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Copyright Information This research is supported by National Insitute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar DAIICT Road, Near Infocity Gandhinagar 382007 Gujarat, India Website : All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any other information storage and retrieval system without prior written permission from the publisher, author and subject to copyright laws. Type set : Bourbon Grotesque , Helvetica Neue, Zapfino, Century Gothic First Published in India in 2017



NIFT with active support from the Ministry of Textiles, Office of Development Commissioner (Handlooms) and Office of Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) has developed and implemented a new Craft Cluster Initiative Program which aims to provide the students with continuous exposure to the handloom and handicraft clusters, thus providing an opportunity for creative innovation and experimentation. Through this initiative, NIFT aims to reach out to the artisans and craftsmen at the grass root level. The artisans and craftsmen involved in the initiative will benefit through knowledge dissemination and exposure to urban markets and design intervention, innovative designs and linkages with new markets The Craft Cluster initiative at NIFT is designed with the objectives to sensitize NIFT students to the realities of the craft sector and give insight into regional sensibilities and diversities, resources and environment. Through this initiative, NIFT has been successful in creating a widespread awareness and sensitivity in assimilating crafts into fashion and vice-versa. The Craft Cluster Initiative program is envisaged to provide the students of NIFT systematic, continuous and regular exposure every year to the diversely rich and unique handlooms and handicrafts of India. The students at NIFT specialize in the areas of design, technology, management and communication. According to the specialization, students will be contributing in varied areas in the clusters like design intelligence, design innovation, product development, supply chain management, brand management, retail entrepreneurships, organizational development and systems design and development. The students will also contribute in the areas of process innovation, production planning, and research based improvisation and quality management. The students will assist artisans to develop distinct identity of the handloom and handicraft clusters through logo, promotional materials like posters, brochures and catalogues. The policy proposes in detail the guidelines to achieve uniformity across the NIFT campuses and all departments for implementing craft integration in the curriculum. The policy provides modalities which need to be followed, including budget heads conducting specific craft based activities and overall budget calculation and allocation.

The completion of this document would not have been possible without the cooperation and assistance of Janak Bhai and all the other artisans of Patan, Gujarat. Their contributions towards the field research are sincerely appreciated and greatly acknowledged. We would also like to express our deep sense of gratitude to Mr. Lokesh Ghai and Dr. Hir Vyas for encouraging, motivating and guiding us to do this project.




A brief encounter, a fleeting meet and greet with the craft and this book.

The land where Mashru’s heart is beating.

All the necessities that go into making this distinguished, doublesided fabric




The process from installing the yarns, to folding the fabric for sale

About the Artisans

A brief vision for this handicraft, to notify the changes in Mashru.



Glossary - An Introduction to the local terms.



Brief encounter with the craft

Brief encounter with the craft

Brief Encounter with the craft

A pair of senile hands worked hard on the piece of

beautiful perfection strung across the loom.

His fingers broached the silk threads with utter respect, drawing them into one another and weaving an intricate web of his forlorn past.

Growing up, his parents had taught him this art of creating the fabric that had the quality of being dual-sided: something that no other piece of cloth could possibly imbibe. His life had now gone by in blending two threads and hopefully, passing on the tradition to his sons. His sons- who now worked in New Jersey, abandoning him and his wife in this small, self-sufficient town of Patan. As his wife bought tea for the crowd gathered in the workshop, he flashed a smile in our direction- almost as if encouraging the propagation of this beautiful art, that was fast fading away against his will. His eyes shone like diamonds as he approached an old sandookÂŹ and pulled out one of his prized possessions. It was a fragile dupatta woven in pure silk and cotton threads, wrapped carefully like a new born child, and yet, one of his oldest pieces preserved for his own pleasure.



Brief encounter with the craft

Brief encounter with the craft

The silk threads still shone almost reflecting the tiny flares of light

that passed through the crevices between the window shutters- making this particular piece of clothing singlehandedly the most expensive one of his collection.

There was no doubt that we were awestruck the moment he flashed the dupatta before our eyes, gaining ultimate wows. But what was more astonishing was the shine in his eyes. His smile glimmered as if he had won the most overrated comment over his creation, but his fingers told a different story. They had worked hard on this piece, only making it so flawless and intricate. He flipped the fabric, to show us the cotton side of the fabric- the one that was matte. It was just as complicated and labyrinthine for the eyes as the inside of an ant hill- only multiply that by a complexity of two hundred. Stripped in black and white threads, the dupatta had the ability to hypnotise almost anybody who didn’t think of this handicraft as the one to hold onto. We were just beginning to understand the meaning of this craft, when he sat himself in the middle of the crowd, and with a heavy heart, Began the Story of Mashru.


