Telia Rumal

Literally: “oiled squares or handkerchiefs”. The fabric is soaked in a mixture of oil and castor ash for a couple of weeks. Then the parts to be left in the base colour (usually white) are tied. The fabric is dipped in one colour in a natural dye. Then the process is repeated, as in all tie-dyed fabrics, till the pattern emerges. These are square ikat cloths used as headscarves by Muslim men. Woven in Andhra Pradesh. These were originally in cotton and were much prized in many African communities. The rumal pattern of squares was later adopted in the ikat silk sarees of Andhra Pradesh through the initiative of Kamala Chattopadhyay.4 Today the silk Telia Rumal ikat sarees from Andhra Pradesh are making a great comeback with the dramatic patterning in mainly black, red and white.