jamdani (India)

A handwoven cotton muslin woven with design motifs that appear to float. The weave uses a supplementary weft technique wherein a thicker extra weft is inlaid by hand to create the floating design. Jamdani weavers possess centuries-old skills and often work without a drawn pattern, weaving from intuition. Each cloth is a unique design, never to be exactly repeated. The weave, said to have originated in the eastern Indian subcontinent, was considered an ultimate symbol of luxury, prized for its fine, sheer qualities. According to lore, the ultimate test of fineness was to draw a jamdani sari through a woman’s ring. The entire system of production, from dyeing threads to setting up the loom, is determined by the length of the end product: the sari. Looms are set up with 60 m (~197 ft.) of warp; each warp yields 10 saris at 5.5 m (18 ft.) in length. For this reason, it is nearly impossible to convince a weaver to produce running yardage. dosa jamdani is handwoven by villagers of Samudragarh, near Kolkata. Since our first season using jamdani in 2003, we have been saving production scraps and redesigning them into engineered yardage for clothing and accessories. See also recycled jamdani