Craft Travel: India Textiles

Visit the Taj Mahal, take a sunset camel ride, attend a gypsy dance performance and take hands-on classes in traditional fabric dying techniques in Creative Arts’ Safari’s tactile textile tour” of the Indian state of Rajasthan.

This small group tour permits you to experience Indian hospitality by staying in a family home. Travelers on this excursion will get to view the family’s extensive collection of historical textiles, and visit a textile museum. They will learn traditional methods of working with fabric such as indigo dying with mud resist, fabric block printing and chundri (tie and dye) directly from master craftsmen whose families have practiced these crafts for generations. One highlight of the trip is a visit to the only family still producing double ikat-dyed silk saris, a technique where both the warp and weft are tie and dyed before weaving.

Fabric crafters will relish the trip’s emphasis on the history and practice of textile art in India, but the trip also provides an opportunity to experience India via experienced guides and native expertise. The tour is led and organized bot by textile artist and teacher Fiona Wright and by Kanhiya Lal, who has more than 20 years experience organizing tours in India. Lal, an accomplished chef in the culinary traditions of his native land shares this expertise with travelrs: the tour includes an Indian cooking class in addition to tours of Indian bazaars and historic sites. This annual tour is timed to coincide with the major Hindu holiday of Diwali, celebrated with fireworks and feasting.

The trip includes all accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, sightseeing entrance fees and all internal transportation within India. Airfare to and from Delhi Airport, lunches and shopping expenses are your own responsibility. The tour guides emphasize fair trade, arranging visits only to those textile shops which pay liveable wages and provide health care to workers.

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