Jasleen Dhamija

Jasleen Dhamija (born 1933 [1]) is a veteran Indian textile art historian, crafts expert and former UN worker.[2] Based in Delhi, she is best known for her pioneering research on the handloom and handicraft industry, especially history of textiles and costumes.[3][4] She has remained professor of living cultural traditions at the University of Minnesota.[5] Over the years, during her career as a textile revivalist and scholar, she has authored several books on textiles, including Sacred Textiles of India (2014).[3][6]

Early life and backgroundEdit

Dhamija grew up in Abbotabad, in the North Western Frontier Province, before her family migrated to Delhi in 1940, where they lived in Khyber Pass locality of Civil Lines, Delhi, and graduated from Miranda House, University of Delhi.[1][7]


She started her career in 1954, with culture and craft revivalist Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay in the Government of India, and started working on craft revival, community development and women's employment.[8][9] In the 1960s, she worked with the Handicrafts Board of India, next she started working with artisans directly in rural area, this in time lead to her work with the UN developing self-help programmes for women in war-torn Balkan countries.[2]

Over the years, she has curated several textile and crafts exhibitions.[9] Besides several books, on crafts and textile, she has also written two cookbooks, including Joy of Vegetarian Cooking (2000). In 2007, she published a biography of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay and her role in the revival of the arts and crafts in modern India.[10]

She has remained faculty at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, where she taught History of Indian Textiles and costumes.[4]



  1. ^ a b "India in the 1940s: The way we were". Hindustan Times. 10 August 2013. Archived from the original on 11 August 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Labonita Ghosh (29 October 2001). "Jasleen Dhamija looks beyond embroidery at the people responsible for it". India Today. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  3. ^ a b Sangeeta Barooah Pisharoty (23 July 2014). "Drapes and divinity - The Hindu". Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Jasleen Dhamija" (PDF). Sutra Textile Studies. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  5. ^ Damayanti Datta (16 January 2009). "The interpretation of yarns". India Today. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  6. ^ Dhara Vora (1 September 2014). "Weaving holy traditions". MiD DAY. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  7. ^ "Of people and places: Jasleen Dhamija". Indian-seminar. 2002. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  8. ^ Janani Sampath (3 November 2012). "South has preserved crafts successfully so far". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Dhamija, Jasleen". craftrevival.org. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Paperback Pickings". The Telegraph - Calcutta. 16 March 2007. Retrieved 9 October 2014.