Himroo - DOT-Maharashtra Tourism
Districts / Region
Himroo Shawls manufactured in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra state are famous for their unique texture and quality.
The word Himroo is derived from the Persian word Hum-roo, and it means a copy or an imitation. It has copied a few techniques from other knitting styles that may be the reason for its name. Himroo is a replica of Kum-Khwab, woven with golden and silver threads of ancient times and was specially made for the royal families. In the Zari work on the silk, gold or a silver thread is used. Himroo too uses the same but of a bit inferior quality. The style also uses cotton or a woollen thread besides a silk thread in the knitting.
Floral designs in bright attractive colours, very low prices, and the softness of woollen-ware are important features of these shawls. Muhammad-Bin-Tughlaq, while shifting his capital from Delhi to Devgiri, brought along with him skilled weavers from Banaras and Ahmedabad, who were experts in Zari work. The current form of Himroo work is the gift of these weavers.
The beautiful floral patterns on a dark background are the high points of Himroo designs. The patterns, the lines, the colours and the overall designs testimony to this famous art of weaving. A fully woven, one square meter cloth weighs approximately 100-150 grams. A square inch of woven pattern has around 280 thread count. We can note the varied designs of the Ajanta, Elloracaves as the reference of the pattern for design with which they still make the distinct pattern. Himroo can be seen with an extra weft figure fabric with cotton and silk. It is comfortable for use in the form of stoles, shawls and furnishing materials. Most of the designs are found among these are ovals, diamonds, circles, octagons, hexagons of geometrical shapes. We can even notice the designs of fruits like almonds, pineapple, pomegranate and designs of flowers like jasmine, rose, lotus, birds, animals and designs of flowering creepers.
Today most Himroo shawls and sarees are mass-produced by the power looms, only a few use their traditional looms, but the finished products lack the grace and finesse of the handmade ones. As the older breed of weavers is no more and the younger generation moved away to better-paying jobs, the days look bleak to this art. It is said that while around 5000 weavers were active in Aurangabad in the 1950s only two remained by 2018. A mammoth effort is needed from the official desks as well as the NGOs for the survival of this beautiful art form.