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Kutum Katum

Kutum katum is a craft of Birbhum which uses several types of wooden bark and leaf, leaf fiber.  They develop different types of show pieces out of them by giving them different shapes and detailing.  also small bangles and  different craft items they developed from palm fiber with lotus of patients and intricacy.Also the use of roots along with wooden pieces is beautiful. and the most exciting part is there is no use of any color ,all made by natural element which represents sustainability.

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Shantipuri Sari

Bengal is famous for its artistic crafts, which manifest the rich tradition of craft in the state. The strong Aesthetic sense along with fine craftsmanship and skill running in their veins makes this place as one of the finest in the world.

Shantipuri Sari:

The traditional shantipuri sari created largely to upper middleclass Bengali ladies for its fine count yarns. The sari spoke of ascertain sophistication of class and subtly to temperament. Shantipuri saris are the only authentic traditional fine cottons and that is not more than 100 year old. The smooth translucence of its densely woven off white ground, It’s compactly patterned the narrow border that traps the high contrast colour with fine mesh.

Softening the transition from the ground to the border, the unadorned aanchol, end piece marked only by a combination of broad and narrow stripes and the smooth limps softness of the fabric. These have given way to a wide variety of jacquard borders and filled with what are referred to as “Tangail Style” butis or motifs in extra weft in cotton , art silk and even lurex.

Shantipuri Border
Aansh Paar,Chatai Paar,Terchi Benki paar

Development with time:  

At The Indian museum 100-year-old shantipuri sari been found which border is intact with muga extra warp band with white ground with fine broken edge were often marked by self stripes known as Jalchuri. This jalchuri used to be given as the border used to be heavy than the body so to hold the fabric along with border.At this time period patterns were lifted with dangi or lease rod to which the healds were attached even with dangi many patterns use to be woven.Ex: kamini noth – nose ring , Taj-crown ,annsh par-fish scale , bhomra –beehive.The wooden dobby came 75 years ago but with the increase in the hooking capacity of the jacquard it was possible to create larger pattern.

The wooden dobby came 75 years ago but with the increase in the hooking capacity of the jacquard it was possible to create larger pattern which happened 50 years back in 1930/31 when jacquard introduced .1920 the sari had floating motifs in the body as well as just like Jamdani, except that the pattern came after every pick of the weft .

Some traditional pattern name which were used at least more than 100 years and still been used through jacquard:

  • Bhomra Paar: Fine Mesh Beehive Pattern
  • Aansh paar: Fish Scale patterns
  • Chatai paar: Mat Pattern
  • Taj Paar: Crown Pattern
  • Rajmahal Paar: Palace Pattern
  • Kamini noth Paar:  Nose Ring Pattern
  • Chandmala Paar :  Strings of the Moon
  • Prajapati Paar: butterfly pattern
  • Terchi Paar: Diagonal Pattern [twill]
  • Terchi Benki Paar: Double diagonal Pattern.

the buties were either coloured on cora or unbleached ground or were kora on kora or else it was Neelambari ,indigo blue. Neelambari used to be favorite to the people those days and of the most demanding one.

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geometric floral designs inspired from mughal pattern

 

There is more aspects of Bengal hand loom saris with lots of detailing ,here i mainly discussed about few patterns and motifs which are well-recognized and famous ever today to the sari lovers of Bengal.

Trunk stories-Hand painted

when I was a kid I always use to think why people keep these heavy metal boxes to store but the thing is it prevent product from damage and its easy to keep everything at one place. Turned out its useful but gets dirty and rusty easily.

when I was about to end my college, my mother bought me a trunk just to keep all my assignments and work at one place. By then we have three trunk in my house and biggest one is mine.

when our house get reconstructed, I decided I will change the look of all old furniture’s and give them a modern look and use them to enhance the beauty of my house.

THE PROCESS OF PAINTING THE TRUNK

But with roller coaster life of a designer, I could not managed that time unless 2020 pandemic started and finally I got some excess time than usual.

Trunk 1:

This one is my college assignment trunk , after college I always use to think someday I will paint this one and finally I did it.

This one I painted like an wall art piece, lotus is one of my favorite flower and I love to see it in a big hand painted pattern. This trunk is result of two days tireless effort. Though I enjoyed doing this in weekend after regular office task.

Trunk 2:

This one is my grand mother’s old trunk , it was older than me and all rusted but I managed to convert it into a beautiful decorative item of my house.

I call this one happy trunk cause vibrant color of this one always cheers you up whenever you look at it.

Trunk 3:

This is my mother’s trunk this one also went discolored so I redesigned with some contemporary tribal pattern. The style I used for painting is inspired from traditional kantha [blanket] stitch of west Bengal.

Apart from all my regular hobbies in 2020 lockdown painting trunks was fun but not an easy process. It took almost four weekend but creation always releases your stress.

