A Textile Story in Three Parts

India is an exciting destination for handcrafts with a rich variety of textile traditions. At the core of modern India is a reverence for hand-spun, hand-woven khadi fabric, which Ghandi made central to his fight for Indian independence in the early 20th century.

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Twofold Handcrafted Travel is doing a deep-dive into Indian textiles with its tour India: A Textile Story (12 – 22 February, 2019). The tour is limited to ten people and focuses on three diverse destinations over nine days. The itinerary explores handcrafted fashion in Delhi, silk weaving in Varanasi, and block-printing in Jaipur.

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In Delhi, which has a flourishing design scene, the group will meet textile-forward fashion designers in their studios and showrooms. While these designers work with artisans from throughout India, many also employ full-time craftspeople who work onsite and it’s exciting to get a glimpse at the design process. The group will also gain insight into contemporary Indian textiles at dinner with a young textile curator and during a visit to the home of India’s leading sari expert.

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Varanasi has long been famous for exquisite silk brocade fabrics woven by weavers, known as karigars, on pit looms. From Varanasi it’s a thrilling drive, catching lively glimpses of village life, to visit an organization that weaves fabrics on old jacquard looms for high-end labels in the West as well as for luxurious wedding saris. Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest cities and it’s a fascinating place to visit. People travel from all over India to bathe in the holy waters of the Ganges River and to cremate the remains of loved ones; it’s incredible to watch these rituals of life and death.

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The old rulers of Jaipur were great patrons of the arts and the city is renowned for various handcrafts, one of which is block-printing. India: A Textile Story includes a visit to the atelier of a French expat designer who, over the last 30 years, has worked with master craftsmen to revive the art of block-printing to a level not seen since the Mughal era. In the nearby town of Bagru, where the Chippa caste has been practicing block-printing for centuries, the group will learn about the craft in a hands-on workshop. It’s interesting to wander Bagru to see the woodblock carvers, printers, dyers, and launderers who are all part of the block-print process.

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As a backdrop to this exploration of Indian textiles are the stunning Mughal and colonial-era monuments of Delhi; the transformative rituals of Varanasi; and the bustling markets and magnificent historic sites of Jaipur.

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Twofold Handcrafted Travel is offering a discount to TAC members! Sign up before September 30 and receive a $250 discount with the code: TACTwofold

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