A country as big as India, with one of the richest textile histories in the world, has a lot to offer. Textiles are everywhere: in temples and homes, garments or animal covers, in private and public collections. This publication shows the private collection of the authors Heidi and Helmut Neumann. The couple began to collect textiles in the 1970s from Indonesia, Morocco, China and India.
It’s divided into different regions with its distinct traditions, patterns, processes and the roles that textiles have played in daily life over the centuries. Don’t expect expensive, intricate gold thread and jewel enriched embroideries made for maharajas; the collection shows textiles for everyday use of the middle class. A small part is made of silk, the majority is cotton. That said, the richness in colour and fantasy is breathtaking. Tie-dye from Gujarat, saris from Baluchar, a village in Murshidabad, kantha embroideries from Bengal and block-printed cotton made in the 16th/early 17th century. Names that make you dream about exotic faraway places to visit and techniques to explore. A lot of the embroideries are made in chain stitch. The authors fail to mention if they are done with a needle or tambour hook, which is typically Indian.