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Today, the best jamawar is woven in Pakistan. This fabric is widely used in that country for bridal and special occasion outfits.
The texture and weave of patterns is such that the fabric often gets caught when rubbed against rough surfaces metallic embroidery, jewellery etc. Origin[ edit ] Traders introduced this Chinese silk cloth to India, mainly from Samarkand and Bukhara and it gained immense popularity among the royalty and the aristocracy.
King and nobles bought the woven fabric by the yard, wearing it as a gown or using it as a wrap or shawl. Jamawar weaving centres in India developed in the holy cities and the trade centres. Due to its rich and fine raw materials, the rich and powerful merchants used jamawar and noblemen of the time, who could not only afford it but could even commission the weavers to make the fabric for them, as in the case of the Mughals.
Emperor Akbar was one of its greatest patrons. He brought many weavers from East Turkestan to Kashmir. One of the main reasons for the diversity in the designs of the jamawar cloth was the migratory nature of its weavers. Ideas from almost all parts of the world influenced these designs.
The Indian motifs were greatly influenced by nature like the sun, moon, stars, rivers, trees, flowers, birds etc. The figural and geometrical motifs such as trees, lotus flower, bulls, horses, lions, elephants, peacocks, swans, eagles, the sun, stars, diagonal or zigzag lines, squares, round shapes, etc. Indian weaver predominantly used a wide variety of classical motifs such as the swan hamsathe lotus kamalathe tree of life kulpa, vrikshathe vase of plenty purna, kumbhathe elephant hathithe lion simhaflowing floral creepers lata patrapeacocks mayur and many more.
Mythical creatures such as winged lions, centaurs, griffins, decorative of ferocious animals, animals formally in profile or with turned heads, animals with human figures in combat or represented in roundels were also commonly used motifs.
These motifs have remained in existence for more than two thousand years. However, new patterns have consistently been introduced; sometimes some of these are even an amalgamation of the existing patterns.
Silk in the Indian subcontinent - Wikipedia
Such attempts at evolving new designs were particularly noticeable from the 10th century onwards, when patterns were altered to meet the specific demands of the Muslim rulers. The bull or the swan, arranged between vertical and diagonal stripes can still be found in the silk jamawar saris of India.Party Wear/festival Function Wear Pure Crepe Silk Sarees -- traditional wear/crepe sarees
Patterns with small flowers and two-coloured squares chess board design are seen, used both as a garment and as furnishing material — bed spreads with same kind of pattern are still woven in some parts of Gujarat. Jamawar dating back to the Mughal era however contained big, bold and realistic patterns, which were rather simple with ample space between the motifs.
The designs stood out prominently against the background of the cloth. Complex patterns were developed only when additional decorative elements were included in the basic pattern. During later periods, the gap between the motifs was also filled with smaller motifs or geometrical forms.
The iris and narcissus flowers became the most celebrated motifs of this era and were combined with tulips, poppies, primulas, roses and lilies. A lot of figurative motifs were also used in the Mughal era such as deer, horses, butterflies, peacocks and insects. The Mughal kings played a vital role in the enhancement of jamawar by putting their inspirations into the cloth's designing and visiting the weavers on a regular basis to supervise its making.
Shining, decorative pallus were jals were the main designs of this time. The borders were usually woven with silk and zari. After the Mughal period, the figurative motifs were discouraged by the Muslims and more floral and paisleys were introduced. However, inspiration was taken from these figurative motives and put into designs as in the case of using only the peacock feathers instead of the complete figure. Another big change was brought about inwhere the source of inspiration was the Chinese Shanghai cloth.
The patterns of the Chinese Shanghai were amended in accordance to the weave construction of the jamawar cloth and introduced in the cloth. This proved to be a very successful change and is still appreciated by many.
In recent years, the Indian government has attempted a modest revival of this art by setting up a shawl-weaving centre at Kanihama in Kashmir.
