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Gwalior

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the woven crown: the shindeshahi pagdi

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Local textiles have always had an interesting symbiotic relationship with the ruling families of the regions they thrived in. This exhibit is a testament to that - a sublime textile tradition enhanced by royalty.
the installation
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In this installation, a treasured collection of Chanderi fabrics, sarees and dupattas and angarakhas worn by the present and former rulers has been shown.

The prime spotlight is accorded to the regal boat shaped Shindeshahi pagdi - ceremonial pagdis worn by Scindia Maharajas. Made using stretched cotton Chanderi, this pagdi is typically 3.5 to 6 meters long with a width of approximately 1 meter.

a tradition of sustainability
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  • The Pagdi loom has almost become almost extinct, so the Gwalior family is continuously working with weavers to revive and sustain it.
  • The Pagdi loom is natural and uses natural dyeing processes.
  • The Pagdi is designed in such a way that no material goes to waste.
  • Independent weavers were engaged here rather than cluster weavers to ensure that the art retains its original beauty. A lot of individual weavers work on non-mechanized looms and eventually lose out on the monetary aspect.
  • The Shinde Shaahi Pagdi production process employs a channel that goes from farm to fiber all the way to fashion.

Through this campaign, we get to rewrite the cultural conservation of our memories and the weavers’ stories with renewed passion.

Priyadarshini Raje Scindia _ Image credit Conde Nast Traveller 1
HH Maharani Priyaraje Scindia
know the craft
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Chanderi

know the craft
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Chanderi

It is also evocatively known as the ‘Yarn of the Royals’. It is particularly famous for its lightness, transparency and glossy texture. Originally, it was woven with handspun cotton yarn, extracted from a special root called Kolikanda and was as fine as 300 counts. Somewhere around the early 20th century, the typical designs made of white and off-white cloth with zari embellishments gave way to different motifs. Light as air, it is often compared to the famous muslins of Dhaka, Bangladesh

Brought to Life at

Jai Vilas Palace
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This imposing Palace was designed by British Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Michael Filose under the patronage of Maharaja Jayaji Rao Scindia. It is primarily built in a mix of European styles including Tuscan, Italian-Doric and Corinthian. The three-storey building is the current residence of the Scindia family. Out of the 400 rooms in the Palace, 35 have been converted into a museum wing - HH Sir Jiwajirao Scindia Museum.

Brought to Life with

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Local Chanderi weavers

royal patronage today
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In Gwalior, chanderi weavers have long been championed by the royal family. Realizing the need to expand chanderi’s reach, the current royal family, Hon’ble MP Jyotiraditya Scindia and Mrs. Priyadarshiniraje Scindia, have sought to bring in entrepreneurship to make this industry self-sustaining. For the past 14 years, they have worked to revive the built and living heritage of chanderi.

To improve the condition of the weavers by connecting them to the market, the Scindias have worked with various local and international designers to set up units and help with the design intervention. So far, they have worked with Rahul Mishra, Sanjay Garg, FabIndia and FDCI to name a few.

In the field of heritage preservation, the HH Sir Jiwajirao Scindia Museum boasts of over 200 exhibits of chanderi fabric in its permanent collection. These include a variety of garments such as sarees, kurtas and ceremonial pagdis.

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