S1 E17 - “Muslin:Woven Air“

Muslin a legendary fabric has legions of tales in its telling. Originally called ‘mul-mul’, it was named by Marco Polo after the large cotton trade through the town of Mosul in Iraq. Rare, delicate and fine, often described as ‘woven air’ & “skin of the moon” muslin was the most sought after textile and at its height had reached all corners of the globe.

अबnoरmal proudly presents “Touring Talkies” Season 1 “Kanyakumari se Kashmir tak - Ek Sari-torial Safar”.

This weekend our Sari-torial Safar takes us on a journey that started in erstwhile undivided Bengal. Muslin : White Gold - This ultrafine cotton cloth from the now extinct phuti karpas plant, woven on the humble pit looms of Bengal, captivated the imagination of poets and fashionistas for millennia. Few fabrics in the world have acquired and retained such mystique.

Muslin was the attire of kings and queens, Muslin pyjamas, teamed with costly pearls and rubies, emphasised the understated elegance and symbolic simplicity of Mughal emperors. A fabled fabric which was the pinnacle of European fashion in the 18th and 19th century.

Today muslin’s unique cotton plant, the phuti karpas which grew on the banks of the Meghna and its tributaries, is believed to be extinct. The unique yarn is not spun and the weaving techniques used on jamdani (a last surviving variety of muslin) are all that is left of our lost art, even though coarser threads are used now than the fine ones of the past. Sadly, there are few credible records on muslin by Bangladeshis or any appropriate samples of its finery in our national museums. Its story is written by outsiders and the best examples of its historic products are kept in museums abroad.

Our Guest Speaker this weekend is Saiful Islam; a Bangladeshi who studied engineering and business administration and worked in a number of multi-national companies. After his last stint in Africa, he settled in the UK and became the CEO of Drik, a world-renowned media company based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has researched and worked on muslin since 2014 and has since held an exhibition, published a book (Muslin:Our Story) and produced a film (Legend of the Loom). He is currently MD of Bengal Muslin and Majority World.

Please sit back & enjoy the video we have filmed. Hope you appreciate our sincerity of effort & do provide constructive feedback, comments & suggestions.

Part 1: 

Part 2:

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