Crop at Sarah Myerscough Gallery — Flextiles

Happy new year! My first exhibition visit this year was CROP at the Sarah Myerscough Gallery in south London – a great start. The exhibition focuses on artists who work with natural materials and traditional craft skills, combined with concern for the environment. I was initially attracted by the inclusion of work by Tim Johnson, […]

Crop at Sarah Myerscough Gallery — Flextiles

Equinox exhibition

Flextiles

After the intense physicality of the willow basketry module at City Lit just before Christmas, it was a relief to have a break and think about something else.

The submission deadline for the next South London Women Artists exhibition was 6 January, so this provided the perfect opportunity. The theme for the exhibition is “Equinox”, and my original idea was to make some random weave eggs containing felt “yolks”, representing spring. However, an email then arrived saying that all works had to be 2D. So it was back to the drawing board.

An equinox occurs twice a year, around 21 March and 21 September. The March equinox is generally regarded as the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere, while the September one is the beginning of autumn. It is so named because the length of the day and night are approximately equal on those dates.

I started thinking about…

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woven painting

Weaving is such rich ancient art technique that still today we use this to develop any type of textile art.There is two type of weaving techniques get used for woven art pics, one is tapestry and another is extra weft technique

Here my woven painting done by traditional Bengals weaving technique Jamdani, with bit of improvisation of color gradation in base.

Jamdani has its own traditional history of fine count cotton maslin gauze which is transparent quite a famous quality in apparel industry . In my painting I used coarser yarn for opaque look. so here extra weft and base weft yarn have almost similar thickness.so there is no high low effect like traditional one.

https://indianyarn.wordpress.com/2010/04/26/jamdani-intricate-weaves-skilled-weavers-but-poor-weavers/

Deceptive play- White on white

when the sun sets or rises, the sunlight plays with the clouds and dust that create dramatic light and shadow stories .This deceptive play of sunlight is my collection inspiration. I tried to scratch the surface of home furnishing products with our Bengal hand loom weaving. I mainly used Jamdani[extra weft] and basic paddle weave to conclude my collection.

Among them one of my favorite product is this double layered Jamdani window blind. There is always a soft corner for white on white product in global market. Here I used few natural novelty yarns along with White linen two layer gauze . In back side of the layer Jamdani pattern has been woven with recycled silk novelty yarn.

My pattern of Jamdani has no traditional influence I just used the weave technique, Pattern is inspired from dry tree brunches .

I used sabai grass rope with thin jute ropes to give a bit stiffness to the blinds naturally . This product is made with absolute natural elements and no use of dyed material. I believe this is very much relevant with today’s slow sustainable fashion.

Deceptive Play -White on White Window Blind

so this is an aspects or vision which I always believe possible with our hand loom developments .

A Tale of Charkha,… A Tale of Hand loom…

when we talk about hand loom the first thing we imagine is the loom with fabrication but behind the scene there are many intricate steps need to be followed from spinning to warping and then weaving followed by.

so here I want to share my hands on experience with weaving and weaving processes which starts with choosing right yarn for warping  so here I selected mercerized 100’s cotton 2 ply yarn for warping .reason of being particular with this yarn is mercerized  cotton yarns is the strength of the yarn along with the finish.Also it will help to achieve a good fall in fabric.

The process of weaving starts from preparing nalli  to warp winding and then after setting up the entire loom the process of weaving starts. I would like to mention here that just to prepare a hand loom warp beam 2 weaver will take minimum two days.

 

Once the warp measured to the required length,the starch from red husked rice was applied to the yarn by their women of the house hold .the lightness and uniformity of application of the sizing medium was to important to maintain a smooth texture in the final product.Then they prepare the bobbins for warp drumming which is one of the most important part of drumming.

After the sizing had been done ,two people would wind two ends at a time around poles placed intermediately along roadside for a warp length of two complete sarees at most.

Lease sticks would be inserted periodically between the poles which facilitated the transference of the prepared warp length into warp beam.

after transferring in drum the entire warp to the warp beam of the hand loom then it has to pass through the heald eye and reads to attach it to cloth beam.

settlement of warping
The view of warp interlace through the shaft and lease rod.

The number of ends required for a knife like selvedge and a heavy border with extra warp patterning would be worked out separately. Later warps were prepared on a frame fitted with several bobbins for warps of up to 12 saris.

when the loom fixing is complete again we need weft preparation to begin with the weaving process. and for that we need required yarn in my case I have used single ply dyed tarns for normal weft and in extra weft four ply dyed Maldha silk .

After the whole preparations of warp and weft finally the weaving initiates.I must mention that weaving is craft that needs lots of patience, a lots of attention and care to get the expected fabric cloth woven. Specially when we are weaving fine cloth like 100 count single ply it needs a lot of extra care because to achieve uninterrupted fine cloth .

During weaving -[Montu Basak ,the person who helped me to achieve my fabrics which I planned for.My fabrics are inspired by fine count cotton saris of Bengal ,which is not only very comfortable but also one of the best choices for daily ware.

so here is the final product of hand loom which fineness and soft touch is always feel good factor for a comfort lovers.

Final product of fine count hand loom fabric.

