Himroo -    Fascinating Fabric



 As per historians, Himroo has a Persian origin. During an ebullient time in Indian history, when emperor Mohammed Bin Tuglak and his loyal herd of elephants tried to relocate their headquarters to Daulatabad in Maharashtra, some precious trade secrets of Persian shawl weaving techniques clandestinely found their way into the narrow alleys of Aurangabad. At a later period in history, and in the Moghal period, weavers who enjoyed imperial patronage began challenging the supremacy of the Persian weavers. The Himroo shawls produced in India evoked intense curiosity in neighboring foreign lands. This not only guaranteed a lucrative export market, but also uplifted the image of the Mogul dynasty. As Himroo is very unique and different, these fabrics were much liked by members of royal family and others from the elite families. In the ancient times, the fabrics used to be made from gold and silver and were handmade.

What is Himroo?

 Himroo, a fascinating fabric from Maharashtra, is an extra-weft, figured fabric with a solid ground of satin or twill, decorated with figurative motifs and manufactured ordinarily from cotton and viscose rayon yarn on a cotton ground. It is also woven from silk yarn and gold thread on a silk ground. The major feature of Himroo is that it is made from fabric of silk and cotton and a finished product looks like satin. The silk and cotton are largely grown in Aurangabad district. These are luxurious fabrics mostly made for the royal families and nobles. The Himroo is locally known as ‘Kam Khuab’ which means little dream. Himroo is the oldest fabrics that are still prevalent in India. These fabrics denote nobility and royalty in olden times.

Designs and patterns:

 Himroo is very distinct and peculiar with the use of bold patterns and colours. Originally made with the mix of cotton and silk, gives a look and feel of satin cloth, thus making Himroo a perfect choice for shawls and stoles. The design patterns used are shapes of hexagons, circle, octagons, ovals and diamonds. Fruit patterns are also used which mainly are of pineapples, almonds and more. Some interlocking patterns are also followed with designs of flowers, animals, leaves are commonly used. One can see the richness in the craftsmanship and the material used.

The Making Process of Himroo:

 Himroo is made on a throw shuttle loom using cotton in the wrap and silk in the weft. Here at the very beginning of the weaving the designs are decided and worked with the multiple looms. The weaving is done with the interlacing of weft yarns with the wrap. This special cotton brocade is woven on a throw-shuttle loom and has an art-silk or silk mix. It has a complicated technique of weaving. The design has to be decided at the outset since two kinds of threads are mixed. The design are geometrical and floral. Intricate creeper designs are popular. Himroo has a satiny sheen and is popular for vests, blouses, coats, cloaks, shawls, and furnishings. 

These fabrics are uniquely designed with the bold colours and patterns, as well as they have a peculiar appearance. Their unique designs and patterns are the characteristics of Himroo fabrics. The Himroo weavers mainly weave shawls, veils, bridal saris and more. These fabrics find a special place in the wedding ceremonies even today. In olden days, the weavers used to weave the fabrics with hand, but today they use machines.

Himroo Weaving:

  Wiht this short piece of literature, we wish to awaken a new spurt of interest in the ancient fabric weaving art of Himroo. We have collected relevant bits and pieces of information from Indian history and woven it into a story about Himroo.