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Date 24.09.2015
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Rekha Dar


Professor Ms. Rekha Dar, Pearl Academy, India


This paper is an overview of the rich Indian heritage luxurious fabrics. The traditional techniques executed in making of such luxurious fabrics in the contemporary form. These processes have changed very little from those used centuries ago.
Fashion, luxury & Heritage are all intertwined, with the advent of modern times and machines, these traditional heritage fabrics took a back seat as it was not much understood and appreciated by the buyers. However, the valorization of these luxurious heritage fabrics can create a large number of new jobs for the artisans and other associated people of the society.
The paper explores the history of many fabrics, the meaning of the names given to them. The specific name has a romance to it, the products and the process of making them is exquisite, is overwhelming, inspiring and spellbinding.

A case is built through this paper, examining “Do we impart comprehensive knowledge of this wealth in the Fashion/Design schools to preserve and learn about these luxurious heritage fabrics? This fabric knowledge will help them educate the prospective buyers about the authenticity of the ancient tradition. The old fabrics and weaving techniques will be able to not only sell; it will also help to revive many dying weaves, weavers and techniques with a concerted effort.

India for four thousand years has produced some of the most precious cotton. Rustam Mehta states “Among the more famous were described graphically and had poetic names as Abrawan (running water), Bafthawa (woven air), Sharbati (sweet as sherbet) and Shabnam (evening dew). Sir George Watt has pointed out, the most common method of testing of the muslin was to determine if the piece of woven cloth could be passed through a lady’s ring. In the time of Emperor Jahangir, muslin fifteen yards in length and one yard in width could be made so fine as to weigh a mere nine hundred grains”.

Methodology: The secondary data is used for the exploring the origin & the journey of ancient heritage luxurious fabrics of India. The Primary data consists of interviews with the students to understand if the information is enough with them to understand the western point of view to buy and use these fabrics to help the occidental buyers to use these fabrics in apparels as well as the home furnishings.

Limitation: The main portion of this paper is secondary data which is all from articles, books written by various authors. The fabrics discussed are from Gujarat as it has been the part of the ancient Indian civilization dating back to circa 3,300 to 1,300 BCE equivalent to the Bronze Age.

Value: A large number of traditional fabric weaving techniques are getting slowly extinct due to lack of orders. We can sustain the weaving techniques, the fabrics and the weavers by ensuring that the students in the fashion schools are imparted knowledge taking pride in the heritage of each fabric and understanding the romance of the exquisite, hand crafted indigenous weaving techniques .This will help them to market with confidence of delivering quality product as per specification which would be the inherent characteristics of these fabrics.

Keywords: heritage, traditional, luxurious, fabrics.


Rekha DarRekha Dar, Fashion Business Educator for last 10 years, 21 years of Fashion Business Apparel Industry experience in India, Sri-Lanka, Nepal & Bangladesh. Head of sourcing for Gap Sri Lanka & Benetton and many other European Brands. Master of Philosophy, Bachelor’s in Education, PGCHE NTU, UK. Further Education Initiatives@ Pearl Academy: Appointed for two months an Expert trainer @ Textile Industry Development Institute (TIDI) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Created “Vendor Management: Social Compliance Manual (246 pages).” Partner for projects with London College of Fashion “Mapping Employer engagement in Fast Fashion and Using it as a Tool to deliver skills required in Global Supply Chain” and “Global Fashion Skills Collaborative Networks: Up skilling for Future Business Growth.”

Few of the many academic paper presented and published: “Complex Consumer Culture –The Indian Customer”. “A Study of Social Compliance and CSR-Initiatives in Fashion School Curriculums”. “To leverage buyer and manufacture initiatives to strengthen Social Compliance, focus on education and awareness building”.

“Sustainable Buyer Seller Relationships in the Dynamic Fast Fashion Industry – A UK –India Perspective, “Eco-green industrial evaporator: A solution to pollution for Tirupur knitwear industry”. “Fashion and the hands of God- A study of Child labour in apparel manufacturing.” “Academic and Industry Collaboration to Enhance Fashion retail: Internationalizing Teaching & Research.”