Artistic, religious and cultural traditions unite in the handwoven fabric behind our new Sacred Tibetan Textiles series. For centuries, Muslim families in Varanasi, India, have practiced the art of handweaving silks to create cloths and vestments for sacred rituals. The city lies just twelve kilometres from the Buddhist pilgrimage site Sarnath, where the Buddha first gave his sermon upon becoming enlightened. In this place, Islamic, Buddhist and even Hindu practices have become woven together in harmony.
In Varanasi, the Kasim family has been practicing this meditative tradition for generations, passing down the knowledge and reverence of their ancestors. The fabrics reproduced on these covers come straight from the Kasim Silk Emporium and are authentic expressions of the family’s cultural heritage. In these designs, created for Buddhist monasteries and the Dalai Lama, the weavers have portrayed the path to enlightenment, both in the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism represented by the pattern and in the brightness of the colours chosen.
An expression of faith and spirituality, these brocade fabrics are both beautiful and highly symbolic, and the care that goes into each individual stitch is a visual example of the weaver’s adherence to a sacred ritual. With our Sacred Tibetan Textiles series, we pay tribute to the rich heritage of Indian handweaving and to the craftspeople who continue this devotional practice today.
About Paperblanks: 25 years ago, we created Paperblanks to help keep book heritage alive and vital in our modern age, and to offer an inspiring space for people to express themselves. Thanks for joining us on this journey! For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at paperblanks.com.