The Calico Textile Museum
constructed in 1949 is located at Retreat Complex of Sarabhai Foundation
in the Shahibag Gardens. As the name suggests, the museum exhibits antique
and modern textiles which includes rare tapestries, wall hangings and
costumes, fabrics spun, woven, painted and printed in different parts
of India, fabrics with tie and dye, glinting mirror work, screen prints,
block prints and intricate embroidery, carpets and plump cushions that
once adorned palaces, there are also specialties like Kashmiri shawls,
Kullu embroidery, glittering silk brocades from Varanasi, folk art from
Punjab, Kachchhi silk and cotton mashru weavings. Also on display are
embroidered and decorated shamianas, sarees, Phulkaris from Punjab and
Kalamkaris from Andhra Pradesh. Besides, the museum also has a collection
of marble, sandstone and bronze icons and busts, bronze Pichhwais, Jain
art objects and Indian miniature paintings.
The museum conducts Summer Tours from April to September and Winter Tours from October to March.
The timings and number of visitors allowed are based on the discretion of museum authorities. There is a short introductory tour from 9am to 10am by prior appointment except on Wednesdays & Saturdays. Entry is restricted to a maximum of 50 visitors and minimum of 15 visitors. There is a Guided Museum Tour from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Entry is not allowed after 11.00am. In this session entry is restricted to 30 visitors - 15 visitors on the basis of first-come-first-served and 15 by group booking. Besides the above provisions there is provision for Guided study tour in the afternoon from 2.45pm to 4.45pm in the Winter tour Session. However, entry is not allowed after 3.15pm. Entry is restricted to 15 visitors on the basis of first-come-first-served. Children below 10 years of age are not included in study tours.
The museum authorities have formulated certain regulations for security
purpose. Handbags/baggage including cameras and cell phones are not allowed
inside the Museum and Galleries. The visitors may either leave their belongings
inside their own vehicles or they can avail the provision for depositing
their belongings at the gate. However the management does not take responsibility
for the contents of the bags. Visitors are not allowed to take photographs
and video without permission. The level of illumination in the galleries
has been kept low following the advice of conservation experts. The reason
for this is that, higher level of lighting can lead to deterioration in
colours and materials, and thus harm this national heritage. However,
it would be useful to know that after some time, one's eyes get adjusted
to seeing even in low levels of lighting.