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Nagaland Cotton Sarees Are Comfortable Handlooms
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Nagaland State is one of the seven sisters of the North East and famous for its cotton industry.
A simple woven ethnic fabric, what lends appeal to the Nagaland Cotton Saree, are the intricately designed motifs and embroidered patterns. Straight lines, zig zag lines, squares, bands and other simple geometric shapes in varying widths and colours constitute popular patterns.
Earlier times had the woven cloth decorated with beads, cowrie shells and goat hairs to denote the wealth and status of the weaver. Modern format sees the Nagaland Cotton Saree having simple thread work and kundans, beads, mirrors and sequins adorning the fabric.
Abundance of cotton grown in the region had hill tribes engaged in spinning and weaving as an occupation and means of their livelihood, since pre-independence days. Today it is an industry.
The quality of the cotton, soft and fluffy in nature, is quite superior, owing to the organic method of farming adopted. No wonder, the fabrics woven from it are soft, light and airy.
The spinning of yarn into cotton thread done by hand earlier has now slowly been overtaken in its processing by machines. However weaving, a household industry since long is still popular and mostly done by women. The Nagaland Cotton Saris bear testimony to their exceptional skills. A simple tension loom initially used has slowly made way for the fly shuttle.
Dyeing of the fabric is also a woman’s prerogative though with the changing times and waning of interest among modern women to be in this occupation, this no longer holds true.
Bright primary colours as red, green, yellow and blue are generally used, though other colours are also becoming popular. Known till date for the natural dyes extracted from barks, roots and plants used for dyeing cotton yarn, availability and effort in procuring them has slowly made way for chemical dyes.
Colours are significant among the hill tribes with the system of pre-dominance of a certain colour for a particular tribe, still prevalent. Each Naga tribe has distinctive patterns with certain geometric shapes and motifs associated with it. Black or white are predominant colours used. Red and green are in additional motif insertions.
Extremely novel and appealing, Nagaland Cotton Sarees are seen in a variety of forms with the traditional fabric given a modern day setting. Some examples follow.
Pure Nagaland handloom cotton saree, with artistically woven Buttis, and a zari border is a refreshing change very suitable for daily casual, and preferred mostly by corporate office-goers, professors and teachers.
The Fancy Nagaland cotton sari in block floral printed designs is elegant and apt for formal conferences and social gatherings.
Once a necessary means of living, it is transformed today into a thriving industry for cotton fabrics.
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