Indian textile designs are historically inspired by nature and have been used for thousands of years. These intricate and lush designs blend well with the simplicity and colors of contemporary home and garden furnishings. If you wish to add a unique, complementary design component to your home and garden, look for the following historic motifs, colors, and designs of authentic Indian textiles:
People, Animals, and Wildlife Designs – The stylized forms of humans, elephants, cranes, peacocks, horses, tigers, antelopes, and other living creatures are often incorporated into Indian textile designs. These creature designs are used to depict historical scenes of traveling, hunting, and socializing. Images of flocks of migrating birds are also employed along with the intricate feather designs of different bird species. The designs and colorings of these and other animals are heavily incorporated in Indian textiles, especially those that are regarded as spirit animals and totems.
Architectural Designs – Many Indian textile designs reference the temples and classic architecture of ancient India. The shapes of traditional architectural arches, domes, and vaults are often repeated in circular designs that mimic flowers or starburst patterns. These central architectural themes are embellished with repeated patterns of dots, lines, triangles, stars, and flowers, in combination with other designs from nature and Indian calligraphy.
Paisley Designs – Twisted paisley droplet designs have a long tradition in Indian textiles. These stylized leaf shapes are ornately embellished on the inside and outside with other natural and abstract shapes. Paisley designs are often filled with grapes, blossoms, trees, feathers, and repeated geometric shapes. Paisleys can be used alone or intertwined with other design elements in home and garden textiles.
Lotus Designs – The lotus flower is another reoccurring image in Indian textile designs. These water-based flowers can be simple or complex when used as design elements. The simple form depicts the lotus blossom as a bud before it blooms, while the complex form depicts the fully formed, outspread lotus flower as it floats on a stream or lake in nature.
Calligraphic Designs – The calligraphy of Indian language is also widely used in Indian textile designs. The thick and thin variations in Indian brush and pen calligraphy is often used as an abstract design component and a means of filling in or embellishing other natural design forms and elements.
Indian Textile Colors – For centuries, Indian textiles have been colored by plant roots, blossoms, and leaves grown in rich soils. These plants yield intense colors of madder red, indigo, ochre, and verdigris. Seashells and sea animals have also been pulverized and used to dye Indian textiles giving them another set of rich colors such as violet, teal, gold, acid green, and cerulean blue. Deep brown and black are created by mixing several different complementary natural dyes together and using them undiluted on textiles.
Look to India to incorporate rich, historical textile designs and colors with the contemporary furnishings and wall coverings in your home and garden. These textile designs will contrast well with current home and garden designs and add an ornate element for interest and variety.