Jamdani, the traditional weaving art of Bengal and Bangladesh

Weavers go to great lengths to make each piece stand out with rich detailing

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Labourers hang coloured yarn to dry in Santipur, about 120 kilometres north of Kolkata, India. Many of the skilled weavers from this small town in West Bengal’s Nadia district are from weaver families that arrived from Bangladesh during the partition years. Jamdani, the traditional weaving art practised here, was declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2013. Weavers here say that despite the approach of Durga Puja festival, the biggest festival of the region, there have been minimal orders because of the pandemic and this has affected the economy of the village.Image Credit: AP
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Labourers hang coloured yarn to dry in Santipur. Jamdani is one of the oldest weaving traditions of India, which dates back to almost 2000 years old. They are also known as Dhakai Jamdani, for their original place of origin was Dhaka in Bangladesh.Image Credit: AP
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A labourer carries out coloured yarn to dry in the sun in Santipur.Image Credit: AP
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Members of a weaver’s family wring saris hanging from a tree as part of the finishing process in Santipur. Artisans are continually experimenting with creating jamdanis using attractive contrasting colors. Image Credit: AP
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A labourer arranges coloured yarn.Image Credit: AP
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A weaver makes a design on a Jamdani sari. The art of weaving is exactly that — an art. It requires skill, precision and rhythm, which when repeated over and over, produces a delicate weave.Image Credit: AP
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Broken yarn of different colors hang by a processing machine for starching saris at a weaver’s house. Producing one such saree covered in rich motifs and vibrant patterns is a time-consuming process that takes a month to one year to finish.Image Credit: AP
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Bidhan Mondal, 42, weaves a Jamdani sari on his handloom in Santipur. Jamdani is touted as the most advanced hand-weaving technique in the world. Each motif has to be inlaid into the fabric by adding denser threads to fine warp threads, and this process is so time-intensive that on a usual day, an artisan can weave only between a quarter and one inch of fabric.Image Credit: AP
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Labourers work on drying handloom saris in a field in Santipur.Image Credit: AP
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A woman weaves a sari on a traditional handloom machine. Jamdani weaving is like tapestry work where small shuttles of coloured, gold or silver threads pass through the weft.Image Credit: AP
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Bidhan Mondal, 42, right, watches his wife Champa Mondal display a design sheet for handwoven Jamdani sari beside a handloom at their home in Santipur.Image Credit: AP
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A village woman helps process a hand woven sari. The Jamdani sari is a symbol of identity, dignity and self-recognition and provides wearers with a sense of cultural identity and social cohesion.Image Credit: AP


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