Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Woven Wonder – Himroo

Me along with my 2 classmates conducted a documentation on the dying craft of Himroo weaving recently which was a part of our syllabus this year in college. The word Himroo is derived from the Persian word ‘Hum-ruh’ which means ‘Similar’. The Himroo fabric which is considered an inferior type of brocade is woven with cotton or wool in warp and weft and patterned by extra weft silk. The design has to be decided at the outset since two kinds of threads are mixed and the main fabric weave is twill.

An interesting fact about the designs and patterns made on these fabrics is that they are inspired by the frescoes of Ajanta and the Taj Mahal. The colours frequently used are red, pink, brown, black, green, and yellow.

The roots of Himroo are being preserved and sustained by the Weavers Service Centre (Mumbai) and Aurangabad Himroo Handlooms (Aurangabad). The Qureshi family from Delhi Gate,Aurangabad are the descendants of this craft. Prof.Dulari Qureshi and Mr.Ahmed Saif Qureshi are the only ones who have kept its origins alive at the Aurangabad Himroo handlooms.

It is heartbreaking to see that such a beautiful craft is not being patronized anymore and is near its death. Power loom has completely taken over handloom but one can see the drastic difference in both. After the end of our craft documentation, we created products using the Himroo fabric that are commercially viable and still are keen on contributing to create awareness for this craft by marketing these products. I am sure my classmates will agree (even after all the arguments) that taking up this craft was a very wise decision ;)

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