The state garment industry of Gujarat is one of the most prosperous ones in India. It provides a wide variety to the buyers. Some of the popular dress items of the industry are Salwars, Kurtas, Ghaghras, Cholis, Odhanis, Skirts and Jackets. All of these are produced from authentic hand block-printed material, creatively embellished with appliqué patterns and embroidery. Apart from this, Sarees are an all time specialty of the region. There are a number of weaving styles practiced in the state, popular the world over. The traditional garments are collected from the villages, where the actual craft of hand weaving is practiced.
Brocade is a distinctive weaving style of Gujarat. The technique makes
use of an extra weft pattern, which has raised the art to new heights.
To add to the luster of the fabric, gold thread is worked in the twill
weave. This reminds of the weave of the hangings of the yore, exhibited
in Gujarat museum. Brocades, with an illusion of inlay work on fabric,
were first woven in Gujarat. The main centers of brocade weaving are
Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Mehsana and Surat.
Here, silk-satin cloth is used for the Brocade while color is used for
the borders. The traditional patterns which adorn the Brocade sarees
include floral sprays, stylized shrubs, mango as a motif and a circular
coin known as an asharfi. Other garment designs popular amongst the
buyers are intricate constellation pattern, animals, fruits, dancing
figures, peacocks, women holding fans and different types of lotus.
Tanchoi is another weaving style in Gujarat. This weaving technique
changes the texture of the fabric. The base material used in this
technique is satin. An extra weave float is merged into the fabric. The
process is simple yet ingenious. It was introduced by Chinese weavers in
Surat. Later, the Parsi community used it extensively. The technique is
employed to weave sarees as well as dress material in silk.
Gharchola and Panetar
Another famous weaving style of the state includes Gharchola and
Panetar. Panetar are Gujarati sarees with satin weave. You can also find
them in Gajji silk with red borders. Another popular saree of the region
is Gharchola. These are traditional Hindu and Jain wedding sarees, made
of silk. For such an auspicious occasion, the number of squares in the
saree is kept in the multiples of 9, 12 or 52. Cambay is known for these
two weaving styles. Here, the sarees are first woven with silk and then
with gold and silver threads. They are then tie dyed or block printed.