Ajanta paintings are a treasure house of information about the period, namely, 2nd century BCE to 6th century CE. The textiles shown are astonishingly varied in dyes, yarn manipulation and garment design. The presentation showcases all these – PowerPoint PPT presentation
1 Paintings of Ajanta Caves(2nd century BC to 6th century AD)Textile Heritage of Ajantaby Bhushavali (selvi.n.bhushavali_at_gmail.com)Swami nathan(sswami99_at_gmail.com) 2 Ajanta a storehouse of information about the period costumes textile design jewellery mu sical instruments social order court etiquette ideas of beauty and customs 3 Ajanta Its Textile Heritage A study by Bhushavali. N B.Des (Textile) - NIFT Under the guidance of S. Swaminathan 4 Dyes dyeing and bleaching 5 Dyes During the period of Ajanta all dyes were natural. The colors of the fabric shown in Ajanta are essentially red black and blue their tints tones and shades and their combinations. 6 Bleaching Bleaching is required for absorbing any dye in the fabric. Bleaching removes all impurities and makes the fabric white. Natural bleaching agents were cowdung with milk or soapnut. 7 Ceiling painting (Cave 2) Two different whites could be seen in this garment. One brighter than the other the whiter is bleached. 8 Nalagiri (Cave 17) 9 Red dye Mordant is a substance that helps to fix the dye to the fabric either before or after or during the dyeing process. Red is the very strong mordant dye called Indian Madder - Manjishta. Manjishta roots are boiled with water and the fabric/yarn is treated in it and kept in it for 20 to 30 mins. Presently alum is used as the pre-mordant. Alum is powdered and boiled in water and the fabric/yarn is immersed in it and let to be absorbed completely. The concentration of Alum decides the depth of color. 10 Mahajanaka Jataka (Cave 1) The garment is pale maroonish perhaps obtained by diluting madder dye 11 A solid red blouse! Sibi Jataka (Cave 17) 12 Black dye Black is obtained from iron rust. Black dye is a mixture of jaggery and iron rods let to mature and ferment for 10-20 days. Iron rusts and becomes ferric oxide. Black requires a tannin agent and it is Myrobalan (tender kadukkai) which is ground well with milk especially buffallos milk into a paste. Fabric is soaked in this paste and myrobalan is gets absorbed. 13 Shankapala Jataka (Cave 1) 14 Sutasoma Jataka (Cave 17) Garment is grey a tone of black obtained by diluting iron rust mixture. 15 Blue dye Indigo is used for blue. It is obtained by fermenting Indigo leaves and making it oxygen-free and dyeing the fabric in this solution in vats. The fabric is later let to dry in atmosphere and during which it again gets oxidized and comes out with the extremely fast blue dye which is embedded within the structure of the fabric. 16 The blue fabric must be also a sheer fabric from the appearance of the folds style it must be a sheer fabric. Vidhurapanditha Jataka (Cave 2) 17 Modern With the advent of chemical dyes natural dyes have taken a back seat. But there exists a eco-conscious market for natural dyes. 18 Kalamkari Also some traditional textiles that survive like Kalamkari ayurvedic dyes etc. Traditional hand block printing techniques all over India like Machilipatam Sanganer Bagru etc still use natural dyes. 19 Yarn manipulation 20 Sectional warping The stripes and checks are the outcome of sectional warping process. where yarn is warped in sections of colours. Checked fabrics are created by with different coloured weft yarns while weaving. 21 Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Cave 1) 22 Champeyya Jataka (Cave 1) Care is taken to show concentration of colour in regions where same colour of warp and weft meet and dilution of colour in the other case 23 Modern 24 Ikat Ikat is the process of designing the fabric even before weaving. It is created by tying and dyeing the yarn after warping but before weaving. Its a very complicated process where the design and colours of the final fabric are decided before weaving and are dyed accordingly. In double ikat both warp and weft are patterned and it is carefully aligned during weaving. 25 Shankapala Jataka (Cave 1) Seen here is Bodhisattva wearing a lower garment with stripes of ikat patterns seen on it 26 Shankapala Jataka (Cave 1) Between the stripes small checkered patterns are seen which appears like double ikat!!! 27 Mahajanaka Jataka (Cave 1) The queen is draped in a lower garment striped with ikat at regular intervals 28 Modern Available as Sambalpuri in Orissa Pochampally in Andhra Paradesh and Patan Patola in Gujarat in Handloom sector. Also seen in the market as some mill woven fabrics in single ikat available at very cheap prices. Double ikat is impossible in mill wovens. 29 Ikat weaving in Orissa Winding yarn onto bobbin for weft work 30 Ikat weaving in Orissa Preparing the loom heddles 31 Ikat weaving in Orissa Weaving in pitloom 32 Ikat weaving in Orissa Weaving in pitloom 33 Finished Ikat Saree 34 Dip-dye yarn This is the process in which the yarn bundle is dipped in the dye stuff and then slowly removed in steps. This creates a fantastic hue in the base then dissolves down to a pale color as it reaches the top followed by the un-dipped white. Using this yarn would create a hazed effect on the fabric. 35 Sibi Jataka (Cave 1) Bodhisatva is wearing a fabric which is woven with sectional warping Between the stripes The filling is irregular likely to be woven with dip-dyed yarn 36 Modern Seen in both handloom and mill sectors. Wide variety in all colors and also multi coloured dip-dyed yarns available. 37 Block print Blocks carved with exquisite patterns. Blocks coated with dyes when pressed on to cloth the cloth gets embossed pattern on the block. 38 Mahajanaka Jataka (Cave 1) The dye used should be the extremely fast ferric oxide obtained from iron rust. 39 Modern
Hand block printing is available all over India as Machipatna Kalamkari in Andhra Bagh and Bagru in Madhya Pradesh and Sanganer in Rajasthan etc.
