INDEPTH: HIMROO - THE DISAPPEARING THREAD
HIMROO – THE DISAPPEARING THREAD
Himroo - an indigenous fabric craftwork of Aurangabad appears to be less known and more forgotten by the people. Brought to Aurangabad when Muhammad Tughlaq shifted capital from Delhi to Daulatabad, this fabric is grown only in Aurangabad. The word himroo originated from Persian word Hum-ruh which means 'similar'. Himroo is a replication of Kum-khwab, which was woven with pure golden and silver threads in olden days, and was meant for the royal families.
Combined with threads of cotton and silk, this fabric dates back to 600 years. Himroo fabrics are produced on a Jacquard loom which uses punch cards to systematically rise and drop warp stands and allowing access to weft yarns inside the shuttle. Himroo uses the same technique as the craftsmen from the past, with a few innovations that were introduced by master craftsman Abdul Hameed Qureshi who revolutionized the Himroo industry in 1960's-70s. When Tughlaq decided to shift the capital back to Delhi, most craftsmen stayed back. Many of these weavers and craftsmen continued to supply textile products such as stoles, shawls and other linens to the royal households. Some Historians believe that Himroo weaving has roots in Persia, while many local historians seem to have a different view and suggest that Himroo has very little or no Persian influence. Kings and Queen during the medieval era had a huge stock of Himroo collections stashed away in their wardrobes. Renowned traveler Marco Polo was gifted a Himroo Shawl during his visit in the Deccan region. Marco Polo writes in his memoirs "It is as fine as a spider's web and Kings and Queens of any country will take pride in wearing it". According to the Textiles Association of India, Himroo was endorsed by the Nizam and Mughal nobility. The designs of every Himroo Shawl and Stoles carry with them some historical relics and remnants.
But somehow, the knowledge and information about himroo seems to be disappearing in the youth of today. Syed Aamer, owner of the Aurangabad Himroo Factory says earlier people knew about himroo and its heritage and in fact, I remember that in schools it was taught that himroo comes from Aurangabad and this now seems to have vanished like many other historical things present from the syllabus and school teaching.” This is a matter of grave concern where people have become unaware of the heritagious roots of indigenous himroo of Aurangabad.There are many stores and factories and looms in Aurangabad making himroo sarees, shawls, spreads, cushion covers and many more products. The loom workers and craftsmen come all the way from Benares to Aurangabad to work on these exclusive products. Usually a himroo shawl requires 4-6 months to make. Aurangabad Himroo Factory, Himroo Handloms, Himroo fabrics are few of the places which sell pure original himroo products to tourists as well as the locals here.