"The story of cotton in India is not half told", wrote Frances Carnac Brown, an eighteenth century cotton planter in the Malabar region. Indeed the looms of India's cotton handloom industry have woven fabric that clothed people all over the world, its illustrious history beginning almost five centuries ago. It is believed that the fine cotton that Egyptian mummies were wrapped in 5000 years ago came from Bengal. In 302 BC when the Greek envoy Megasthenes visited the court of King Chandragupta, he is said to have described Indian people as being dressed in "flowered robes of fine muslin." Cotton in India was handspun to produce almost forty different kinds of fabric. Muslin or Mulmul was one such fabric that enamoured royalty all over the world. Its soft, sheer texture led Roman emperors to refer to it as "woven wind". In India, mulmul was worn exclusively by Indian royalty. The cotton mulmul produced on Dhaka looms excelled under Mughal patronage. When woven for Viceroys, the muslins were poetically labelled with exotic names like Ab-e-rawan (running water), Shabnam (evening dew) and Sharbati (winelike).
Natsy by Design brings you contemporary dresses and tunics exhibiting the glorious tradition of handwoven cotton.