Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Published in The Social Fabric: Deep Local to Pan Global; Proceedings of the Textile Society of America 16th Biennial Symposium. Presented at Vancouver, BC, Canada; September 19 – 23, 2018. https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/tsaconf/

doi 10.32873/unl.dc.tsasp.0057


Copyright © 2018 by the author or authors.


A zigzag line of resist dye characterizes a fabric called Mashru. It was produced in several different geographic locations; however, this paper discusses examples from India and my efforts to reconstruct patterns that have not been actively produced in this century. The Calico Museum in Ahmedabad is the first place I saw this style of warp resist fabric. The literature says that it was produced for Muslim clients who were not allowed to wear silk next to their skin. The word “Mashru” means “permitted” in Arabic and its Sanskrit variation “Misru” means “mixed.” A mashru fabric historically has a silk warp and cotton weft hence the decorative side in satin weave is silk and the cotton weft is worn next to the skin. Patan is historically one of two cities in Gujarat known for producing mashru. I have visited the surviving producers in Patan who use a shaft weave structure and synthetic fibers to make their current production. The Salvi family has a loom on the second floor of their museum in which they are trying to recreate silk mashru, to modes success when I saw the work in 2015. This paper documents my process of recording examples of mashru fabric house in the on-line collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum. With visual analysis and weave structure software, which I used to make graphic representations of the fabric, I developed a system for binding the resist on the warp and have obtained results that suggest a possible method that was used historically for creating this visually stunning pattern. I have taught students how to prepare warp for ikat resist in the Indian style, using these proposed resist methods to build a small set of samples testing this procedure which will be illustrated in my paper. https://www.utsavpedia.com/textiles/mashru-fabric/