|4. HIMRUS & AMRUS
Himrus are the famous silk brocades of Hyderabad (Deccan). The state’s second largest town-Aurangabad is the chief centre of the art of Himru-weaving. Himru probably a derivative of the Sanskrit Him (snow) is a fabric used in winter. The ground is cotton, and silk is used for the brocade on the surface. The yarn used for weaving Himrus is spun so as to produce, when woven, the effects of a warm soft material like wool. The peculiarity of the Himru is that the silk thread which is used to form a pattern on the surface of the cloth is carried to the reverse side of the cloth and is collected there in clumsy long loops. This forms a rather loose but soft warm layer. Further, the accumulation of the loose threads on the reverse of the cloth necessitates a lining to all garments made of Himru cloth. Thus Himru garments make very warm clothing suitable for the cold season.
When silk thread is used exclusively for weaving Himru, the fabric is called “Amru”. Amrus are generally made in Ahmedabad, Surat & Banaras. Himrus are used for men’s Achkans, Chogas, and for female wear also, e.g., for blouses and lehangas. For generations, the Nawabs of Surat used a special quality of Himru fabrics for their dresses which was called the “Nawab’s Himru”. These fabrics are also used for upholstery and curtains.
The well known Tie & Dye process consists in dyeing the required portions of cotton yarn & protecting the other portions which are to remain white by tieing them with cotton yarn from taking the colour at those spots which are visible after the dyeing process and the removal of the tieing material.
The warp is spread longitudinally in a shut form and the design is marked on it. The portion to remain white is tied with cotton thread white, the portion to be dyed is left exposed. The work of tieing proceeds until the whole design is completed. The tie warp is then immersed in the dye bath and dyed. The colour impregnated on the exposed portions which are repeatedly dipped in the dye with the handle. After the dyeing is completed the warp is well washed in cold water & dried. The tie work is further repeated to produce a darker shade in the selected portions which are left loose this time. The tieing & dyeing is repeated as many times as the number of colours in the designs. After the final dyeing is completed the tieings on the yarn are removed. This completes the process for warp dyeing. The tie dyeing of the weft is done similarly but the weft is placed on semi circular peg board. Here again the design is marked and the tieing commences pick by pick. After the completion of tie dyeing of warp & weft, weaving is undertaken.
The warp is placed in position on the loom in a slanting form and the picks are inserted one by one. Great care is taken to see that the pieces falls in the correct are richly decorated position. Each piece is given individual attention by regulating it in its correct adjustment of the design. Designs used in pochampalli are traditional once. Designs such as temple model, parrot, elephant, peacock, swan etc in geometrical forms.