The Indus valley encompasses the fertile lands around the Indus river, where once some of earliest civilizations settled and evolved; it is consequently an important region in the development of textiles. Evidence of human activity goes right back to the bronze age (3300-1300 BC) with the cultivation of dates and cotton, followed by that of peas and sesame, farming water buffalo, trading lapis lazuli and beads, living in cities made of brick, in multi-storey houses with roadside drainage. Their craftsmen artisans produced copper, bronze, lead and tin. Nowadays the Indus valley marks the dividing line between India and Pakistan, covering an area that includes Gujerat, Rajasthan and the Punjab, with a population of around 5 million.

Their weavers spearheaded a textile industry from which the trading world came to know about printing and colour, which remains the mainstay of these areas.


See hand block printing, ajrakh, natural dyes

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