Today at the library, I ran across this fantastic (and fantastically huge) book:

Handmade In India, A Geographical Encyclopedia of Indian Handicrafts by Aditi Ranjan and M.P. Ranjan

In addition to the thousands of other handcrafts created all over the huge Indian Subcontinent, the book has many examples of crochet.  It seems that crochet was brought to India in the early 20th century by a missionary couple named Macrae from Scotland.  The women of India took to crochet very quickly, using it most commonly to create prayer rugs and prayer caps for Muslims.  Other examples of crochet are associated with Christian ceremonies.  However, crochet in India has broken past the religious to the purely aesthetic and the practical.

Filet and other thread crochet is common.  Yarn work is less common because so much of India (but not all of it) has a climate not suited to garments made of yarn.  In addition, lace making with a crochet hook as well as shuttle work (not crocheted) are practiced around the country.

One of the more interesting examples of find crochet work IMO is the Bohra Cap traditionally worn only by Muslim males of the Dawoodi Bohra community (Shia) on religious occasions to top off their traditional jabbho and ijar (tunic and harem-style pants).  The examples pictured in this book are all white with gold metallic thread, intricately patterned.  The kids in the front row of this photo are wearing similar (but not as intricately patterned):

The book also has well photographed examples of fine lacemaking as well as crochet bags, camisoles, and other items.  The book is eye candy for anyone who loves crochet and other crafts.


ISBN 9780789210470

2009,  Abbeville Press

Huge oversized hardback book with 578 pages and 3500 color photographs!

List price $65.oo

Wanna’ buy this for my birthday??

By jd wolfe


4 Comments so far

  1. DuhBe on March 11, 2010 9:06 am

    What an incredible find! I’m going to hunt that down, I’ve never seen it at my library. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Zoe on May 15, 2010 11:22 am

    Great review that adds to the history of crochet. I’m going to find copy of it through my city’s library.

  3. jalini on September 20, 2010 7:59 am

    bags with indian tradition

  4. crochet in India on June 25, 2013 12:41 am

    i also have some hand made products made by helpless women (supported by NGO – here you will get large range of crochet in india at reasonable price.

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