Patan Patola Saree

Respect to these craftsmen who are artists. You’ve often seen women drape these beautiful sarees, now know how each piece gets crafted





Jamdani refers to the extra-weft weaving technique that is indigenous to craftsmen from Bangladesh and West Bengal. The intricate and elaborate designs are often in thin muslin cottons. This craft is highly labour and time-intensive, making it one of the most luxurious and expensive textile crafts in India. Once patronized by royalty, this fabric is a celebration of the high level of skill achievable in hand-loom weaving.

It is believed that ‘Jamdani’ originates from the words ‘Jam’ which means flower, and the word ‘Dani’ which means vase or container. Many of the traditional motifs are flowers and hence the name.

This 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.

Screenshot 2017-03-23 23.01.30

The standard weft creates a fine, sheer fabric while the supplementary weft with thicker threads adds the intricate patterns to it. Each supplementary weft motif is added separately by hand by interlacing the weft threads into the warp with fine bamboo sticks using individual spools of thread.Two weavers usually sit side-by-side at the loom and add the discontinuous weft motif separately in order to cover the motifs that appear across the weft of the fabric.

Screenshot 2017-03-23 23.03.05

The result is a myriad of vibrant patterns that appear to float on a shimmering surface. What’s remarkable in this weaving technique is that the pattern is not sketched or outlined on the fabric. Instead, it is drawn on a graph paper and placed underneath the warp. Jamdani is a fine muslin cloth on which decorative motifs are woven on the loom, typically in grey and white. Often a mixture of cotton and gold threads are also used.


UNESCO has declared the traditional art of weaving Jamdani as “Intangible cultural heritage of Humanity”.

The word Jamdani has Persian origin. Jam means flower and Dani means vase . It has been spoken of as the most artistic textile of the Bangladeshi weaver. They are traditionally woven around Dhaka, Bangladesh, and on the brocade loom.

In India weavers in Bengal weave it.


Shibori is a Japanese manual resist dyeing technique, which produces patterns on fabric.

There are an infinite number of ways one can tie-dye, bind, stitch, fold, pleat,twist or compress the fabric for shibori, and each way results in very different patterns. Each method is used to achieve a certain result, but each method is also used to work in harmony with the type of cloth used. Therefore, the technique used in shibori depends not only on the desired pattern, but the characteristics of the cloth being dyed.

Also, different techniques can be used in conjunction with one another to achieve even more elaborate results.

Kanoko shibori is what is commonly thought of in the West as tie-dye.

Miura shibori is also known as looped binding.

Kumo shibori is a pleated and bound resist.

Nui shibori includes stitched shibori.

Arashi shibori is also known as pole-wrapping shibori.

Itajime shibori is a shaped-resist technique.


Ikat is a fabric made using an Indonesian decorative technique in which warp or weft threads, or both, are tie-dyed before weaving. It is technique of tie-dyeing and weaving where the yarn is tie-dyed (at pre-determined intervals) such that the final pattern emerges once the fabric is woven.

Screenshot 2017-03-22 23.09.28

Every woven fabric has a warp (the length) and a weft (the width). Yarn is set on the loom in the warp, and a weaver passes a shuttle with yarn through the width of the fabric to weave the weft into the warp. This is the case for any hand-woven fabric, but in ikat the yarn itself contains the pattern because it has been tie-dyed in a particular design before the weaving begins.

Within the technique of ikat, you have warp ikat (where only the warp yarns are tie-dyed), weft ikat (only the weft yarns are tie-dyed), and double ikat (where both the warp and weft yarns are tie-dyed).

Double ikat requires a higher level of skill and precision because the yarn has to be dyed in such a way that the weft and warp patterns intersect while weaving to create a stronger colour and a bolder design.

Screenshot 2017-03-22 23.10.23

In India ikat is found in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. Andhra ikat motifs are generally more geometric, while Orissa ikat motifs often depict the flora and fauna of Orissa.

Discharge Printing

Discharge Printing  is a screen printing process where the same techniques and equipment are used as used for regular screen printing but instead of normal ink, discharge inks are used, which remove the fabric’s dye instead of putting a color on top of the fabric.