Flower world -under asphalt of concrete

In regular journey from Howrah to Kolkata or vise versa , we cross the crowded Bura bazar along with the Howrah bridge and Howrah station but in our regular busy schedule  we miss  the beauty of Howrah which is hidden in there.May be we don’t get time from our everyday schedule to look around.One of them is The Flower market  of Howrah which situated
 underneath the Howrah Brige and  from where most of the flowers supplies to the entire Howrah and some part of Kolkata. This is a huge market run under the bridge everyday.

A picture of core Inside the flower market

 people come here from several places with all fresh flowers and the collection of different variety of flowers which we Indians use to worship our God or in several functions as present or decorations. So when we enter to the world of flower Market it became treat to our visual experience .

when  everyday market start ,people come with their fresh stalk of every day flowers .

Few of everyday flowers… 
The Leaves we also use along with flowers for decorations.
The surrounding of flower market is all about Ganga ghat area , where a few temples and Pundis are there.which is also part of this market area only.It always have a mystical story to tell .
This is also another side of Ghaat……with a banyan tree .

The front view of that banyan tree,.. in the morning there is a small wrestling  ground for local wrestlers behind this tree where people practice  wrestling in early morning of the day…. 
Few people do their everyday practice of worshiping god with water and start their day….
In  morning  the view of Ganga  is full of posetivity to your soul ……
The clear and beautiful second bridge in 8.30 morning,… its bliss….
but what eyes can’t avoid the trashes around this beautiful place,..  though.. it make you feel the sad part of it.


when the entire day of selling about to get over the vendors who cant match up the sale of their products they came out of the market area and sell it in foot path.so that he can get over with it soon.
and when every thing gets over like very day markets end with day time and prepare for another half of the day [evening]…

This is the every day story of flower market which is one of the livelihood of many peoples and everyday business. I experienced flower market with lots of visual retreat and  spend my one morning with my camera after a long in last year with another fellow person [Mr.Soumya Laha] who insisted this photo walk and I ended up with certain clicks which bring me back today to write a blog with  my photographs.

Bengal Hand loom with its rural names and technicalities..

Bengal handloom which nowadays came into observation. While working closely with artisans I came to know  about the terminology of each  part during my live project.like every rural areas even in Bengal craftsmen has defined their handloom in their own way.

Loom:[Taant]

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I tried to accumulate as much possible here underneath:

Shorer shana[Reed]:

The reed used for traditional shantipuri sari was made of the grass known as Shor which grew on river banks. The reed known as shorer shana had the specific advantage that is rounded edges did not cut into the taut warp threads, thus allowing for an extremely compact weave.But now these has been changed with iron reed which have specific numbers as per density.    Whereas  the denting order for the ground was two ends per dent. The border usually had three ends per dent and four dents per end alternating in extra warp.

chiyu.

The fine self stripe at edge of the borders had two ends alternating with three ends. When the shantipuri sari used to woven on throw shuttle pit looms, the patterns were lifted with the help of needle called chiyu.

baakhari.

The shed widened for the shuttle to pass through with a flat bamboo stick called baakhari.

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Bakhari

 

Dangi.

Once shantipuri came to be woven on fly shuttle pitlooms, the patterns for the border were lifted in the extra warp with the help of lease rod called Dangi.

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Dangi

 

bow

Supporting healds were known as bow which looped around the ends that had to be suppressed or lifted. At different section of bow has different name like ie:

ling er bow: with the thread  the lings are attached , melach er bow: with which the melach been attached, meelach are small healds which carries the extra warp of borders.

Gaach bow is tied for grouping the yarns for the hooks. Dangir bow: which holds the gaach bow with hooks.

 

Naksar chalan:

Through which bow[threads that hold the wap for jacuared hooking] passes  it has iron netin between that known as kambar it put with two wooden ply that known as naksar chalan.

Tanar chalan:

the healds of warp which known as tanar bow which put in sleek wooden log known as bow sola and this bow sola tied with pair of small pices of jute stem alternatively which known as nachni and this nachni tied with a wooden log which holds the entire set up known as tanar chalan.

Parabari:

Padel that raises the shafts to weave the base cloth known as parabari and padel which raises the design known as jaket parabari.

Poiran:

weft they used to call in local term poiran and weft shuttele they used to call poiran maku.The box within which shuttele stays known as shuttle box.to close the box there is al doll shape wooden block been used which known as putul.

Hatol:

Both side of the box there is a small wooden piece[myara] that holds one piece of folded leather[chap] that holds the shuttle and tied with rope with a small handle known as hatol when we pull the hatol shuttle moves.

 

 

Narod:

The beams which rolls the cloth and the warp commonly known as narod.warp beam known as pecha narod.cloth beam known as nata narod.

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cloth beam rolled up with a wooden handle which known as moran. The fabric been rolled  with a sleek and long  jute stem which known as kalod sala .and the box like wooden holder which holds the cloth beam known as biswa karma a

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s they worship is because it holds their end  product the final cloth or sari.

 

In case of  Pecha narod or warp beam being rolled by khil pakani  and lease rods which divides the warp cloth into two section for shafting.

Along with this there is so many terminology of Bengal hand loom which I may discuss with diagram in my next post.

 

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