Kasturi, India


Tangaliya weaving

Tangaliya weaving is a 700 years old hand weaving technique, which derives its name from Tang, meaning leg. The textile is a part of the traditional costume of the Bharwad (the shepherd community) of Gujarat. Women of the Bharwad community are often seen wearing dotted wrapped skirts in black with contrasting woven dotted forms as embellishments. This unique form of weaving with its dotted splendor is practiced in Surendranagar district of Gujarat.

Tangaliya is a labor-intensive and painstaking process. Gheta (native sheep) wool forms the raw material for weaving of base fabric on which a special technique called beadwork or dana-work is done. A dana is formed on the weft yarn, through the process of tying together a minimum of three warps by wrapping a contrasting colored fine cotton thread around them. The weavers’ fingers sense exactly the right number of warp threads and twist extra weft around them.

Through this, motifs are woven into the fabric while it is still on the loom - resulting in a glorious geometric pattern, tiny white dots lighting up rich, dark fabrics giving the effect of fine embroidery to it. Traditionally, Tangaliya used black sheep or camel wool to create shawls and blankets (Dhablas) for the shepherds, but now they weave magic with cotton and silk also for the contemporary market.

Kasturi aims at bringing sustainability in the lives of the Tangaliya craftsmen in Surendranagar and reviving the privileged reality of wearing and using handcrafted products.