INTRODUCTION Brocades weaving is an ancient textile art & craft that involves to sheets of threads or yarn called warp and weft of the loom and turning them into the cloths . This cloth can be plain or it can be woven in decorative & artistic design. It’s weaving, especially with gold and silver, has been an age-old tradition in India. There are two broad classes of brocades. (1) Brocades of pure silk or silk and cotton blends . (2) zari brocades with gold and silver threads.
HISTORY The earliest mentioned of the Banaras brocade and zari or zari textiles of Banaras is found in the nineteenth century. Historical evidence shows that the Banaras weaving industry reached its peak during the Mughal period, ronage of mighty Mughal emperors such as Akbar. In mughal period floral designs, and the ancient animal and bird motifs were mainly used. In the early period Kimkhab or Zari brocade can be read in the Vedas. The Veads mention them as “HIRANYA” or “gold cloth". It has always been a big textile center of silk weaving
European visitors to India in the Mughal period visited Banaras and recorded their impressions of the city's textile industry in their work. during the second half of the 17th century, recorded that gold and silver zari textiles from Banaras were exported all over the world, which were “of the best quality”. Silk brocades weaving started in banaras in the seventaanth century and developed in excellence during during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Kautilya’s “ Arthasastra" - written during the Mauryanperiod, Panini's Ashtadhayi, the Jain Acharanga Sutra and Valmiki'sRamayan make reference to the "Kauseya" or the present day Brocade.
MOTIF popular designs that included paisley floral patterns(like marigold, jasmine, etc), vegetable designs( like mangoes, etc), animal designs (like elephant, horses, deers, etc) and bird depictions (like parrots and peacock etc.). .
In good old days, various mythological designs occurred in Brocades. Tigers, lions, elephants, deers were also introduced but in large pieces. They were known as ‘tasvir’.
In the late 19th century, many new patterns and designs such as button-roses, flower baskets, bouquets with boa or ribbons, butterflies and pets were substituted for old motifs to suit the English taste and sensibility
Types of banaras brocade
Kimkhwab-Banaras has been the chief center of Brocades or ‘Kimkhwab’ that are woven with gold wires or threads. They are also known as "Kalabattu". kimkhab was too heavy for clothing as they were woven, of gold and silver threads, dense enough to allow visibility of the ground. They were, therefore, used as trappings, hangings and furnishing materials. Kimkhabs were made of materials known as ekpara, dopara, tinpara, chaupara and even chhapara. These grades were determined on the basis of the number of ‘kalabattu’ threads repeated in a given space. For example, the ‘ekpara’ represents 10 such ‘kalabattu’ threads in a running inch.
The thickness of textiles is due to the silk threads used in the ‘enamel’ work. Kimkhab are heavy fabrics of several layers of warp threads with an elaborate all over patter of extra weft which may be of silk, gold and silver theards the with of the fabrics is about 75 cm. (30 inches)
AMRU BROCADE Amru brocades is woven from silk and zari on silk to produce variegated designs, woven on the principle of extra weft. It can be very pretty with a pseudo-rich effect in general. It continued to be in popular demand on the account of its low price as compared to the pure silk brocades. Another point in its favor is that it can be woven very fine so as to give it a soft feel, thus making it more suitable as a fabric for personal wear than the true brocade.
The supplimentry weft pattering of these brocades is woven silks, not in zari threads .The thread may be either untwisted, or may be made of twisted yarns that produced a final, denser The cloth is distinguished by its intricate char-khana (four squares) jal. These are woven like kimkhwabs, but without the use of kala battu (zari) instead zari is used.
pattern. One distinctive type of Amru brocades is Tanchoi brocade. ends are woven into the foundation at the back, traditionally the face of the saree has a satin weave round of weft threads with small patterns made by the weft threads .This patterning is repeated over the entire surface.
