The Indian sub-continent (generally core lands of India Pakistan Bangladesh Nepal Bhutan Sri Lanka and the Maldives, more recently referred to as South Asia) has had a long history of involvement in textiles manufacture and production.
Traditionally the textiles industry in India generated huge employment, second only to agriculture and contributes a significant proportion of India’s total exports.
Thousands of fabric weaving factories and textile finishing factories exist across India. Fabrics produced include jute, silk, cotton and wool. Less known but highly valued is linen, used for home textiles in addition to garments.
Production ranges from hand looms to mass manufacturing. Flax fields in northern France supply 60% of the raw materials for the world’s linen, a significant proportion of which is exported to India where it is processed into finished production of items including linen sheets, other home textiles and linen shirts.
According to Bloomberg Business a linen shirt is a status symbol, this is underpinned by the Indian prime Minister’s love of linen kurtas, although the US and Europe remain the biggest markets for linen.
On websites around the planet, and in quality bedding shops in the finest suburban areas in the world’s wealthiest cities, customers can purchase fine French flax woven to specific needs (especially wide, fine and durable) resulting in finished pieces including a range of luxurious linen sheets and table linen, featuring hand-worked drawn thread work and hand-embroidered monograms.
An article in Vogue magazine India www.vogue.in earlier this year reviewed an ongoing exhibition at the Devi Art Foundation entitled ‘Fractured’ where 20 textile artists from varying disciplines reinvent Indian textiles in a modern context and the innovations are something our entire global Indian community can be very proud of.
The Fractured exhibition features form and colour collaborations from diverse artists in various textiles media, and for lovers of lifestyle inspiration, the results are so luxurious as to take our breath away.
One thing is for sure, we Indians can sleep easy when we know our linen sheets have been lovingly crafted by our wonderful artisans – and that the quality is so sound that the sheets and table linen may even last for generations.