Janak Bhai’s senile hands working on the loom

narangi /naa-ran-gee/ noun 01. A fleeting meet and greet with the handicraft and this book. synonyms : orange, tangerine


Brief encounter with the craft

Brief encounter with the craft

A fleeting meet and greet with the craft

Silk in the Indian subcontinent has always been a luxury good. Mashru is one such exotic blend of silk and cotton, that has prevailed in the country since the Golden Times. The word ‘Mashru’ means ‘permitted’ in Arabic and its Sanskrit variation ‘Misru’ means ‘mixed’. Mashru has a characteristic fine satin finish, bright contrasting stripes in vibrant colors and striped Ikat weave. The fabric is mainly manufactured in Patan and Mandvi in Gujarat, India. Mashru is an important part of the bridal trousseau in a variety of Hindu communities like Sarees and Lehengas. The warp and weft used were of two different materials (silk and cotton, cotton and linen, silk and wool or wool and cotton) in different colors. It was used mostly for lower garments such as trousers for men, the lining of the heavy brocade garments or as furnishing. Lakadiyo - The wooden rods that weave Mashru.



Brief encounter with the craft

Gul Badan (the literal meaning of which is ‘flower like body’) was a known variety of mashru, popular in the late 19th century. Sangi, Ganta, Ilaycha were types of mashru too. These were popular since ancient times and were known to be woven at all leading silk centers. One reason for their popularity was Islam. Since Islam does not allow men to wear pure silk, mashru became very popular amongst Muslims.The weave is said to have originated somewhere from the West Asia around 19th century. The weaving of Mashru fabric is an old tradition in India and it was a popular trading textile to the Ottoman empire and Gulf countries. The loom where Mashru is woven

Brief encounter with the craft

The word Mashru is said to have come from the Muslim community, where silk fabric was banned since it was made by killing the cocoons and silkworms. This led to the production of Mashru fabric as it had a Silk exterior but the inner fabric which stays in direct contact with the skin was made of cotton. Mashru became very popular in Turkey, Persia and many Mediterranean countries as it gave them the freedom of wearing silk clothing without breaking their religious laws. Mashru slowly found its place among the Hindu community as well and the fabric became an integral part of the wardrobe of Kutch Nomads. House of Janak Bhai



Brief encounter with the craft

Brief encounter with the craft

Traditionally, several artisans were involved in the production of this timeless fabric. However, through the centuries, Mashru’s importance was substituted by other, more efficient fabrics and the production of Mashru was adversely hampered. The present generations from the household of this handicraft are no longer involved in Mashru weaving, making the last gen the probable end point of this pure woven fabric chain. The current scenario of Mashru overlooks combining of two or more different handicraft ideas and producing something that is a mixture of Mashru along with bandhani, embroidery, etc In this book, we shall find the variety of Mashru fabrics, their production processes, future aspects and basically everything that has to be known about this golden cloud of old ages. Magical Threads of Mashru


Hemant Bhai working on the loom

અમે જે અમારી મહેનત દિવસભર  વણાટ લગાવ્યે  છે તે પ્રમાણેનુ  અમને વળતર મળતું નથી.

We don’t get paid according to the strength we put into weaving all day.

Hemant Bhai

gulabi /gul-aa-bee/ noun 02. This chapter talks about Patan, Gujarat in Detail along with the community. synonyms : pink



The land where Mashru’s heart is beating

The land where Mashru’s heart is beating

The land where Mashru’s heart is beating

Mashru at Patan is a fabric with art silk yarn as war and cotton yarn as weft unlike Himroo in which cotton yarn is used as warp and silk yarn as weft. Situated on the bank of the river Sabarmati, Patan is a railway station on Mehsana-Kakoshi metre gauge railway line of western Railway. Today it is the only important centre of Mashru weaving in Gujarat with regular and continuous production all round the year. Mashru fabric was produced in various cities of India. But currently Surat, Mandvi and Patan have become the main centres of Mashru production. The traditional Mashru weavers at Patan are from two communities :

KHATRI The loom of Mashru weaving.



Setting the threads of the loom.

હાથ બનાવટની વણાટ અેકદમ  ચોક્કસ હોતી નથી પરંતુ  હાથબનાવટ ની કલા સ્વર્ણ છે.

Handcrafted weaves are not that precise but the talent of handcraft is gold.