This saree has know Floats on the reverse, the unused threads The supplementary-weft patterning of these brocades is woven in silk, not in zari thread. The threads may be either untwisted, giving a `thick` line to the woven design or they may be made of twisted yarns that produce a finer, denser
Abrawans Abrawans and Tissue sarees ; the noted Banaras sarees, are well admired in India because of the fabric and gorgeousness and style. The transparent materials of these sarees are usually woven with the finest silk threads. This has earned them the name `abrawan` which stands for `flowing water`. The most luxurious saree, known as `tarbana` meaning `woven water` or `tissue` sarees, have a fine silk warp with a zari weft. These give the sarees a metallic sheen and luster. Different coloured zari threads are woven into supplementary-weft patterns upon the sheer ground. The supplementary threadwork of many Banaras brocades is woven as floats across the back.... Banarasi brocade produced two sub-variants from its original structure namely:
COLOUR The ground or the base of these textiles were of deep, vibrant and brilliant shades like black, red or ultramarine. nari- generally black in colour Pink- Gulabi Orange-Narangi Dark green- Kahi Gray- Khaky Violet-Baijni Sky blue-Asmani Lemon-yellow- Nimbu Red or magenta-Lal
NAKSHA or JALA 1) TANABANA warp (geva) (2)weft (kheva)
2) Dharki-made of animals horn (buffalo, goat) 3) Funni-This is a wreed. 6) nayawa- it is used to wind the nari . 7) Mirror- it is used to see the reflection of the design from beneath (8) Mandha- It is a F-shaped instrument. (9) SUA- it is a L-shaped instrument.
7) Mirror- it is used to see the reflection of the design from beneath (8) Mandha- It is a F-shaped instrument. 9) SUA- it is a L-shaped instrument.
Raw matterial The most important material in brocade weaving is silk. It facilitates lovely weaves, is durable, strong, fine and smooth. There are several varieties of raw silk of which the chief ones used for brocades are Tanduri, Banaka and Mukta. Tanduri is imported from Malda and other places in Bengal. Banaka is thinner and finer variety and is mostly used to weave soft fabrics such as turbans and handkerchiefs. Mukta is a coarse and durable silk used for kimkhabs, as fine silk would not withstand heavy gold patterns.
NAKSHA IN BROCADE Banaras is the main center where the nakshabandha (designer) tradition prevails. The skill and imagination of nakshabandha plays a prominent part in making of designs. Designs are associated with legends and symbolism. The most popular motifs are drawn from nature.
The nakshas are first worked on paper. This part of the work is called likhai (writing). The nakshabandha then makes a little pattern of it in a framework of cotton threads like a graph. This pattern gives guidance to the working In Banaras, it is said that nakshabandha families were Making of nakshas (designs) forms an important part of brocade weaving Some of these craftsmen were also great poets-perhaps they wove their poetry into their designs. One such renowned poet was Ghias-I-Naqsband, mentioned in Abul Fazl's 'Ain-I-Akbari'.
PROCESS OF MAKING NAKSHA 1. Winding the naksha string on a parita The naksha string is strong and mutistranded usually made, locally. It is usually available in hanks and is known as “pindi”. The hank is openedout and separated for winding. This is done by placing it on what is called a swift”natai”. From the swift it is transferred onto a swiftof a different shape. This is called parita.
Warping the naksha string.
From the parita the strings are arranged side by side. The parita is placed on the floor and the naksha-maker pulls out the string, winding it diagonally on two sticks driven into the ground at a distance of 40 to 42 inches. If the design requires 400 threads (which is calculated depending upon the size of the design and the type of yarn used and the number of threads of yarn required per inch of the cloth) so much of threads is wound on these two sticks.
