Sewing and textiles with Ann
One of the delights of Rajasthan is the wide range of crafts that survive, although many are mass produced these days rather than being hand created. I always intended to buy some (more) fabric whilst I was there in order to carry on with my Indian themed designs and wardrobe. Most of this was bought in Jodhpur; hence the name of the collection.
At the time of purchasing, I did not know what I would do with any of it.
Working with Indian fabric has presented its challenges. Some of them I was expecting others I wasn’t expecting.
Its always recommended to wash fabric before sewing. With Indian fabric its essential, just in case you happened to have purchased the one fabric that doesn’t run in the wash. Well, I haven’t found it yet. Colour retention is a problem and the material should not be used for anything that needs to be washed frequently, or will be washed with other fabric. So its no good for patchwork, for example.
It is pure cotton, so its easy to sew. Quality varies. I know that one of the Jodhpur fabrics is Egyptian cotton, dyed in India, as I was told that it was better quality.
Although I think that most fabrics are mass produced, and therefore machine printed, no fabric design is straight. In many respect this is one of the beauties of the clothes produced. There is a story about the garments, and part of that story is slight imperfections in the prints.
I struggle slightly to explain this, but in a length of over 2m, the fold in the fabric is no longer on the straight grain. I really struggled with that in the high waisted dress and ended up re-folding the material after I had cut each part, so that I could ‘average out’ the grain for each section. In the battle between grain and fabric pattern, the grain has to win, or the garment will not hang properly. Its not couture sewing, but I think have made a reasonable job of the challenges.
A bit about Jodhpur
Firstly, I have trouble spelling it – just like my typing sometimes – all of the right letters but in the wrong order! I think that the spelling above looks right.
And yes, the man who invented Jodhpurs did do it in said city. And at the palace, you do see some men wearing jodhpurs.
There are several centres for fabric in Rajasthan; Jodhpur is just one of them. And it’s where there is a shop that my tours likes to take people! But they did say that although they had had guests have clothes made in India before, they had never known anyone buy the fabric to make the clothes themselves. I had to specifically ask for them to throw their fabric stash all over the floor rather than bedspreads and shawls.
And these are a few pictures of the types of clothes normally worn in the city – oh, and one of me, as I don’t feature much in this blog! It turns out the my top is made of Indian material, although I did not know that until two people commented. Standing in front of mock elephant stalls, which serve as bedrooms!