Janak Bhai

bhuro /bhuu-ro/ noun 03. All the necessities that go into making this distinguished, double-sided fabric. synonyms : blue


Assembling the Prerequisites

Pick tool



Reed Tapestry Beater scissors



Assembling the Prerequisites

Assembling the Prerequisites

The main raw materials used in Mashru weaving are mill-spun undyed cotton yarn and artificial silk yarn of 150 count or silk yarn. The cotton yarn is available from Ahmedabad and Surendranagar district while artificial silk and pure silk yarn are available at Surat. For dyeing the yarn, the colours are purchased from various markets in Ahmedabad. In ancient times, pure silk yarn was used as warp and cotton yarn as weft, but after the invention of artificial silk yarn and rise in price of pure silk, most of the mashru is woven now with the artificial silk yarn as warp and cotton yarn as weft. Other tools used in the weaving process are spinning wheel, reed, heedles, shuttle, bobbins etc.All the tools are manufactured by local carpenters except for bobbins which are bought from Ahmedabad.


Weaving of Mashru

મશ્રુ અે રાજાઅોનો પહેરવેશ હતો.

Mashru was the clothing of the kings.

Janak Bhai

piroja /pee-ro-jaa/ noun 04. The process from installing the yarns, to folding the fabric for sale. synonyms : sea-green

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Assembling Creating Mashr Mashru the Prerequisites

Creating Mashru

Creating Mashru

Weaving of Mashru is completed on traditional pit loom. The fabric is made using satin weave by interlacing silk and cotton yarns. Cotton makes the weft, or the horizontal yarns while silk is used for the warp, or the vertical yarns. In this weave, each silk yarn goes under one cotton yarn and above five or eight or more cotton yarns, giving an appearance of a shiny surface that looks like it is made up of only silk, while the underside of the fabric is cotton. Very first step of mashru weaving is to prepare warp yarn. The warp preparators were known as “tanivala� and the length of warp was about 63 yards. Warp threads are led from bobbins or spools spread on the floor. It passes from the glass ring and is wound on a reel. Then hank is prepared from the reel and is taken for dyeing. Dyeing is done with chemical colours. Warp threads are needed to be tied before dyeing. For this warp is needed to stretch out and tied in a section. Pure silk or rayon yarn is used in the warp. Janak Bhai sorting the shuttles









STEP 4 Joining of reed with threads




making of bobbins

27 37

Creating Mashru

Creating Mashru

Elements of the process involved in creating Mashru (Spinning the yarn, Using the pit loom)



Creating Mashru

Creating Mashru

Spinning the shuttles with yarns (U) Vasumati Ben using the loom for weaving (B)

Weft thread is mostly cotton yarn of count varies from 30s to 32s which is transferred on to bobbin by winding machine for shuttle. Post the warp and wefts are set, a design is fixed to the loom using white threads. Warp threads are connected to the heddles of the loom by joining the ends of white threads. The weaving begins as the weft yarns runs out of the wooden shuttle, motivated by pulling. After the weaving is complete, it is washed with cold water. A paste of wheat flour is applied on the fabric. The fabric is beaten with wooden hammers and compressed with hard wooden press. The output is a shiny silk fabric with a matte inner side of cotton. This process of production of Mashru is carried out since centuries, but there is no significant change in process. Basic small changes are there which are listed here: Quality of handloom is improved by using fly shuttle. Even the calendaring process in which heavy wooden hemisphere was used, is improved by adding mechanical support. In raw material, warp threads are replaced by rayon instead of pure silk.


Vasumati Ben using the Pit loom

અમે ૪૦૦ વણાટીઅોનું કુટુંબ  હતું જે હવે અોછું થઇને ૪ નું છે.

We are a family of 400 weavers which decreased to 7.

Suresh Bhai

peelo /pee-loh/ noun 05. This chapter talks about the artisans involved in the making of Mashru synonyms : yellow

Yarns that weave Mashru

સામાન્ય માણસ મશ્રુની વણિટની  તકનિક સહજી ના શકે.

A layman cannot understand the technique of weaving a Mashru.

Janak Bhai


About the Artisans

About the Artisans

Who are these people who weave the beautiful fabric of Mashru?

Patan was a small town that accommodated more than 2000 mashru weavers during the Golden Period of this fabric. As of 1957, these numbers were bought down to a maximum of 200 workers; and now, in the present year of 2017, there are only seven families involved in the production of this fabric. These seven families are involved in the craft as a whole, although the younger generations are no longer a part of this craft. The younger generations of these artisans study in big cities or have settled outside of Gujarat. However, the older craftsmen are still involved in making of Mashru.Mashru weaving has number of steps which involves various jobs like dyeing the yarns, and spinning them over charkhas, etc. All these variety of jobs are done by different artisans, who constitute a different community apart from these seven families- purely invested in weaving. Janak Bhai, a Mashru weaver is still enthusiastic about this handicraft at the age of 57. His wife and him own a mud and brick house in Patan, that supports around 2 to 3 pit looms, and fair place to live.



