local textiles

Today was one of those classic India mornings – the kind that unfold with such random magic that your heart swells for the place.

It started shortly after setting out on bicycles to explore the temples around Hampi, when one of our back tires blew.  Within just seconds, a truck pulled up beside us and offered up a ride to the nearest village.

Once we were dropped off, I left the guys to fix the tire and wandered up the street in search of chai.  After discovering a little window stall with a telltale chai thermos, I was immediately invited into the home to wait while the tea was prepared fresh for me.

This is where I met 20 year old Pushpa – who just happened to be a textile student at a university in nearby Hospet.  Once we started chatting, she brought out some of her (perfect) handiwork and sketchbooks and showed me how the traditional rangolis are designed (connecting dots!).

Her embroidered pieces – one of which I purchased – take between just three and four hours to stitch by hand, which amazes me.  With a little bit of hardware, this one is going to make a perfect belt.

(The chai was also rather perfect).

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