I go weak in the knees for all kinds of gossamer thin and sheer natural fabrics. Today, I get to ramble on about one of my personal favorites – Chanderi. Born in its namesake town of historical importance and royal patronage, this gossamer thin natural fabric is made with cotton, silk and also in a more attractive silk-cotton blend. I personally like the silk-cotton blend, it has that wee bit of luster from silk and a mildly crisp hand of cotton. Luxurious!
The weavers of Chanderi are known to make 35 meter long turbans which would weigh just about 60 grams. In this video below, master weaver Sri. Chotelal reminiscences of a royal past when his hand woven turbans were worn by the Gaekwads, Maharajas of Baroda.
Chanderi is mostly woven in traditional saree designs, with borders and pallu. Authentic silk cotton Chanderi fabric yardage is rare to find and is available only through special commissioning. The Blush Collection, released in 2013 is an authentic silk cotton Chanderi fabric yardage, commissioned for Anne George Design and is available for purchase at Fabric Treasury. This collection is dyed with natural dye stuff Madder to achieve various shades of blush pinks and hand block printed with black or red traditional Indian folk designs.
The Blush Collection is an exciting project for me. The idea came through early in 2012 and it took some time to develop into a collection. Initially shades of indigos, reds and creams were planned in a broader range of designs. After careful consideration, the blush palette was finalized. I love the ethereal feel that blush pinks bring to this sheer fabric. This palette starts from a Pale Blush, moves a bit to the peachy side with the Cheeky Blush and then settles down with a robust Bridal Blush. As with all naturally colored fabrics, the colors are not exactly 100% reproducable batch after batch, but works well with its original palette design and intent.