Risha Textile of Tripura

Textiles, Weaving, Spinning, Khadi

Risha Textile of Tripura

Risha Textile is a beautiful handwoven cloth that is an integral part of the traditional attire of Tripura, a state located in northeastern India. It is primarily used as a female upper garment, and its vibrant colors and intricate designs make it an eye-catching piece of clothing.

The Risha textile is made from natural fibers such as cotton, silk. The yarn is first spun on a traditional spinning wheel, then dyed using natural dyes extracted from plants and trees. The weaver then sets up the loom and begins weaving the fabric, using different techniques and patterns to create the desired design.

The Risha textile is often worn in combination with two other traditional garments – the Rignai and the Rituku. The Rignai is worn as the lower garment, while the Rituku is used as a wrap or drape, similar to a ‘chunri’ or ‘dupatta’ in the salwar suit or a pallu/end piece in the sari. While the Risha mostly covers the bodice, the Rituku drapes the entire upper part of the body. The Risha is also used as headgear by men.

Risha, Rignai, and Rituku are all unstitched pieces of cloth that are shaped by the drape. The patterning and colors of these garments differ depending on the clan or tribe wearing them. The designs range from the shape of stars to intricate florals, with a preference for bright shades of red and yellow. The Reang tribe of Tripura has also adopted a black and white color palette. For royalty, the detailing was more elaborate, with Rignai and Risha woven in silk and often featuring metallic zari yarn using silver threads. Some of these garments were even woven by the queens themselves.

Weaving of Risha textiles is done using a loin loom, which is a portable loom that offers unlimited scope for designs. The weaver sits with the loom fixing the back strap, with her legs on the footrest, which is adjustable for keeping the loom stretched. The weaving in the loin loom requires the shedding motion, the picking motion, and the beating motion. The weft is passed from the right side with the right hand by means of the shuttle (a bamboo piece ship containing yarn) and picked with the left hand. The weft is then beaten up by the sword. The sword is then taken out, and the center shed is produced through which the shuttle is passed by the left hand and picked up by the right hand. The sword is then again placed to beat the weft.





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