About the Artisans

About the Artisans

Vasumati Ben weaving (U) Threads used to hold the reed (B)

His daughter has settled in New Jersey, and his elder son helps him in weaving in Patan. Janak Bhai’s wife, Vasumati Ben is also involved in the weaving process. She also sings Gujarati songs while enjoying the entwining of yarns. Suresh Bhai, on the other hand, has an export house with about 5 to 6 workers purely involved in exporting the fabrics that are bought from these weaver families. There are other varieties of Mashru too, combined with embroidered fabrics as well as bandhani, that are currently in demand outside of Gujarat. Suresh Bhai’s family is invested in exporting these fabrics to various houses inside and outside of Gujarat. Mashru weaving has always been a process where various communities came together and helped each other in various processes that finally shaped the Mashru fabric. Through the years, these industries have vanished and a bare minimum number of families are invested in this traditional handicraft that has more value outside of India.


jambali /jaam-ba-lee/ noun 06. A brief vision for this handicraft, to notify the changes in Mashru. synonyms : purple


A future for Mashru

A future for Mashru

A Future for Mashru?

Mashru is an old Indian fabric which was woven with blending idea in 16th century, that gave classy silky texture in affordable price. Because of its royal look many designers have started their inclination towards mashru. By making concentrated effort on improving its surface texture and quality we can promote it in global market.Althought, Mashru fabric is now on the verge of being extinct. Some reasons for this are the changes in the clothing styles of the people, power looms being used to create the Mashru fabric at a cheaper rate as compared to the expensive handmade weaving, declining export and domestic markets and thereby, Mashru lost its originality of combining silk and cotton Chemically dyed Rayon is being used instead of pure silk to reduce the cost, synthetic dyes usage makes the fabric weak as compared to the natural dyes which grow richer with age. The weavers generation is one amongst the last to weave this fabric in its original form and there is no one to carry on the legacy as their children have moved to urban cities to take up jobs.


laal /laa-l/ noun 07. Glossary synonyms : red




Glossary - An Introduction to the local terms

“akhado” A looped wire with an eye in the centre through which a wrap yarn is passed in a loom

“charkho” A household machine for spinning yarn with a spindle driven by a wheel attached to a crank or treadle.

“pavda” A series of foot pedals which are called treadles.

“sakari” It is used to push the weft yarn securely into place as it is woven,also known as reed.

“bobbin” A cylinder or cone holding thread, yarn, or wire, used especially in weaving and machine sewing.

“kanthlo” It is the part of a hand loom that moves to and fro in weaving.,also known as hand shuttle.

“puchado” Small brushes used in the pit loom .

“chakardi” It is a simple machine and comprises of a wheel on a fixed axle, with a groove along the edges to guide a rope.

“lakdiyo” Long wood sticks used to hold threads.

“rash” A length of thick string cord made by twisting strands of hemp, nylon or similar material.



Loom, a device used to weave cloth and tapestry.

A twist or distortion in the shape of something.


leela /lee-laah/ noun 08. References synonyms : Green





1. "Silk In The Indian Subcontinent". 2017. En.Wikipedia.Org. wiki/Silk_in_the_Indian_subcontinent#Mashru.


2. "Mashru Fabric: Everything About This Combination Of Silk And Cotton Fabric | Utsavpedia". 2017. Utsavpedia. https://www.


1. "Weaving, Mashru Fabrics: It's Production, Technology and Scope for Further Developement." May 2017, Prakash Khatwani and Prunal Khatwani.


1. "Mashru Fabric: Future Aspects, Everything About This Combination Of Silk And Cotton Fabric | Utsavpedia". 2017. Utsavpedia.



Artisans Contact Details

Artisans Contact Details

Artisans Contact Details










Vasumati Ben - Wife















Purchase from Powerloom Surat

Manufacturers as well as resellers


Primary Research (on field) : Prachi Sethi , Angana Shah, Rucha Sane , Medhavi Singh , Rachana Shette ,Ishwari Ambavne , Niharika Sonavane Book Design and Layouting : Prachi Sethi Written Content : Rachana Shette Map : Medhavi Singh Photographs : Prachi Sethi Raw Materials (Written and Illustrations) : Niharika Sonavane Process : Ishwari Ambavne Quotes (Gujarati and English) : Angana Rajesh Shah Glossary : Medhavi Singh

Love, Mashru  
Love, Mashru