If you love beautiful hand-made shawls and scarves in stunning colours, there is no better place in all of India to find them than Jodhpur in Rajasthan. The city market is packed with stalls selling shawls, throws and blankets, but it’s also full of hustlers and salesmen assuring every tourist that their products are the finest on offer.
But thanks to a tip-off from a London designer, I discovered that the place where the insiders go, both local and international, is Jain Textiles at the Maharani Art Exporter Showroom just around the corner from the clock tower on Cycle Market Road. The manager, Mukesh Jain, and his tirelessly helpful staff supply all manner of western businesses, including Kenzo, Armani and Paul Smith, and, with no London overheads to consider, buying directly from their shop offers fantastic value.
Many months’ worth of craftsmanship goes into the pashminas made from cashmere, alpaca and vicuna; there are also patchwork quilts and bedspreads in gorgeous shades of red, yellow, green and that special indigo blue that is the dominant colouring in western Rajasthan. Earlier this year while we were on a trip to India my wife tried out nearly 20 different hand-embroidered shawls, all patiently arrayed by Mr Jain on the shop floor. She eventually settled on two striking designs for around £60 each (pictured), and we left the premises with both sides happy that they had secured a bargain.
Prices from around £10-£150.