40 Bandhani Bandhani is a resist dyeing method where the fabric is tied with a string and dyed. This process creates ring shaped pattern on the fabric whose size may differ in accordance to the size of the object used to create the knots. Objects from needle to create micro-sized ring to little grain that creates fairly larger rings. A pattern is drawn on the fabric and these knots are made to follow that pattern thus creating the final look. 41 Mahajanaka Jataka (Cave 1) Two in the gathering are wearing garments which cover the entire body. These garments have a dark background which has spotted design in pale colour Within the pale spots are tiny dark spots which is in bandhni. 42 These garments have a dark background which has spotted design in pale colour. Within the pale spots are tiny dark spots which is in bandhni. 43 Discharge print Discharge printing is the process of printing a dyed fabric with a corrosive material to remove or discharge the dye and to create the design It is not certain whether this method existed during the Ajanta period. But from the paintings it looks that some fabric could have been discharge printed. In the present day bleaching agents are used as the corrosive material. 44 Mahajanaka Jataka (Cave 1) This has a dark background with pale spots but this is not bandhni But could be discharge printing. 45 Modern Several options available in the market. Negative printing that is printing the background and Leaving the image area white may also be used to get the same effect. 46 Khadi print Khadi print is also called gold/silver print or metallic print It is created by printing the fabric with an adhesive and then applying a sheet of filament on top of it and peeling off the unstuck areas. The sheet of filament are similar to the varakh which is seen as a decoration on several mithai sweets. These are original gold or silver metal that is beaten up as an extremely fine sheet. 47 Seated Buddha (Cave 2) Back rest - Pale spots on dark background Discharg e print or is it Khadi print. 48 Modern Though original Gold or silver foil is not used fabrics are printed with golden and silver coloured powders and pigments to achieve similar effect at much cheaper prices. 49 Fine muslin sheer fabric Fine Dhaka Muslin has its own lore and legends attached to it. That several layers of that extremely fine muslin still looks transparent. That fine count and fine weave is a long lost treasure now. Did the women depicted in Ajanta wear that fine muslin as most of the women are bare-top and men are fully covered. 50 Vidhurapanditha Jataka (Cave 2) The women on either sides are adorned with a single ikat fabrics while the one at the centre has a specific double ikat portion too. Again they seem to be naked on top or wearing fine muslin. 51 Frayed edges Frayed edges are the seen on woven fabrics at the edges where either warp or weft is removed at the edge of the fabric leaving only one of the yarns to hang loosely. This is either done on the actual fabric itself but in this case the strength of the main fabric itself will be lost. Or it is done separately on another fabric and attached to the actual fabric to prevent any loss of strength to the main fabric. 52 Sutasoma Jataka (Cave 17) The edging is also given in a very special way might be embroidery or frayed edge knotted together like in towels in the present day. 53 Modern In Durga pujas in most of the north Indian states a red coloured fabric with golden frayed edges is used as an auspicious holy fabric. 54 Decorative stitch lines Decorative stitch lines are the stitch lines that are done for the sake of decoration and not for functional purpose. Sometimes certain stitches may serve both the purposes. 55 Hamsa Jataka (Cave 17) This is a stitched garment and depicted with stitch lines. 56 The neck line has a special double stitch line. Is it for decorative purposes The shawl above is a sheer fabric that is draped The hemline of the garment is at thigh level like several others in Ajanta except the clown in Cave I 57 Modern Decorative stitch lines are used in many garments like jean pockets around necklines and in accessories like shoes bags etc. 58 Applique patchwork Appliqué is the process of applying a decoratively cut fabric on top of the main fabric purely for decorative purposes. Patchwork is the process of patching several bits of fabrics to form the main fabric itself. This may be done for decorative or functional purposes. Appliqué has a base fabric while patchwork does not have one. 59 Sutasoma Jataka (Cave 17) Here is the evidence of appliqué work. 60 Modern Several patchworks and appliqués that are manual sewing machine stitched and some handworks like Orissa Gujarat applique are also available. 61 Knitting Knitting is the process of inter-looping a single yarn to develop the fabric unlike weaving where 2 yarns are interlaced. Knitted fabrics are stretchable and that is the main function of it as well. 62 Ceiling Painting (Cave 2) An example of knitting also knitting with 2 different yarns balls at the time. They knew everything !!! 63 Modern
Knitting has grown huge scale with the advent of knitting machines and circular knitting machines.
