Over the past three weeks, I’ve learnt a lot about the different kinds of weaves from India. It has been an interesting journey for me and I hope it has been equally interesting for you. Each and every part of India has a different weaving tradition. In Bengal we have fine cottons like Tangail, Baluchari and Jamdani. From the Eastern states we have Mung Silk, Bomkai and Sambalpuri Ikkat. Kanjeevaram, Dharmavaram, Gadwal, Narayanpeth from the South . Riotous colours in Ikkat weaves from Gujarat.
Our textiles are tied and dyed, woven with gold thread , printed and embroidered. We have an ancient tradition that can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilisation.
Warp and Weft
But did you know the basics of weaving?
- Weaving is done on a loom or frame
- Weaving refers to process by which the horizontal thread is passed through the fixed vertical threads.
- The thread along the length of the fabric is called the Warp
- The thread that is passed through the Warp along the breadth of the fabric is called the Weft.
- The texture of the fabric depends on the Yarn or fibre used to make the cloth
- Patterns of the are woven along the weft with coloured or pre-dyed yarn according to a template.
- Blended textiles are made of a different yarn for the warp and a different yarn for the weft
- Weaving done by hand is known as Handloom
- Cloth is also woven by machines and is known as Powerloom textiles
- The fibre that makes up the yarn determines the kind of textile. E.g. Cotton textiles are made of cotton.
- Natural fibres like cotton, silk, linen, jute, hemp, cashmere and wool are spun into Yarn which is then used for weaving
- Of late bamboo and even wood pulp ( viscose ) and wool are spun into Yarn which is then used for weaving.
- Synthetic fibres used in weaving are chemically made like nylon, polyester, acrylic, nylon, rayon, acetate, spandex, latex, Orlon and Kevlarute.
We weave cloth out of yarn that is spun from fibres and make textiles for use in every day life.
In the words of the modern day American poet Vachel Lindsay
[Tweet “Life is a loom, weaving illusion.”]
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