Jamdani fabric is a fine woven fabric in cotton crafted by supplementary weft technique of weaving. Historically referred to as Muslin, the jamdani textile is one of the most unique crafts for which Anuprerna is working along with around 100+ Jamdani weavers scattered across four villages in the Bengal region. With a work relation of up to 30+ years, Anuprerna has been producing ethical, sustainable and beautiful handwoven textiles using indigenous weaves and techniques of Bengal.
During the regime (1605-1627) of Mughal emperor Jahangir, the plain Jamdani muslin was decorated with numerous floral designs. The emperor was seen wearing a Jamdani swatch around his waist on many occasions.
Jamdani fabric finds fleeting mentions in pieces of literature as ancient as Arthashastra (3rd cent. BC) and also occupies space in accounts of travellers & traders from China, Arabia and Italy who noted its unparalleled finesse.
For years, Jamdani was limited to traditional ethnic wear only. However, today, this exquisite craft has evolved to incorporate modern silhouettes as well. You can read about it here.
The jamdani weave is a supplementary weft technique of weaving, where the artistic motifs are produced by a non-structural weft, in addition to the standard weft that holds the warp threads together.
The standard weft creates a fine, sheer fabric while the supplementary weft with thicker threads adds intricate patterns to it. Each one of the motif designs is handwoven into the muslin using a single continuous extra weft yarn.
The result is a complex mix of different patterns that appear to float on the surface of the Jamdani fabric. The pattern is not sketched or outlined on the fabric but is drawn on graph paper and placed underneath the warp. Often a mixture of cotton and gold thread was used. Usually the Jamdani motifs are geometric in its silhouette
1 Week: Loom Setting
1 Week: Weaving
1 Week: Washing & Finishing of the Jamdani cloth
Traditionally, the use of Jamdani was limited to mainly sarees and was therefore was always woven into a fine muslin fabric.
However, with modernisation, the craft has evolved and been adapted to modern silhouettes. Today Jamdani come in higher gsm which allows wider application to western styles.
Jamdani is a time and labour intensive craft.