The mul cotton is what we call ‘made in heaven’ at Suta. Known in West Bengal as mul mul, the fabric is what can be categorised as muslin cotton. It is believed that this fine method of weaving cotton can be traced back to even before the Indus valley civilization. What makes this fabric special is the almost magical process of weaving it. Cotton fibres are separated and spun into strong threads. The lightest and the most delicate fibres are separated and are then spun into muslin thread. These are then woven into fabrics by skilled weavers. The history of muslin weaving is a beautiful chapter in the history of Indian textiles. The process of the yore was much more complex and involved many unique tools that look primitive but worked like magic. The upper jaw of a catfish was used to initially clean the cotton before spinning. To separate the lightest fibres, a Dhunkar (a bamboo bow) was used, which when strung in a distinctive way made the lighter fibres rise above the heavier ones. This process gave the title ‘woven air’ to the muslin fabric. Weavers famously wove on looms that were at ground level and operated the looms from pits dug in the ground. Even during the Mughal era, the muslin fabric was seen as a symbol of power for its finesse. History is full of anecdotes to prove the awe that the muslin fabric generated. Emperor Aurangazeb is said to have chided his daughter Zeb-un-Nisa for appearing naked in the court when in reality she had been wearing several layers of the muslin cloth! Such was the fabric’s delicateness. The almost invisible fabric had made an Arab traveller in the 10 th century remark that the degree of fineness is such that a garment can be drawn through a ring of a middling size. During the British colonisation and even during the Mughal rule, the art of weaving muslin took a hit as weavers were treated poorly and drought hit many of the weaving centres. As a result, today, the process of weaving has seen a lot of change. Nevertheless, the essence of it hasn’t changed and the charm of the fabric still remains.
Yellow in Jaisalmer
Length: 5.5 meters ; Width: 47 inches
Blouse Piece: No
Wash Care: Dry Wash
Fabric: Mul Cotton
Disclaimer: The pictures are clicked in daylight. Color may vary slightly from the image due to the screen brightness.
Nicknamed the Golden City, Jaisalmer stands on a ridge of yellow sandstone, crowned by the ancient Jaisalmer fort. Castles clad in golden honey coloured sand dunes dot the town. So it does, her. Her golden yellow Mul makes her feel like a gypsy – a Kalbelia, the tribe of nomads. She remembers Jaisalmer as the land of kites and sand dunes and desert festivals and day dreams…the desert safari…the sleeping with the stars. The enchanting architecture of the sprawling Jaisalmer fort transported her back in time and the mystery in the air - giving her a sense of being a part of Arabian Nights. The thoughts of tales of the desert, camels, harems and everything exotic had ensnared her. O wanderess, she thinks…I am a traveler at heart who loves to travel and hates to arrive.