Knitted fabrics that was once meant only for inner wear and socks has now taken a shape as fashionable fabric.
64 Patterns garment construction 65 The usuals The usual ways of covering the body is with a tight skirt like garment that covers till the knee and upper part of the body is generally left open both for men and women. In the case of saints a sheer fabric is draped all over the body 66 Lustration (Cave 1) The women are wearing only lower garments. Bodhisatva is completely covered from top to bottom in a sheer fabric 67 Salwar kameez
A Salwar is a lower garment like a trouser and kameez is an upper garment like a top that ends at almost at the knee level.
Several variations of this are seen in the present day market with varying hemlines different styled neckline sleeves etc.
68 Mahajanaka Jataka (Cave 1) This dancer is clearly wearing a stitched kurti-styled garment with an asymmetrical hemline. The border of the center piece is decorated by ikat. Sleeves are decorated with bandhni Dye used is possibly Indigo Vat Dye majorly and madder red Minorly. Isnt this an amazing example of fashion designing 69 Ikat center piece Bandhni sleeve Ikat center piece 70 Kaftan A kaftan is a loose top that is almost like a huge piece of fabric that is folded into 2 with a cutout for neckline and armhole. Worn in different lengths this serves as a top a dress or a layering. 71 Sutasoma Jataka (Cave 17) Woman is wearing a complete garment that covers her whole body. Its again striped sectional warping. The beautiful and strong red of Indian Madder. But the garment appears stitched in a very simple way like a kaftan. 72 Modern
Kaftan has become a very fashinable garment in this era.
Its worn as a thigh length garment with leggings or trousers.
Or it is worn as a ankle length dress
73 Cropped top for men Quite different from the present era its unusual to see cropped top on men. Cropped top is essentially an upper garment that is till empire line or below-the-bust line. 74 Sutasoma Jataka (Cave 17) 75 While one person has a bust length blouse like garment which has a ribbon at the princess line and he and another has a striped lower garment like a mini skirt like garment again sectional warp. 76 Womens blouses Similar to the present day Indian ethnic wear Saree Blouses Cropped top for women () 77 Sibi Jataka (Cave 17) Present day blouse-like upper garment 78 Bias cut Bias-cut is cutting the fabric diagonally that is 45-degree to both warp and weft. Since the fabric is expandable in the bias it is not as easy as stitching a straight fabric. It requires skill and expertise to stitch a garment in bias. But since its a bit stretchable in the bias the garment drapes upon the body very well though not as much as a knitted garment. 79 Simhala Avadana (Cave 17) This person esp. has a very different garment stitched from the upper half with the fit of sleeve and neck line. 80 The lower half looks like it has a bunch of pleats like in the new saree draping style. Or it might be they knew to stitch with gatherings a new revelation. Even if they had stitched with gatherings it seems to originate from a diagonal seam which means they could not only handle bias-cut fabric but do ornamentation with it as well. Along with it he also has a fabric tied around his waist as a belt. 81 Modern Quite a number of full length dresses are stitched with bias cut fabric. Some skirts and tops are also stitched in bias for decorative purposes. 82 Drapes knots More often than not the garments were essentially draped than stitched. The draped garments vary from simple knots of a single strip of fabric to complex drapes of several yards of fabric. 83 Maras episode (Cave 1) The woman is wearing a draped garment The knotting of the garment is shown in the back of the woman in the back ground 84 Bhikshu with lotus (Cave 2) This is a beautiful draped garment in sheer white fabric with the sheerness very beautifully shown including the folded fabric on the shoulder. 85 Mahajanaka Jataka (Cave 1) Block print Ikat Bandhni Discharge Black color 86 Salwar Kameez Bandhni Ikat Khadi/discharge Fine muslin Blue red Colours Mahajanaka Jataka (Cave 1) 87 Ceiling (Cave 2) Knitting Blue Color Bleaching Patch Work 88 Tushita heaven (Cave 17) Patchwork Head gears Fringes/embroidery Sectional warping Red color 89 Thank you
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