Tana Bana exhibit features clothing from India


Cindy Gould, ISU Associate Professor, shares a laugh with Kailashben and other students participating in an embroidery training program in Savarkundla, Gujarat, India.

Kiana Roppe

Iowa State’s Textiles and Clothing Museum in Morrill

Hall is featuring a new exhibit this fall called “Tana Bana” to

display a wide array of textiles from India.

Sonali Diddi, Suzanne LeSar and Sunsett Reynolds are

the co-curators for the exhibit. They worked with Collections

Manager Janet Fitzpatrick to choose all of the garments displayed,

research the history of India with the help of associate professor

Cindy Gould and put together all of the displays.

“The exhibit is not just about textiles and clothing

but an experience of a different culture all together,” Diddi


The name, tana bana, means “warp and weft” in the

Hindi language. As fabrics are weaved together, the yarn running

lengthwise through the fabric is called warp, and the yarn running

crosswise is called weft.

The exhibit displays a variety of styles and

techniques from the culture of India.

“We wanted to have traditional artifacts from

different regions of India and also show how contemporary fashion

is inspired by traditional forms,” LeSar said.

Such intricate clothing of this sort is actually not

made in a factory. The people of India take the time to design,

dye, embroider and adorn each garment within their community.

Tiny hand tie-dying called bandhani, intricate

embroidery from Northern India and traditional women’s bridal

attire are all shown as part of the exhibit.

When most Americans picture a woman from India, they

usually picture her wearing a sari. What most people do not know is

that saris can be worn in a variety of ways. The co-curators draped

saris on the mannequins to portray the various ways that a sari is


The exhibit will be shown on weekdays through Dec. 9

at Morrill Hall. In each section of the exhibit, the co-curators

worked to display a variety of colors, technique, style and region

of India to give viewers a broader understanding of the culture.

Everyone is welcome to explore the museum.

“Anything we can do to expand our awareness of other

cultures enriches our own appreciation and helps us examine our own

environment,” Gould said.