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Report | September 2015

The Textile Gallery: A rich display

The Textile Gallery, created by Somaya & Kalappa Consultants, was opened to public very recently.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (CSMVS), India´s premier art and history museum located in a Heritage building in south Mumbai, formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, has added another feather to its cap - The Textile Gallery. It is difficult to contain the rich tradition of Indian textiles inside a 2,000 sq ft climate-controlled room; but the Textile Gallery has done it admirably, thanks to a concept created by Somaya & Kalappa Consultants, run by Brinda Somaya & Nandini Somaya Sampat. The glimpses of the textiles used and the various stages in the growth of the textile tradition have been captured well inside the well-lit, glass showcases.

The Textile Gallery was opened to public very recently, and has been receiving good response. Say Brinda and Nandini Somaya: ¨The key design concept that emerged during the research and consultation process consists of six stages with an Introduction next to the entrance. This is followed by Fabric of Life, Religion, Royal Costumes, Elements, Special Feature and Interactive.¨

The ambience inside the climate-controlled room is commendable and the glimpses of the textile traditions of India are amply projected.

The Otni & Balni at the entrance reminds one of the beginnings of textile kingdom when hands picked out cotton and spinning wheels were used to spin yarn.

Among the other sections, The Religion brings out India´s unique culture in religious motifs, and the Royal Costumes highlight the splendour of the bygone era of kings & queens and their attire.

The Special Feature is done with a facility for changing the textiles according to favourites of the seasons. The Interactive, though a small corner at the end, can help the explorers take up challenges of various techniques in dyeing and processing.

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