Sindhi fabric:Malmal Khas :origins Indus Valley Civilisation 2200 BC

2200 BC:

Fabrics have been discovered in the Indus Valley. Cottonseeds were discovered at Mehrgarh towards Quetta,west of Indus River.

The earliest documentation of woven fabric in the Indian subcontinent is found on the sculpted bust of King-Priest of Mohenjo Daro-Indus Valley Civilization-2200-1800 B.C.

The 3 sun shaped discs “Trefoil” show the unity of sun earth & water gods .

This shawl pattern is still reproduced today in Sindh . The same trefoil was found on the Hathor cow and on the bodies of Sumerian bulls in Mesopotamia.

The word cotton is from the Arabic “al-qattan” . The Sanskrit word for cotton is Karpasa.

The Greek word Karpasos and the Latin term Carbasus have evidently been derived from Sanskrit.

It was only in 1607 that cotton was introduced to North America in Virginia.

Cotton was called `”White Gold and ‘King Cotton’ as it built the fortunes of farmers in North & South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Mississippi, on the backs of the infamous black slave labour. Later the use of Sea Island [extra long staple cotton –ELS- greater than 1.3 inches long] and “Upland” cotton made USA one of the largest cotton producers in the world along with China, India, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

The ancient Indian magnum opus Vedas, show a time in the Atharva Veda where one of its passages personifies day and night as two sisters weaving. The warp symbolized darkness, and the woof symbolized light. The sacred place that thread and weaving held is illustrated in many hymns of the Vedas. The Hindi-Urdu words for warp & weft areTana and Bana. (Warp = Vertical thread wound on a Roller. The Woof=Weft = thread at right angles to the Warp/ Horizontal Thread.)

Buddhist literature chronicles the work of the skilled weavers and spinners of Kashi who excelled in fine muslin, so fine that oil could not seep through. It was women who spun, and the cotton cloths were washed, calendered, starched and perfumed. Fine cotton muslin was used to wrap the bodies of emperors and also the Buddha when he attained enlightenment nirvana.

The woven cloth, textile design and iconography in early India was based on the principles of different Vedas – hence the trefoil motif of the King Priest from Mohenjodaro showing the unity of sun, earth, and water gods.n all its cycles, illusions and dreams.

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