fourth maker

Weavers who bind it together

Weaving refers to a method of textile production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The intersection of warp and weft is called a weave.


Weaving-based livelihood beneficiary: 12 households
Weaving region: Jhalukbari & Barihat, Assam
Villages involved: Saru Phulguri, Harapara (3rd)


 

Weaving is primarily a woman’s domain in Assam, where the traditional throw shuttle looms are mounted between four pillars dug solid into the flat mud ground. In our project, we have no gender regulations, though so far we have worked with women weavers only. Weaving on handloom is an extension of the weaver where the textile is a direct indicator of the weaver’s personality and skill. This intimate relation of the weaver and the loom sets apart handloom production from power loom production. One who can celebrate the imperfections of human hand work, can truly enjoy the subtle beauty of handloom woven textiles. Ahimsa Eri silk is a hand spun fibre woven on handloom, that involves an intricate warping process. This delicately slub yarn is more or less irregular in size leading to a completely manual process of heddle-making and yarn joining. The gentleness involved in the process of weaving this textile compliments the sentiment of the project.

Warping

Warping refers to the process of parallel winding of fixed lengths of yarn onto a Warp beam that run along the length of the fabric. In textile terminology, Warp and Weft refer to the orientation of woven fabric. It is the marriage of Warp and Weft that forms a Weave. The purpose of warping is to create a longitudinal form for weft yarn to interlock themselves laterally at right angles. Warping in Assam does not use warping wheel. Instead, two women work together pulling calculated lengths of yarn from multiple bobbins off a wooden frame. This is an attentive process where a weaver ensures to fasten a good warp beam to bring quality and consistency to weaving performance.

Warp goes through a process called sizing to ensure smooth and adequately stretched yarn which is then combed with oil or wax to further smoothen it out. After warp winding is achieved as desired, the warp is ready for weaving.

Weaving

Weaving is also synonymously used as a term for Weft (fill or hoof) which is the process of parallel winding of fixed lengths of yarn interlocked into warp beam in a lateral manner that run along the width of the fabric.

If the yarn is dyed first then the woven fabric is ready at this stage. If the fabric is to be dyed directly, then after weaving, fabric is ready to be sent for the next stage that is dyeing.