The Art of Weaving a Jamdani Saree
In today’s new era, people not only have a variety of options to choose from but also have the liberty to choose whatever they want. In this case, we will be giving a look at wearable or what we call simply as clothes. Women, regardless of their origin have always given their clothing and styling pristine importance over other material wealth. Especially, women in India have always preferred so. They use a variety of clothes, the most popular of which is what you called a saree. As per Hindu mythology, a saree represents a women’s respect and the culture the country possesses.
Out of all sarees available in the country, the “Dhakai Jamdani” or simply the “Jamdani” is often regarded as the mystic wonder of the country as far as sarees are concerned. Considered to be the most pristine variety of muslin that is handcrafted, the Jamdani saree is famous all around the globe for its unique design and shiny texture.
Let us know about the origins of this wonder and its presence in the country.
The history and origins of the Jamdani art
The art is popularly known as “Dhakai Jamdani”. As the name suggests, this unique art of hand-weaving has its origin in the city of Dhaka in Bangladesh. The name “Jamdani” has its roots embedded in Persia and is of Persian origin.
Though the art enjoyed eminent presence right from its inception, it flourished during the golden days of the Mughal Empire. Since then, the Jamdani is often considered to be one of the most versatile and unique handloom techniques to ever exist and is currently its production is only restricted to certain parts of West Bengal.
The earliest instance, where this art was presented dates back to early as third century BC, where “The wisest” Chanakya had mentioned it in his epic “Arthashastra”. The master of knowledge explained it as some fine cloth from a certain “Bengal” region.
Other notable mentions include The Arabian stories and the scripts of ancient Italian travellers and sea traders. Considered to be one of the most influential and prized forms of handloom art in the world, the same is quite evident by its time taking cumbersome procedure.
The unique weaving process of the Jamdani saree
After learning about the history and origins of this wonder, now let’s know what all is involved to weave a Jamdani saree.
Although the textile is completely handcrafted, unlike other similar forms, its weaving process is quite unique and is only seen in this art form. The creation of this art includes both the conventional standard weft and the unique supplementary weft processes used simultaneously.
With the standard weft, the base material is made up of unbleached cotton on which thicker strands are used to create the patent crest and trough design. After that, each of the supplementary wefts is manually intercepted and introduced by using bamboo sticks to create the lively and vibrant patterns on the shining surface, converting a simple cotton yarn to an astonishing piece of Jamdani cloth.
Originally, the Jamdani art used to sizzle in a variety of contrasting bright colours, where they were dyed with naturally prepared colours after the weaving process was over. Out of all colours, the bright “Red” colour became the most iconic piece of the Jamdani art and its representation became the face of the art.
What are the different varieties of Jamdani art available?
This staggering form of art is not restricted to sarees and is also used to prepare other textile materials such as handkerchiefs, scarves to name a few.
The varieties of designs that appear on any Jamdani art are the “butidar” and the “jhalar”. In the former, the whole base material is covered with spectacular floral patterns. While in the later design, a constructed network of floral design appears in different patterns.
Every region where it has its presence, offers a mutated variety of art, each of which is unique in its own terms. The most notable of them include The Dhakai Jamdani from Dhaka and the Shantipur Jamdani from West Bengal’s Shantipur region.
The challenges the Jamdani art is facing today
Despite its immense popularity around the globe, this wonderful art form is at the risk of getting lost in the oblivion just like many other ancient art styles. Today, due to increased material costs and the introduction of less expensive wearable in the market, Jamdani art is seeing a decline in its sales. Due to this, the weavers are not able to get a livelihood and to survive, are forcefully giving up the art. However, several attempts are made in order to revive the wonder to its peak which includes introducing it in today’s modern society and creating awareness about its spell bounding essence. All this certainly can help the now struggling art form regain its lost pace and glory and reach the top of the mountain again.
It can be rightfully inferred that Jamdani art is the true reflection of the cultural identity and heritage that India possesses.
Jamdani sarees are as light as feather and are a blend of Mughal patronage with the ancient Hindu traditions. Jamdani is one of the finest and ancient forms of weaving. These sarees are made up of the finest fabric and have intricate designs. The Vama is the best online store to buy Jamdani sarees. With a variety of range to choose from, we at The Vama offer Jamdani sarees online at an affordable price. We currently provide shipping in India and The United States