Types of Indian Fabrics that Stood the Test of Time

When you buy a garment, the first thing you check would be the fabric it is made of, isn’t it? The fabric makes all the difference to the dress. Flowy, stiff, sheer, lightweight – each fabric has its own identity. 

It is said that men and women started covering the body with animal skins or used plant-based wrappings just after the ice age. They used these primarily to escape from the heat and cold and there started the evolution of fabrics!

Over a period of time, different textile techniques originated in different parts of the world suiting the climate and lifestyle pertaining to that region.  This also portrayed the great creativity and artisanship of people around the globe.

Let us take India for example.  There are a lot of traditional ways of spinning and weaving beautiful fabrics.  Being a huge country with diverse cultures and traditions, you can find numerous textiles that also speak of the amazing history of craftsmanship.

Silk

Silk is a very popular fabric in India, one of the most expensive too.  There are different varieties of silks and the purest silk is obtained from the silkworms.  The Kanchivaram sarees are made with this kind of pure silk threads along with gold threads making them a mark of luxury.   Silk has been used traditionally in temples for adorning Gods and Goddesses.  There is evidence that the art of making silk and using them as fabrics have been prevalent from even 2000 BC in India.  Silk is not only used to make saris and shawls, these are used to make elegant churidars and nighties too.  If you want to wear a nighty that is good to wear in the bedroom as well as in public, a nighty made of silk would be an ideal one.

Woollen

Woollen again shows its history dating back to 5000 BC.  The wool-making technique has been used in the Indus Valley era.  Pashmina the famous woollen fabric is spun from the wool of goats found in the Himalayan region.   Otherwise known as Cashmere Fabric, this has been famous world-over for centuries.  The beautifully crafted Pashmina shawls are a favourite among the elite even now.

The Fabric of India: Nature & Making - Victoria and Albert Museum

Cotton

The most important fabric that is used in India is Cotton. This fabric suits the weather conditions of the country.  The dying and printing techniques evolved keeping cotton as the fabric medium.  Cotton is a fibre obtained from the seeds of the cotton plant.  This can be spun into thread and made into textiles.  These are usually lightweight materials with great absorbent quality.  Since cotton is a natural product, this is a great way of going eco-friendly.   Be it a shirt, kurta, sari, churidar or a nighty, cotton is widely used all over India. 

The combed cotton is available now as a fabric called alpine, which is great to make garments like cotton nighties. There are many nightwear retailers across the country,but their products are not all created equal. The best place to start shopping is Nightyonline.in that provides a wide range of premium quality nighties manufactured in India.

Also, the soft cotton variety that is available in the market is smooth and has a slightly shiny texture.  If you want to wear a nighty in public or at home, the soft cotton ones should not be missed.

Khadi

Khadi is a hand-spun cloth, made of natural fibres of cotton. The usage of Khadi fabric can be dated back to 5000 BC in India. During the Vedic times, Khadi has been woven with hand in the traditional handloom method, incorporating gold threads.

Khadi has been popularized by Mahatma Gandhi as a part of ‘buy local products’ initiatives.  Even now many patriots vouch for their Khadi fixation.  It is also a big cottage industry where thousands of weavers find their bread and butter.

Bandhani - Indian Tie and Dye

Bandhini

Bandhini fabric is popular because of its tie-and-dye technique. This traditional technique creates beautiful natural prints that are colourful and interesting on the cotton fabric. 

Bandhini originated in Rajasthan and Punjab and is supposed to be prevalent from 5000 BC.  This technique of tie-and-dye is usually used on soft cotton fabrics and are very popular and inexpensive. 

Men wear turbans made with Bandhini fabrics.  Women use these for a variety of dresses, from dupattas, saris, salwar kameez, to nighties.  Bandhini nighties are popular because they are affordable and skin-friendly. 

You could wear a nighty made of Bandhini fabric in public or while at home because these are presentable as well as comfortable.

The fabrics that originated and prevalent in India have a huge history.  These natural techniques are eco-friendly and involve exquisite craftsmanship.  Lapped up by fabric enthusiasts from the world over, Indian fabrics are forever popular!

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