The first major exhibition to explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of handmade textiles from India, from the 3rd to the 21st century, will be opening this weekend at the V&A as part of the museum’s India Festival.
Showcasing the best of the V&A’s world-renowned collection together with masterpieces from international partners and leading designers, the exhibition will feature over 200 objects made by hand, many on display for the first time.
From the earliest known textile fragments to contemporary fashion, from ceremonial banner to modern saris, from sacred temple hangings to a spectacular tent used by Tipu Sultan, the Fabric of India is set to reflect the country's cultural heritage and illustrate the processes, history, and politics associated with these incredible objects. It will reveal the process of using natural dyes such as pomegranate and indigo and the techniques of block printing, weaving and embroidery across the ages.
The exhibition will also examine the impact of European industrialization on Indian hand making skills in the 19th century and how this provoked a resistance movement. The final section will explore India’s dynamic fashion industry and its continuity of India’s textile traditions.