Yojana Summary

May 2024

Topic-1 : A Tapestry of Tradition: Weaves of India

Question : Examine the significance of India’s diverse weaving traditions within the broader context of the country’s cultural heritage and historical legacy.

A Land Steeped in Textile History

  • Ancient art form dating back to Indus Valley Civilization (3300-1300 BCE)
  • More than a craft – a cultural tradition passed down through generations
  • Over 136 unique weaving styles across India
  • Each weave with distinct design, technique, and cultural significance
  • Natural fibers like cotton, silk, and wool

A Glimpse into Regional Weaves of India


  • Mashru: Lightweight cotton fabric known for its soft feel after washing.
  • Patola: A magnificent silk saree crafted using complex dyeing and weaving techniques.
  • Kachchh Shawls: Colorful shawls with intricate designs, made from wool or a wool and silk blend.


  • Kota Doria: Lightweight and airy cotton fabric known for its grid-like pattern.
  • Jaipuri Rajai: Quilts with vibrant and colorful designs.

Jammu and Kashmir:

  • Kani Weave: An intricate and beautiful woolen shawl made on a wooden loom.
  • Pashmina: Shalls and scarves made from fine and soft wool, known for their warmth and lightweight feel.

Uttar Pradesh:

  • Kimkhab: Luxurious silk brocade fabric woven with gold and silver threads.
  • Banarasi Silk Brocades: Heavy silk sarees featuring intricate gold and silver thread work.


  • Wangkhei Phie: A traditional Manipuri saree made with colorful threads.
  • Shapee Lanphee: A traditional dhoti worn by men in Manipur.


  • Ilkal: A heavy and durable saree made with cotton and silk threads.
  • Mysore Silk: Luxurious sarees and garments made from lustrous and soft silk.


  • Ilkal Silk Weave: Characterized by vibrant colors, intricate geometric patterns, and a rich texture.
  • Molkalmuru Silk Weave: Known for its delicate zari work and intricate designs inspired by nature.
  • Patteda Anchu Sari Weave: A traditional five-yard sari with bold stripes and contrasting borders.
  • Navalgund Durries: Handwoven rugs made from soft cotton, often featuring floral and geometric designs.
  • Mysore Silk Weave: Luxurious saris and garments made from high-quality mulberry silk, known for their intricate gold work and vibrant colors.
  • Udupi Sarees: Lightweight and comfortable saris made from cotton or silk, often featuring striped patterns and religious motifs.

Leh Ladakh:

  • Challi-Woolen Weave: Warm and durable shawls and blankets made from sheep wool, often featuring bold colors and geometric patterns.


  • Khes Weave: A versatile cloth made from cotton or a blend of cotton and wool, used for making garments, turbans, and household items.

Arunachal Pradesh:

  • Singpho Weaving: Characterized by bold colors, geometric patterns, and the use of natural dyes.
  • Pailbo Weaving: Known for its intricate designs inspired by nature and the use of silk and cotton threads.
  • Mishmi Weaving: Traditional shawls and garments made from wool and yak hair, often featuring red and black stripes.
  • Tuensung Shawls: Large, colorful shawls made from wool, worn by both men and women.
  • Apatani Tsug-dul and Tsug-gdan: Unique garments worn by Apatani women, featuring intricate beadwork and embroidery.


  • Panja Weave: A handwoven cloth made from cotton or wool, often featuring colorful stripes and checks.


  • Chakhesang Shawl: A traditional shawl worn by Chakhesang women, made from wool and adorned with cowrie shells and beads.
  • Tsungkotepsu: A man’s ceremonial attire made from wool and yak hair, featuring intricate designs and bold colors.


  • Kunbi Weave: A handwoven cloth made from cotton, often featuring simple stripes and checks.


  • Gadu or Mirijim Weave: A traditional cloth made from muga silk, often featuring geometric patterns and bold colors.
  • Bodo Weaving: Known for its intricate designs inspired by nature and the use of natural dyes.
  • Eri Silk Weaving: A unique type of silk produced from cocoons of eri silkworms, used to make soft and lightweight garments.
  • Muga Silk Weaving: A luxurious silk produced from cocoons of muga silkworms, known for its golden hue and durability.


  • Himru Weave: A double ikat weave made from silk and cotton, featuring intricate geometric patterns and vibrant colors.
  • Paithani Weave: Luxurious saris made from silk and gold threads, known for their intricate designs and vibrant colors.
  • Ghongadi Weave: A versatile cloth made from cotton or silk, often featuring stripes and checks.
  • Chinni Dhurries: Handwoven rugs made from recycled cloth scraps, featuring colorful patchwork designs.
  • Karvath Kathi Sari Weaving: A traditional sari worn by women of the Kathi community, made from cotton and featuring intricate embroidery.

A look at four iconic weaves

Banarasi Silk Weaving:

  • Symbolism: Opulence, elegance, celebration (Shringar)
  • Design: Mughal-inspired motifs, metallic threads
  • Significance: Weddings, festivals, prosperity

Kanchipuram Silk Weaving:

  • Symbolism: Righteousness, duty (Dharma)
  • Design: Rich texture, vibrant colors, zari borders
  • Technique: Traditional pit looms, intergenerational knowledge

Paithani Weaving:

  • Symbolism: Aspiration, spiritual elevation (Lakshya)
  • Design: Intricate weave, vibrant colors, peacock motifs
  • Technique: Pure silk, gold/silver threads, tapestry weaving

Patola Craft from Gujarat:

  • Symbolism: World as one family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam)
  • Design: Geometric patterns, double ikat technique
  • Significance: Cultural diversity, communal harmony, human unity

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