Today marks the launch of National Geographic Traveler's newest Web column, "The Genuine Article," written by Laura Morelli, an art historian with a passion for the world's artisanal traditions. Her first piece offers tips on purchasing the delicate saris, skirts, and other fabric items mentioned in our October story, "My Big Fat Indian Wedding." In it, she writes:
Indian textiles count among the richest craft legacies on Earth, encompassing literally thousands of local styles and techniques. Textiles from Rajasthan represent an entire tradition with many sub-specialties, from wood-block prints to tie-dyed cottons and a litany of embroidery techniques long enough to fill a glossary of their own. Through the centuries these rich regional fabrics have constituted a valuable part of women's wedding trousseaus and dowries, identified social status and class, and—through elaborate color symbolism—even conveyed details about the wearer like her hometown and if she is the mother of a boy.
Photo: Palani Mohan/Getty Images