Spending some days viewing (and buying) textiles in Jaipur and nearby Sanganer are like days full of sunshine! Many tours in Jaipur, the Pink City are organized specifically for textiles and shopping.
On this particular visit, I met up with a weaver friend of mine, Elizabeth, whom I had met on a previous trip to India.
We spent five days in Jaipur visiting a textile school, Sanganer village and the Anokhi museum of hand printing. Additionally, we were lucky that our time there coincided with Holi celebrations. Elizabeth and I took a side trip to the holy city of Pushkar, the day before Holi celebrations. Many local people said the best celebrations happen right there, in Pushkar; but we already had made other arrangements in Jaipur.
For one of my days in Jaipur, I had connected with one of my FB friends, Arvind. He is a textile design graduate, from Arch College of Design & Business. Upon arrival, we had a brief interview with an administrator of the school. After a tour of the facilities, including a jewellery lab, pattern making studio, and a shop selling the students work, we met with a few of the enthusiastic textile students themselves.
On the first sample, we used Symplocos and on the other, iron water. After steaming, the bundles were left wrapped up for a few days, before the reveal. I had already left Jaipur at this point, so unfortunately did not see the results, other than in some photos that Arvind sent me. They looked great!
Upon leaving the art school, Elizabeth and I drove to the village of Sanganer, with our auto rickshaw driver. This village, which is located on the outskirts of Jaipur is well known for it’s Silkscreen and Block printing production, as well as for paper making.
Down some of the back roads are workshops which produce the fabrics and one can see the immense, brightly coloured fabrics hanging on huge racks to dry. Sanganeri prints and the hand-crafted paper industry dates back to over 300 years, to the early 18th Century.
On another of our textiles in Jaipur exploration, we visited the Anokhi museum of hand printing, as well as a nearby step well. This excursion will be written up in another article.