Friday, April 04, 2008

Harshakala

Okay, now that the second Sock Madness round is done (for me at least!) I can get back to our regular blogging! I am going to tell you about...


So, I of course love textiles and I was thrilled to be able to go to Harshakala, the National Handloom Expo. There are really few words that can describe what these pictures can, but it was awesome to see. There was a very large tent filled with row after row of vendors displaying silks, hand printed fabrics (silk, cotton, etc...), carpets, wall hangings, clothing, even wool socks (mine are better though!) All of these items are fashioned by hand and are beautiful to behold.

Now, they do use some machines. This is a Jacquard loom that is being used to make a silk Jacquard fabric.
The shuttle zipped back and forth as he pulled on the knob (just next to his face in the picture), but the thread was so incredibly thin it was difficult to see! Silk has some amazing properties in that way. It is an incredibly strong fiber and can be spun very, very, thin (I know - you spinners already know this!) This particular loom had a pneumatic function which I believe makes it a little easier to operate (less muscle power needed).

This is the upper part of the loom and those green things hanging on the left are hole punch pattern cards of some sort. Each card has different holes in it and this will then effect which of the things to the right are used , which is what makes up the pattern. I know, this isn't a very good description, I just am not finding the right words. But dude, it was cool.

Here are some more of the pattern cards:


Here is what the silk fabric looked like:


There was also a display about silk and where it comes from, complete with live silk worms and all. We used to raise these every Spring when my kids were little, although we never used the silk itself. This was a cool, and traditional way of holding the cocoons:


We always used egg cartons, but this is a lot prettier!

I spotted some silk thread (couldn't really call it yarn) and was examining it to see if it was plied in any way when a man came up near me and was talking on his phone. As he hung up I asked him if he worked here...
He didn't, but we got started talking and it turns out that he owns a business that makes and distributes silk yarns to the EU and N. America! Wow. I could not believe my luck. And actually, he is the one that makes the base yarn for Tilli Thomas yarns.

Did he say Tilli Thomas?!
Tilli Thomas, one of the most expensive yarns I know of?

Someone pinch me. This can not be happening! Well, I immediately asked him if I could come by and see what he has, and yes, can I buy some? I am not in the US or the EU at present. I am here and would love to be able to get some decent yarn!!!! He gave me his card, asked where we lived, said he has a place nearby there and yeah... Made my day!

So, I will leave you with a little slide show of what I saw and maybe even some of what came home with us (Bryan helped too!)




16 comments:

BIG Omi said...

Dear,
Its true that we arre very busy in our daily life but sincerely speaking . But sincerely speaking we have lost the thread towards our social responsibility.
But one of our fellow blogger(ess) has showed concerned towards the same and is out with the Post dedicated towards the ministerial situation of Indian Farmers.
I just want your one comment. One thought of concern. Just one.
I have taken up the responsibility of wide spreading the awareness.
Followed is the link to her post.

http://goonjhighonlife.blogspot.com/2008/04/stabbed-in-stomach.html

Best Regards.

Omi

Kathy in San Jose said...

Love the jacquard looms - we saw some in Lyon, France, years ago. And silk yarns: lucky, lucky you! Those silk fabrics that you got are beautiful too.

MrsFife said...

Oh good! I shall wait to read of Cindy & the Silk Factory. (You can always count me in for any yarn you might happen to get your hands on) Hopefully they will let you have some in less than wholesale quantities (what would you do with 5 kilos of fine spun silk, else?)

Pikku- Kettu said...

WoW! What a stroke of luck! Let us know how it goes. :)

Lori said...

Wow, great chance encounter with the Tilli Tomas guy. And how cool to see the big looms at work. My loom, as you saw on my blog, is simple and small - only 24 inches across. But people have been weaving on simple looms for centuries, so I can too.

By the way, I enjoy the pictures and descriptions of India you post on your blog!

Bogie said...

Great photos, thank for sharing. It's so cool that you met the man behind the TT yarn. Will you consider exporting to your friends in the US? lol

Jasmine said...

Those fabric are so beautiful!! Wish I could have been there in person. Thanks for sharing!

Abigail said...

Tilli Tomas yarn straight from the source! WOW! :)

Maya said...

Sounds wonderful! I knew that there must be some way to find yarn that's not acrylic, given how much wonderful stuff comes out of India...

Jean said...

Oh, shut up! You've got a Tilli Thomas hook up! That is so freakin' cool.

Dumuro said...

See Please Here

seltsame said...

Lucky you! I can't believe you found a source for Tilli Tomas yarn? You are going to save me some...right?

chitra said...

:) I am glad you found things of interest and a contact! :) Nice stuff in the slideshow.

I went to Harshakala too. But only got a couple of ethnic wear for the kids.

Lynne said...

well what a find you have there!
That silk jacquard machine reminds me of the wool loom in our national wool museum. Has the same cards, but the loom is on a bigger scale being wool and all.
Everyone seems very excited that you have found a source of silk - mebbe we'd best send you some wool!

Romi said...

Wow! Fabulous! What an incredible adventure you are on. :)

JillyB said...

The fabrics are amazing! I just love the ones you picked up, beautiful.