Colourful embroidered wall hangings depicting Krishna legends hang from the second floor right down to ground level. Cloth decorated with tie-dye, glinting mirror work, screen prints, block prints and intricate embroidery include exquisite pieces made for the British and Portuguese and exported to Bali, while from India's royal households there's an embroidered tent and the robes of Shah Jahan, along with elaborate carpets and plump cushions that once furnished Muslim palaces.
THE FABULOUS PATOLA
The collection also includes some of the best examples anywhere of the Patola saris woven in Patan as well as the extravagant Zari work that gilds saris in heavy gold stitching and can bring their weight to almost nine kilos.
The Jain section features statues housed in a replica Haveli Temple, along with centuries-old manuscripts and 'mandalas' painted on palm leaves; note the traditional symbols such as the snake and ladder motif representing rebirth and 'karma'.
Among exhibits from else where in India are Kashmiri shawls, Kullu embroidery, glittering silk brocades from Varanasi, folk art from the Punjab and masks and large wooden temple cars (processional vehicles) from Tamil Nadu. Tribal crafts such as Kachchhi silk and cotton 'mashru' weaving are displayed in spectacular wooden 'havelis' from Patna and Siddhpur in northern Gujarat. Clearly labelled models and diagrams explain the weaving, dyeing and embroidery processes.