Thursday, February 25, 2010

2 Colorful covers from India!

One of the attractiveness of Indian Philately is the uses of wonderful colors on its postage stamps. It never fails to excite me visually. Good examples are these 2 lovely FDCs, courtesy of Jeevan Jyoti. Thank you so much!

The first cover, entitled "Traditional Indian Textiles" depicts Apa Tani Weaves, Banaras Silk, Kanchipuram Silk and Kalamkari. It was released on 10th Dec 2009. Apa Tani Weave: The Apatani, or Tanii, are a tribal group of about 26,000 (approximately) in Ziro valley in the Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh India. The Apatani make beautiful hand weaves. The weaving method is still the old fashioned one, the apparatus is a simple reed loom and the actual weaving is performed with a semi-curved bamboo tube. Every house hold in the villages has its own indigenous weaving set. The handloom products include skirts, shirts, cotton shawls, jackets, side bags and curtains. They still prefer the bark fibers extracted from trees, goat hair, and human hair for weaving. The weaving products are ceremonial costumes like coats, shawls, embroidered cotton cloth, handbag, skirts and lungis (loin cloths), sashes, carpets etc.

Banaras Silk: Banaras is one of the rich weaving craft centre of India, famous for Brocade saris and allover dress material. Exclusive varieties of the saris are Jangla, Tanchoi, Vaskat, Cutwork, Tishu, and Butidar which are made of silk warp and silk weft, on plain/satian ground base, brocaded with extra weft patterns in different layouts introducing Buties, Bells, creepers, Buttas in ground, border and Anchal for getting glamours appearance.

Kancheepuram silk: The glamour of the Kancheepuram silk saree lies in its colour contrasts. Pyramidical temple borders, checks, stripes and floral "buttas" are traditional designs you will find in a Kancheepuram saree. In a genuine Kancheepuram saree, the border, body and pallav are woven separately and then interlocked together. The joint is woven so strongly that even if the saree tears, the pallav (or border) will not detach.

Kalamkari: Kalamkari refers to a method of painting natural dyes onto cotton or silk fabric with a bamboo pen or kalam. The name kalamkari translates as pen (kalam) work (kari) in Hindi/Urdu, and was most likely derived from trade relationships between Persian and Indian merchants as early as the 10th century CE. European merchants also had names for this type of fabric decoration: the Portugese called it pintado, the Dutch used the name sitz, and the British preferred chintz. The name kalamkari is used prominently today, and is synonymous with both painted and hand blockprinted textiles that incorporate natural vegetable/organically-derived dye stuffs. While there are many forms of kalamkari throughout India and the world, the focus of this site is on extant kalamkari practice in Sri Kalahasti, Andhra Pradesh, in South India.

Every year India post issues a set of Greeting stamps. This second FDC franked with a colorful miniature sheet belongs to the "Greetings" series, issued on 1st Dec 2009.

That's all folks. See you guys soon!

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