Indian Textiles on Display

Amuseum in Mumbai has opened up a permanent gallery to map the rich textile heritage of India. Thanks to a grant from the country’s ministry of culture, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS) museum was able to create a climate-controlled exhibit space to display fragile and historic textiles. “In India, textiles are heirloom pieces, fragrant with memories,” Manisha Nene, co-curator of the exhibition, told Indian newspaper MiD DAY. “They form a part of various rituals in different communities, from birth to death.” The textile gallery mirrors that journey, Nene said, starting with a display of children’s clothing.

Various types of regional embroidery techniques are featured, including the delicate flower and vine motifs made famous in the Kashmir region. Beadwork from India’s Gujurat region was used to create everything from hand fans to wall hangings. The gallery also explores how India’s textiles were exported around the world. “India was like the Manchester of the East,” Nene said.