Screenshot 2017-03-22 19.01.30

It is somewhat similar to bleaching in a design, except it doesn’t damage the fibers like bleaching would. It results in an extremely soft print. It is a process in which a discharge ink is used to deactivate/replace a dyed fabric. It is also called Extract Printing as the dye of the fabric is removed, and a lighter colour is achieved.

Screenshot 2017-03-22 19.00.52

For example, we could dye a fabric black, and use a discharge print in white to print a white motif on the black fabric (a reactive or pigment printing technique would not show a lighter colour on top of a dark one). The discharge chemical comes in a few colours, so you could print red on black (the red “discharges” the black and replaces it with red). Other colours include pink, blue, yellow, grey, and olive green.

The discharge ink used is a clear liquid deactivator that contains zinc formaldehyde sulfoxylate which is what bleaches or reduces the shade of the original dye.


Bandhani is a skilled tie-dyeing textile practice found predominantly in Gujarat and Rajasthan. The word ‘Bandhani’ arises from the Sanskrit word ‘Banda’ which means ‘to tie’ and it is also referred to as Bandhej or Bandana depending on the region.

Screenshot 2017-03-22 18.30.25

The art of Bandhana is a highly skilled process. The technique involves dyeing a fabric which is tied tightly with a thread at several points, thus producing a variety of patterns depending on the manner in which the cloth is tied. The main colour used in Bandhana are yellow, red, blue, green and black.

The main colours used in Bandhana are natural. As Bandhani is a tie and dye process, dying is done by hand and hence best colours and combinations are possible in Bandhanis.

In this craft, the fabric is pinched at intervals and thread is used to tie the tiniest of dots around the small pinch of fabric. For larger bandhani dots, a small lentil is placed on the fabric and the thread is wound around it.

Screenshot 2017-03-22 18.31.41

After the fabric is dyed, the threads are removed to reveal the non-dyed portion of the fabric. The tightly wound threads in this case act as a resist to the dye. Very fine bandhani is often characterized by an uneven surface – where the pinched parts of the fabric continue to look pinched long after the threads have been removed.

Screenshot 2017-03-22 18.29.11

The process of using bandhani to create patterns on fabric was started by the Muslim Khatri Community of Kutch (Gujarat), and various patterns continue to be made for turbans, dupattas, and shawls.


Ajrak is a name given to a unique form of blockprinting on fabric and tiles found in Sindh(Pakistan), Kutch (Gujarat, India) and Barmer (Rajasthan, India). This depicts special designs and patterns made using block printing by stamps. Common colours used while making these patterns may include but are not limited to blue, red, black, yellow and green

Screenshot 2017-03-22 17.59.12

Ajrakh is a hand block printing technique found in Sindh (Pakistan) and Kutch (Gujarat, India). The complex motifs are motifs are inspired from nature and Islamic architecture, and the dyes and mordants used are of natural origin.

The level of geometry on the garment comes from the usage of a method of printing called woodblock printing in which prints were transferred from geometric shapes etched on the wooden blocks by pressing them hard on the fabric. 

Screenshot 2017-03-22 17.58.51

Artisans still use the same methods of production that were used in the earlier days to create an ajrak. The garment has become an essential part of the Sindhi culture and apparel of Sindhis. Men use it as a turban, a cummerbund or wind it around their shoulders or simply drape it over one shoulder. Women use it as a dupatta or a shawl and sometimes as a makeshift swing for children. 

Ajraks are usually about 2.5 to 3-meters long, patterned in intense colours predominantly rich crimson or a deep indigo with some white and black used sparingly to give definition to the geometric symmetry in design. The white you sometimes see is a result of printing the fabric with a “resist” and then dyeing it in a certain colour. The areas printed with a resist (flour mixed with gum, for example) remain white after the fabric is dyed.

Some of the natural resources used in Ajrakh printing are alizarine, indigo, pomegranate seeds, gum, wood, and flour. The printing process includes many washes in mordants, dyes and water, and as a result the final printed fabric has beautiful softness to it.

Chemical dyes are a major source of pollution in the textile industry today. Ajrakh uses natural dyes and the process allows the craftsmen to live in harmony with nature, respecting their natural resources while they benefit from them.