Friday, November 14, 2008

Rediscovering the khun

There's really no denying it - the khun is an asbsolutely beautiful brocade. Rich as silk, soft as satin, with the coolness and comfort of cotton - what more could a woman ask for!

There was a time when you saw Maharashtrian women everywhere wearing these beautiful khun blouses, with traditional cotton sarees. These days, though, it looks like only the older generation is still wearing them.
.

I guess the younger generation has shifted to polyster and nylon sarees, with matching "2x2" blouses. What a pity. The khun is really a gorgeous fabric, that retains colour and lustre even after several washings.

On a recent trip to Dadar, I bought myself a golden-yellow khun. It was folded into a neat triangle for me to take away. The shop keeper took great pride in folding it correctly, and demonstrated the technique for me to learn (so if any of you want lessons in blouse-folding, just ask!)

I teamed the blouse with a plain rust-coloured saree, and a necklace of amber and silver. The minute I wore it, I felt good. Maybe it was the golden glow of the khun, or maybe it was the pleasure of rediscovering something traditional - but I felt absolutely on top of the world.

This is of course, not the first time that I have fallen under the spell of traditional fabrics. But it's not just me, you know. That evening, my sis took one look at the blouse and said "Heyyyy, this is nice! I want one too...tell me where you got it!"

The khun had found yet another fan.

P.S: For those who're wondering how 'khun' is pronounced, it rhymes with 'bun'

31 comments:

Smruti said...

Hey Deepa, I love reading your blog. I will be there in Mumbai in a couple of weeks. As my parents stay in King Circle, I am sure to shop around Dadar. This time I will definately take home a blouse of khand. Thanks for sharing this article.

Blogeswari said...

Didn't know this fabric was called Khand - I love this fabric.Made pouches (surukku pai) a couple of years with this material for navarathri taamboola gifts

Sunita said...

Deepa, I love this fabric but I didnt know what its called. Thanks for enlightening me. Where does one get this and what do you ask for at the shop? Do you know of any place in the suburbs where I can get it?
I've flipped for that gorgeous blue with black border in your first photo.

Sujata said...

Deepa,

A small correction. The fabric is called Khan (kh-eu-n).

Sujata

Deepa Krishnan said...

Thanks, Sujata.

Deepa Krishnan said...

Hey Sunita, after reading large parts of The Urban Gardener I couldn't figure out which suburb you live in (central suburbs? western suburbs?)

Just walk around in the markets and keep your eyes open :)

If you go to a matching centre, maybe you can ask for Maharashtrian blouse and see what they say?

Ananva said...

It is Khan without the D. I bought 2 pieces last year, one from a store in Matunga Market and one from Athavle Shahade in Dadar BB. If you get a long enough piece, like I did, you could make it into a parkar polka/pavadai for your little one (back in the old days, that's what little girls wore).

Anonymous said...

very interesting...! and you very nice in yours!

jeanne
san francisco, ca, usa
www.worldonaplate.org

Deepa Krishnan said...

OK, so I fixed the spelling!

Khun
Khun
Khun

There. It is said thrice and now cast in stone!

Anju Patil said...

Really nice article. Keep it up!

Kusum Rohra said...

Hi Deepa,

I can't tell you how delighted I am to have stumbled upon your blog :)
Now I have something to look forward to read on days I am busy at work and just want a break. Thanks.

Love,
Kusum

Non-desi said...

This looks lovely. Any chance you can take a closer picture of you wearing your khun blouse? ... it is hard to appreciate how it hangs from these pictures...since it is covered by a sari, I can't tell how much torso it covers...

Deepa Krishnan said...

It ends, like all good blouses, just under the breasts, baring the midriff.

Which of course, if you ask any of the menfolk in my country, is one of the blouse's chief attractions.

I am past the age of midriff display, unfortunately, and must stick with modest photographs!

G said...

Fabulous pick! My mum still wears these with her Narayan Peth sarees. :)
Which shop in Dadar is this, if I may ask?

