Our handloom journey has been a five-year process for us, learning from many mistakes along the way. Initially we worked with more traditional elements of the design process before we started designing our own jamdani designs. As a qualified pattern maker and designer this process has taught me valuable lessons in accepting the small flaws that come with the handmade process. To see perfection in small imperfections.
All our cotton yarn we use is hand spun. We generally use a 150-count khadi, which is a very fine yarn. This creates a beautifully soft and breathable fabric.
The process whereby the vertical threads are prepared is called the warp process. The person responsible for preparing the warp must keep count of each centimeter. If only one thread breaks, out of the 4500 threads, the result will reflect on the final product. It can take anywhere from six to ten days to prepare the warp. To set the beam up on the loom from the warp is a very difficult and time-consuming process. The loom consists of three combs. One must pass the threads from the beam, one by one through these three combs by hand – that is 4500 threads! This process takes a minimum of five days.
From one beam fifty meters of fabric can be produced. In other words, for every twelve to eighteen garments the entire process must be started over again. Not only is the weaving done completely by hand, the designs on the fabric are also done by hand at the time of weaving. This process is called Jamdani. Each thread on the design part is placed by hand one by one at the time of production. It takes anywhere between two to ten days to weave one meter of fabric depending upon the complexity of the pattern.
For me the outcome of this lengthy process is so beautiful and well composed within its delicacy that even the small flaws that happen become little reminders of how much work has gone into the garments. I also think that in this world where perfection is paramount and fashion is fast, this has been a breath of fresh air for us.