Brocade weaving, especially with gold and silver, has been an age-old tradition in India.The process of weaving silk brocades and the looms and equipment used, are not generally very different from those employed in weaving other fabrics. The pre-weaving process involves sizing and warping. the usual fabrics in single threads or ball sizing. The size (kalaf) Is generally of fine white flour (nishasta). However the bulbous root of Commelina nudiflora (dali-ka chiyan) is also used in some places. ,. The ground weft is ,as usual, wound on pirns for shuttle, and the extera weft on small bamboo spools called tilles ,etc. for pattern weaving. Where the extra weft is wound on pirns for shuttles. The shuttles are usually throw-shuttles.
The weaving process as explained NASEEM AHMED The loom used in weaving is a pit loom. The warp is not would on a beam ,but on a bar called bhajni. It is secured in the middle with a rope which is taken straight round a peg, or to another bhanji, and then round a peg at the extreme back end of the loom and carried to the front of the loom ,finally tied to a peg at the extreme back end of the loom and carried to the front of the loom, .the loom has the usual lease rods in the warp, sley with bamboo reed (hattha or kanghi) cloth beam, ,helds (baisars) and tradles (pansars). The cloth beam turns in a groove in pillars at each end.The beam has holes , through which pegs are let in,to fix the beam and keep it in position while weaving. The healds may be two or four in number of a plain weave, or there may be a larger number when when different weavers are adopted in the same cloth..
A brocade loom is a draw loom in which healds are substituted by pagia, (a set of horizontal harness) operated by naksha; pagia and healds both may be used , the former for pattern and the other for selvedge. The naksha is mounted on the loom tied to bamboo bars, hanging from the ceiling. It is important to understand the principle under lying the use of naksha in brocade weaving in banaras. Naksha is also called jala in some places. Handweaving , along with hand spinng is a popular craft . weavers used wooden looms to create rugs, fabrics and tapestries. Satin weavs ,twill weeavsa $ plain weavs are three basics types of weaving Weaving by which the majority woven products are formed
PROCESS OF MAKING PATTAS At first graph is made according to the design, then the plates or card are cut from cardboard with the help of an instrument called Saravata. Then the holes are cut with an instrument called Sumbi.
Weaving of silk saree ios done on jaquards loom the warp $ the weft are of pure silk. The set up of these looms were in pits. The design were specifically created on the back side of the fabric. These are produced ofor export purpose. It took 1 week to15 days to weave 1 saree (8 hours to tweleve hour in a day) The saree range s from rupees 7000 onwards
The jaquards looms is the mechanical looms that has holes punched in carboard, each row of which correspondes to one row of the design
WARP YARN ( GEVA )
Silk For Brocade Making Raw silk is specially treated for brocades. It is first twisted (called 'silk throwing') after which the threads undergo reeling and checking for uniformity and roundness. When the yarn has been processed, it is bleached and "degummed", as raw silk has a gum-like substance (sericin) in its composition. This has to be removed in order to bring out the sheen and softness and to enable penetration of the dye. The task has to be done with great care as the fibers can weaken or get damaged. The silk is boiled in soap water for a certain duration and then sent for dying.
Current Scenario Today brocades are still used by some for curtains and upholstery. Brocaded zari saris and lehengas (long skirts) are still in demand for marriages, religious ceremonies and other auspicious and social occasions. Indian brocades are also in great demand abroad and foreign designers are fashioning garments of this material that lends itself so well to the creation of fantasies. Looking back a hundred years, one is amazed to find that in spite of rapid industrialization, most of the age-old centers of handloom textiles still continue to produce beautifully woven fabrics. The main centers besides Banaras are Ahmedabad and Surat where saris of the finest silk, gauze and gold with lively color schemes are woven. Murshidabad in Bengal was a reputed center for kimkhab during the 19th century. Paithan and Aurangabad are other centers of brocade manufacture. In the south, Triuchirapalli and Tanjore produce a variety of kimkhabs known as gulbadan in which gold wire is used profusely. Brocade weaving, a craft that was on the decline, is again showing a very promising trend. Most of the credit for this goes to the village handloom weavers, designers and dyers who, with their combined efforts, have kept alive our tradition of weaving.