Efforts to revive this art have also been made by bringing in innovations like the creation of jamawar saris by craftsmen in Varanasi. Each sari is a shimmering tapestry of intricate design, in colours that range from the traditionally deep, rich shades to delicate pastels. A minimum of four months of patient effort goes into the creation of each jamawar sari. Many of the jamawar saris now have matching silk shawls attached to them, creating elegant ensembles fit for royalty.
Weaving of jamawar in Pakistan[ edit ] Pakistan makes its own yarn from the imported cocoons that come from China. The yarn is cultivated in areas like Orangi and Shershah in Karachi which is then sold to the weavers. The pure silk yarn, before it can be used, has to undergo treatment such as bleaching or washing in soap and then dyeing.
In its raw state, the silk is hard due to the sericlan; therefore it has to be removed. A single filament of the silk yarn is not strong enough to be woven on its own; therefore, it needs to be twisted in order to give it strength and hold.
A specific person who is called a naqsha-bandh first draws the patterns or designs on paper which are then transferred on a graph paper on a comparatively much bigger scale. Every square in the graph signifies a specific number of threads on the loom. The unfinished, rough ideas and sketches are provided to these naqsha-bandhs by the wholesalers and are thus plotted on the graph. The use of various threads in the pattern such as zari, resham, polyester, etc.
The wholesalers later decide the main colours and this information are forwarded to the weavers. The naqsha-bandhs do not have say in the designing of the motifs and patterns. They do what they are told to do. The designs and patterns are then transferred from the graph paper on a wooden frame and are referred to as the naqsha. The naqsha that is made with cotton threads is a smaller sample of the actual design, which is to be woven on the loom.
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The warp is then taken for the weaving process, which is carried out, on various looms such as the pit loom, jacquard loom and power loom. There is a vast difference between the outputs of the three types of looms. The power looms cannot match the intricacy that can be achieved using the pit or jacquard loom. This is the reason for the far superior workmanship that can be found in the earlier designs dating back to the Mughal era.
Significant regions of silk[ edit ] Main article: Assam silk Assam silk denotes the three major types of indigenous wild silks produced in Assam—golden muga, white pat and warm eri silk. The Assam silk industry, now centred in Sualkuchiis a labour-intensive industry.
In Karnataka, silk is mainly grown in the Mysore district. In the second half of the 20th century, it revived and the Mysore State became the top multivoltine silk producer in India.
From the past Kanchipuram silk sarees stand out from others due to its intricate weaving patterns and the quality of the silk itself. Kanchipuram silk sarees are large and heavy owing to the zari work on the saree. Kanchipuram attracts large number of people, both from India and abroad, who come specifically to buy the silk sarees.
Most of the sarees are still hand woven by workers in the weaving unit. More than families still indulge in silk weaving.
Silk in the Indian subcontinent
The two popular styles of the Bengali saree are the self-colored style and half-n-half style, with the former bearing the weaving and fabric in the same color and the latter having them in contrasting colors. The quality and richness of the silk is something the industry has inherited from the rich cultural history of Mysore.
Elegant yet extravagant colors like coffee-brown and elephant-grey have been added in the range of Mysore silk sarees, along with the usage of kasuti embroidery and thickly woven pallus.
Known for its durability and grandeur and distinguished by broad contrast of borders, it can be easily identified by the different color and design of the borders and the body thus making it grand, elegant and best saree. The design and weaving of the saree is decided if the pallu has to be worn in a different shade.
If that is the case, then the pallu is woven separately and then joined with the saree meticulously and with great care. Kanchipuram sarees to be worn on special occasions are characterized by being woven with heavy silk and gold cloth. Chanderi Saree chanderi silk Patronized by royalty, and known to have its origin back in the Vedic period, the Chanderi fabrics are a magnificent piece of art born out of finely textured silk and cotton embellished with zari woven work.
Their texture and glossy transparency gives makes them appear to be in a different dimension than that of other class of sarees. Although this type of saree is a more recent product, they have been much popular over the past half century. The buttis are hand woven on the handloom, and the thread used is a high grade variant, which never comes loose.