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India's traditional sari goes herbal

India's traditional sari goes herbal

Author:
Publication: Sify News
Date: February 9, 2004
URL: http://sify.com/news_info/news/offbeat/fullstory.php?id=13384481

Saris, the bedrock of Indian women's attire, will soon come with medicinal value as traditional crafters inject refreshing herbs into the fabric.

The handloom trade in Thumbod village in Kerala is reviving the ancient art of weaving herbs, leaves, fruits and roots into sari fabric instead of chemical dyes, the Press Trust of India reported Monday.

The technique, once used to dress royalty, comes from ayurveda, India's traditional herbal medicine.

Ayurvedic herbs, which crafters say will stay in each sari for life, are reputed to fight bacteria to check disease and promote health.

"This is an ethnic technology, which has tremendous medicinal as well as commercial scope," said Ravi, the advisor to Kerala Chief Minister A.K. Antony on sustainable development.

Ravi, who uses only one name, said ayurvedic fabrics could eventually be used for other garments and bedspreads and the state could encourage farmers to grow herbs for the industry.

Thumbod is famous for its handlooms, with villagers once making ayurvedic clothing to dress the royal families of Travancore and Madurai in southern India.

But the craft was eclipsed after India's independence in 1947 as royalty was abolished and factory-made synthetic textiles made an onslaught.
 


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