Madhya Pradesh, as a centre for weaving, finds a mention in texts dating as far back as
and 12th century. This legacy of the loom continues.
In 1350, Koshti weavers from Jhansi migrated to Chanderi and settled down here. However, it
was during the Mughal period, the cloth business of Chanderi reached its peak. It is recorded
that the cloth woven in Chanderi was even sent to Mughal Emperor Akbar. Many royal families
including those of Gwalior, Indore, Kolhapur, Baroda and Nagpur wore clothes woven in
Chanderi during important ceremonies like childbirth and marriage. Chanderi produced a range
of saris that matched the tastes of its clients, the royalty and nobility of Gwalior, Baroda, Nagpur
The weavers who are presently involved in this business are either descendants of the legacy or
are completely new to this school of weaving. Among the new generation is Dilsaad Shah, who is
20 years old and is the first one from the family to join the Chanderi weavers’ workforce.
However, weavers like Jitendra Kohli and others have been weaving for generations.
Weaving Chanderi saris is tedious. Jagdish Pal has been doing the weaving for the last 10 years
tenaciously. Sharing his experience, he says ‘Some pieces take 3-4 days to complete, but some
with heavy work take around 15-16 days.’
Madhya Pradesh, as a centre for weaving, finds a mention in texts dating as far back asthe 7th
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