Some quotes from 'Textiles and Dress of Gujarat (ISBN: 9781935677123)" and the ideas they've given me.
pg 64 - "For Hindus, silk is the purest of fibres and is worn by Brahmins and officiating prists and is extensively used for saris. It is, however, proscribed for Muslim men in the Quran... some circumvented the proscription via the development of mashru satin which has a silk warp and cotton weft... Sufis, the influential mystics of Islam, much venerated in Gujarat, were identified by their use of wool; their name derives from suf, the Arabic for wool."
I think I'll use silk for this project as I have the wonderful Elizabet Hunter living close by who can advise me on the techniques and use of silk paints.
pg 77 - "Although veilcoths appear to be in the category of unstitched clothing, many in common use are actually stitched. The looms on which handwoven veilcoths are made do not produce a stable fabric if the eft is wider than about eighteen inches. In order to produce a garment that gives sufficient cover in terms of utility and modesty, two matching lengths are woven and then stitched together. Since these joins and seams are perceived as vulnerable to pollution, many groups reinforce them with embroidery featuring auspicious motifs and colours in order to deflect malign influences."
Sari project thoughts - multiple things have delayed my sari project. One has been selection of appropriate design elements. The other is the use and justification of silk paints. I could make the silk painting a lot easier if I could subdivide the length of silk as I wouldn't need a 5m long frame to ensure the dye doesn't dry prematurely. If I use clear gutta to sub divide, then embroider over the top I can include the decorative elements and disguise my not-so-period methodology. I may start with an embroidered veil piece first. Something smaller to practice on.
pg 79 - Figure 2.60. Woven in two pieces, Rabari women embroider the centre seam and end borders with auspicious motifs which they believe deflect malign influences. Protection is amplified by the use of fragrant spices packing into embroidered discs (tigudi) at intervals along the seam.
pg 157 - "Greek ambassador to the Mauryan court in the late fourth century, reported the Indian love of finery, describing court dress as 'worked in gold and ornamented with precious stones'.
Perhaps I can use gold thread and make some little pockets in the embroidery for packets of scent on the veil.