Origin: The slow art of handloom weaving is believed to be as old as civilization. Many years ago, an excavation in Egypt brought forward the very first piece of Indian handloom. Later, dyed cotton fabric was unearthed at MohenJoDaro. Ancient terracotta spindles and fabric, exhumed from the Indus Valley, are tributes of the ancient crafts of spinning and weaving.
Each period of history, significantly contributed to the thriving weaving scenario. Historic evidence of Rajasthan points towards de facto that the kings and their nobles lovingly embraced weaving. In the bygone era, village weavers were community’s sole source of fabric.
The air of Mughal courts was often vibrating with praises for weavers. During this era, poets penned poems appreciating handloom weaving. Artisans under the wings of supportive rulers crafted a spectrum of techniques and designs on fabric.
The beauty of handmade fabric could not remain concealed within the walls of Rajasthan and soon it crossed the geographical boundaries of the country and gained fame across the seven seas. Traditionally, village weaver in Rajasthan crafted two types of cotton cloth, the khaadi and the reza.
Over time, kings and states evolved resulting in the state of weavers passing through critical stages. With time, weavers made friends with modern technology, artisans developed varied types of weaving.
Present Day: Rajasthani weavers who have learned this craft from their forefathers are the sole reason behind the weaving industry. In the social and economic lives of Rajasthani people, loom continues to play an integral role.
The government of India conducts many promotional activities to assist artisans. With the advancement of technology the artists also have developed various techniques that have improved the designs and fabric weaving. Currently, this craft has won an iconic status.
Initially, power looms had overshadowed handloom industry resulting in employment lost. However, once again, people have fallen in love with handloom and handmade. The expert weavers residing in Rajasthan villages are carrying forward the technique of artisans who were praised by the state kings.
Today, copious fashion shows are dedicated only to khaadi, reza and fine Mathania mulmul from Rajasthan
Procedure: The simple process of handloom weaving is classified in four categories: shedding, picking, beating and taking up or letting off. Shedding process: raising and lowering of yarn employing handles to create a shed. Picking: passing weft through shed. Beating: using a comb like structure weft is consistently packed and pushed this comb-like structure is called a reed. Taking up: Lastly, the freshly crafted cloth is rolled on the wrap.
Bring Home the Weaving Craft: All souvenir shops in Rajasthan hold beautiful pieces of this craft.