cotton offering easy wash and wear care. They are a bit thicker than a bed sheet and there are two types of weave for your consideration. Our power-loom cotton tapestries and spreads are made from machine loomed cotton which offers a tight, smooth weave. Our tapestry descriptions will point out this type of weave for you because we feel this is the best type of weave for lasting durability. Our regular tapestries are made from cotton that was created on a hand-loom. These are the old original style of cotton used before a time that machine looms were an option. Their texture is that of a light summer tweed. Because of its popularity, it is a method still used today. All of the tapestries are made of one large piece of fabric, there are no seams. Two of the edges are salvage which means the finished edge of fabric and two of the ends have tiny hems. The designs are created using either one or a combination of the following methods- screen print, tie-dye, batik or block printed. The slight irregularities are characteristics associated to handmade products and are not to be considered defects. One must keep in mind that human hands created each and every one of these tapestries. We cannot expect our artisans to throw away hours of work because a drop of dye or wax fell from their brush or block. When buying an Indian tapestry or spread it is important to appreciate the art of creation behind it, in all of its imperfection. Their bohemian decorative qualities and versatility offer endless possibilities in home decorating.
Our tapestries and spreads can be used as wall hangings, bedspreads, beach blankets, furniture throws (great for pet lovers), tablecloths, canopies and much more. We have many crafty customers that purchase our tapestries to create unique clothing, window treatments, custom quilts and more. Some of our tapestries and spreads have matching curtains panels for a great ensemble. If you do not see matching panels for your spread, consider purchasing two tapestries and using one to make a great matching pair of curtains to match your new spread.
The following is a list of some of the very special styles that we carry. Each of these styles comes from a different region of India and expresses that regions history, cultures, and traditions. Many of which have been passed down through the centuries and remain ever popular today. The vibrant colorful designs will lift your spirit and soothe your soul.
BAGRU - This small but immensely productive village near Jaipur contains a large community of printers. The skills of the Bagru printers were patronized by the Jaipur court over 200 years ago, they are probably the best known and most easily recognized designs in our range. Bagru printers have always been the most accessible to the outside world and in turn, have adopted many new and different styles from outside influences into their wide repertoire using their own traditional techniques.
KALAMKARI - Originally a Persian word meaning "drawing on cloth". While the technique probably existed several centuries before, the style as we know them today emerged from the great craft schools that sprang up under the patronage of the Moghul emperors about three centuries ago. The style much favored by the Moghul courts were adopted by the printing communities on the Coromandel coast of southeast India and most of the production is now hand block printed by a small number of family groups in and around the old fishing port of Masulipatam. While block printing is a much faster method of production than hand painting each piece it is still laborious and involves the use of a large number of blocks for each design. The intricate designs, the elaborate borders and the innate understanding of balanced composition have given Kalamkari a well-deserved place in the evolution of printed design.
RAJASTHAN - Rajasthan is the most colorful state in India and it is reflected in its forms of textiles. The tradition of printing with finely engraved wooden blocks distinguishes it from other states. The block printed textiles of India became famous in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe when the East India Company began to export them in bulk. The block prints are mostly executed on a white or off-white background, using screen printers or wooden blocks. They are usually colorful floral patterns and known for their fine and intricate detailing.
BLOCK PRINTS - Block printing on textiles refers to the technique by which carved wooden blocks covered with dye are repeatedly pressed along a length of cloth to create a repeated pattern. What makes this technique unique is the fact that the design has to be first carved onto the wooden block by hand, and then pressed onto the fabric by hand. India is one of the largest manufacturers and exporters of block printed fabric in the world. Some of the various types of block printing include Dabu, Kalamkari, Bagru, Chilani and Ajrakh. The different types of block printing techniques are often directly related to the region of India from which they were created.
PAISLEY - The ever-popular paisley design can be traced back to the Indo-European cultures more than 2000 years ago. The paisley pattern was originally represented in Celtic art but later died out under the influence of the Roman Empire. Paisley was quickly adopted in India and the motif continued to flourish in many forms of art. The impact was so dramatic and became so popular that paisley became renowned worldwide and has remained fashionable for centuries.
DABU - The Resist Process called Dabu involves using wax or gum clay mixed with resin. With the help of brush or block or by hand this is applied to the portions of the cloth. The color is then applied to it. The wax is then washed off in hot or flowing water and the applied color moves into this area to give a diffused effect. This process is somewhat similar to the batik process. Block printing is then applied on the portion of the cloth where the original color is retained. The fabric is highlighted by printing specific outlines and patterns against the contrast color. Due to the use of wax, the designs get a broken appearance like batik due to the leakage of color once the resist is washed off. Many of the dyes used in Dabu are derived from vegetable and mineral dyes.
JAIPUR - The Jaipur prints have been one of the leaders of hand block printed textiles for more than 500 years. The opulent cultural heritage of Jaipur city is distinctly evident even today in its exquisite textile prints. The elegant prints of Jaipur are directly influenced by the royalty who at one time formed the niche clientele. A harmonious blend of a variety of elaborate yet sophisticated designs in delicate shades on a single piece of cloth place the prints in a class of their own. Today, Jaipur prints are internationally recognized for their ethnic designs on pure cotton using natural and vegetable-based dyes.
CELTIC - The Celts are among the greatest peoples of European history. Long before Rome conquered the known world they shared many bonds of language, customs, art and culture across a vast area. It is really only since the turn of the last century that the Celtic art revival has proceeded with such vigor. Today it is ever on the increase with artists and craftspeople working in almost every medium, utilizing Celtic designs. The intricate beauty of these patterns is so strong that it is very easy to see why the art form has become so well loved. Celtic art displays a richness of color, intricacy and symbolism that equals that of any of the world's finest styles of art.
TIE-DYE - Tie-dye is a process of resist dyeing textiles which is made from knit or woven fabric, usually cotton. It is a modern version of traditional dying methods used in many cultures throughout the world.Tie-dying became fashionable in the West in the late 1960s. It was popularized by musicians such as John Sebastian, Janis Joplin, and Joe Cocker. Tie-dying is accomplished by folding the material into a pattern, and binding it with string or rubber bands. Dye is then applied to only parts of the material. The ties prevent the entire material from being dyed. Designs are formed by applying different colors of dyes to different sections of the wet fabric. Once complete, the material is rinsed, and the dye is set.
BATIK - Evidence of this ancient technique can be traced back to over 2000 years ago from many regions of the world. Samples of this ancient art form have been found in Egypt, Middle East, Turkey, India, China, Japan and West Africa. Batik is achieved when melted wax is applied to cloth before being dipped in dye. It is common for people to use a mixture of beeswax and paraffin wax. The beeswax will hold to the fabric and the paraffin wax will allow cracking, which is a characteristic of batik. Wherever the wax has seeped through the fabric, the dye will not penetrate. Sometimes several colors are used, with a series of dyeing, drying and waxing steps. After the last dyeing, the fabric is hung up to dry. Then it is dipped in a solvent to dissolve the wax, or ironed between paper towels or newspapers to absorb the wax and reveal the deep rich colors and the fine crinkle lines that give batik its character. In one form or another, batik has worldwide popularity.
Our Tapestries and Spreads can be used for:
We hope to inspire your imagination and creativity~:-)