Sophie said...

This has been my favorite fabric..quite intriguing...sadly this beautiful fabric has not been rightly used in designs....

prasansha said...

hi i m a designer n i did my fashion designing from nift mumbai ......4 years in mumbai i used to often see old maharashtrian women wearing blouses of this amazing fabric.later i realised it was a traditional maharashtrian fabric n i feel in love with it.well could'nt do much about it but at the end i used the fabric in my graduating collection.i used it in a very minimal form but i m sure sometime later in life i'll definately use it in a big scale...n show the world how amazing it is!!!

prasansha said...

there is a shop in mangaldaas market near crawford that sells only this!!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful saree and blouse. A lady like pose would have been good though!

Pravina said...

I grew up in Indore and saw lots of women wearing Khand blouses.I always had a few in my collection.I loved to mix and match these bloses with Bengal Cotton sarees.
I now live in US and miss wearing sarees.
Recently a friend from Pune gifted me a beautiful bag made from this material.

Anonymous said...

Hey Deepa,

I am a big fan of khand (now corrected to khun) and I stumbled upon your blog on doing a google image search of the fabric (that's how crazy I am about it :)) I am utterly delighted to see Janaki ma'm. She used to teach us Economics in college and was one of my favest profs just because of the way she spoke :) Tell her a hello from me.

Your saree with blouse combo looks nice. And the backdrop decor(don't know if that's your home) with its eaerhy hues is totally classy!

Ciao

Rekha Rajgopal

artnavy said...

i got here looking for this fabric's name- my kids wear paavadias from it!

Sue said...

Hi, Deepa, loved the 'Khun' fabric. Is there any particular shop in Dadar that sells this fabric?
I have been trying to get it since ages.

Unknown said...

Hi mam!! I'am Lakshmi from Kerala. I always loved the way maharashtrian women wear their traditional sarees alongwith the beautiful karvari nath... I too wished to dress like them. I found out naths in many sites and I did purchase one! I would like to know through which site I would be able to purchase the above khun blouse material. Can you please help me to find out one?

P.R Raja said...

Hi mam!! I'am Lakshmi from Kerala. I always loved the way maharashtrian women wear their traditional sarees alongwith the beautiful karvari nath... I too wished to dress like them. I found out naths in many sites and I did purchase one! I would like to know through which site I would be able to purchase the above khun blouse material. Can you please help me to find out one?

P.R Raja said...

Hi mam!! I'am Lakshmi from Kerala. I always loved the way maharashtrian women wear their traditional sarees alongwith the beautiful karvari nath... I too wished to dress like them. I found out naths in many sites and I did purchase one! I would like to know through which site I would be able to purchase the above khun blouse material. Can you please help me to find out one?

devika said...

Hi Deepa I am Devika here from Bangalore l was born and brought up in Mumbai would love to know if khun can be bought online o just love that fabric please please let me know

Anonymous said...

a little more info on the fabric ..

http://theeastcoastdesi.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/revival-of-fading-handloom-tradition.html

www,visitors2delhi.com said...

Hi
Can you give the address of the shop from where you bought the Khana - or Khan. He seems to have a good stock and collection of it. The address / location or a phone number will be immensely useful.

Cheers
Chitra Balasubramaniam

Tausif said...

It's called Khund fabric

Prathamesh Pai said...

Thank you for sharing, I'm currently working on a project for revival of endangered traditional handicrafts of Maharashtra. Do you have more information about Khan textile? Would love to know!

Nilesh Dalvi said...

Hello,
I am very glad and excited to read about blog over kHUN fabric material.I am thankful for the information.I am a fashion designer and looking to explore more in this fabric ,I am curious to know more about Khun .Where are khun weavers in Maharashtra located? Where can I purchase khun fabric in mumbai?Any additional information about KHUN will be helpful nileshdalvi654@gmail.com
Thank you for inspiring!
:D