India has a diverse and prosperous textile tradition. The foundation of Indian textiles can be traced to the Indus Valley civilization. The people used homespun cotton for weaving their garments. Rigveda, the earliest of the Veda contains the literary information about textiles and it refers to weaving. Ramayana and Mahabharata, the eminent Indian epics depict the existence of wide variety of fabrics in ancient India. These epics refer both to rich and stylized garment worn by the aristocrats and ordinary simple clothes worn by the common people. Indian silk was popular in Rome in the early centuries of the Christian era. Cotton textile belonging to Gujarat has been found in the Egyptian tombs at Fostat, belonging to 5the century AD. India has a wide range of textiles manufactured by many techniques when compared to other countries in the world. The styles are different in different regions. The diverse geography of India as well as the various cultures introduced from the outside has influenced the growth of a number of textile weaves. The contemporary Indian textile not only reflects the splendid past but also cater to the requirements of the modern times. The rich tradition of textile in India has been favored by a number of factors like easy availability of abundant raw materials like cotton, wool, silk and jute, Widely prevalent social customs, distinct geographic and climatic conditions etc.
Each and every region of India contributes in creating a myriad of textile tradition. The hilly region of the country produces a rich variety of woolen textiles. The pashmina and shahtoosh shawls of Kashmir, shawls and woolen garments of Himachal Pradesh and other north eastern states provides excellent examples of world famous woolen Indian textiles. The barren and semi barren regions like Rajasthan and Gujarat usually prefers embroidered bright colored textiles. The coastal areas of the south eastern regions prefer light colored fabrics and particularly cotton and silk textiles are very popular over here. The home furnishing utilitarian textile products like bedspreads and sheets, pillows and cushions, linens and mats, curtains and napkins, carpets and rugs and many such other items are produced by all parts of the country.