Calico Museum of Textiles at Ahmedabad, India
Above, Hanging: red cotton, quilted and embroidered with silk. Mughal, 18th century. (No. 9) color plate from "Indian Embroideries."
Above, Hanging: cotton, embroidered with silk (detail). From Gujarat (made for English market) 17th century. (No. 38) color plate from "Indian Embroideries."
Above, small detail of the sprawling Haveli, a former residence with inlaid-marble floors and exquisite gardens, on the Calico Museum grounds.
Nestled among verdant trees in Ahmedabad, India, there is an intriguing place that beckons the fabric-obsessed: the Calico Museum of Textiles. It is "an enchanted world," says textile scholar Aditi Ranjan. Overflowing with antique Indian embroideries, hand-blocked prints, court textiles used by Mughal rulers, and tie-dyed fabrics, the Calico is ranked as one of the best textile museums in the world.
For those of us who can't travel there, the Museum's site offers a nice film tour of its galleries, as well as a few publications. But unfortunately it's not possible to search or view the collections online.
Contemporary textile designer John Robshaw is inspired by the ancient craftsmanship of Indian artisans. I love his new collaboration with Anthropologie, which includes bedding and curtains. Shown above is Robshaw's hand-blocked and hand-stitched tularosa bedding.
Here is a related resource available for purchase in the U.S.: Agile Hands and Creative Minds: A Bibliography of Textile traditions in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Srilanka.