THE FINE PRINT
Travel+Leisure India|July 2021
In Jaipur, intricate textile techniques have been passed down through families for centuries. DEBORAH NEEDLEMAN meets the modern-day artisans ensuring that the traditions remain in good hands.
DEBORAH NEEDLEMAN

IN THE PAST FEW YEARS, my passion for craft has transformed how I travel. Without calling attention to itself in the way of art or architecture, craft quietly sits at the nexus of everything unique to a place: its landscape, notions of beauty and ritual, its history, its sufferings, and its hope. While craft is born of necessity—the making of the things we need to survive —almost every culture has also devised ways to make these things beautiful and delightful. Craft, I believe, is an expression of our common humanity, and yet it manifests in exquisitely varied and ingenious ways.

Few places are as rich in this heritage as the city of Jaipur. In the 18th century, its ruler Sawai Jai Singh II brought artisans from all over the subcontinent to adorn his court. Despite myriad setbacks over the past 300 years, Jaipur forged a legacy as a center of crafts, from massive geometric rugs to delicate brass statuettes.

So when David Prior, a friend, and journalist turned travel planner, asked me to host an intimate, 10-day craft-based tour for his club, Prior (membership from 1,82,690; prior. club), I immediately chose India, with Jaipur as our starting point. Since I am crazy for Indian fabrics—from fine silk saris to sturdy cotton lehengas—we focussed our 72 hours in Jaipur on textiles.

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