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  • Writer's pictureMedha Nevrekar

Weaver - a silent composer

The dictionary definition of a weaver is “A person who makes fabric by weaving the fibre together” A weaver is much much more than that.. A fibre woven together with emotions and passion makes the final creation magical.. As if they visualize the final creation in the beginning itself.. They are truly gifted !! 

India is home to many handloom traditions and our weavers blend myths, faiths, symbols and imagination into weaving fabric to bring an appealing outcome. Regions, villages, and communities throughout India have unique weaving traditions with distinct customs and patterns. Depending on the location, textiles may be woven from cotton, wool, or silk. It is this distinct form of art, weave and colour usage of the weaver that give every region its distinctive identity and uniqueness. Today, weaving remains important to India's economy with 4.33 million handloom weavers spread across the length and breadth of our country. There is hardly a village devoid of weavers, weaving out the traditional beauty of their region by passing on their skills from generation to generation to keep their art alive. 

Weaving has its own language. There are warping boards, dressing the loom heddles and shuttles, which are eyes of sorts that yarn is threaded through.

{Warping boards - board with a number of pegs fixed on it at even spaces between one another that is used to separate yarn groups in preparation of the warping operation}

{Dressing the loom - putting the warp yarn onto the loom where the weavers thread each individual piece of warp yarn through the reed, through the heddles and tie on to the back (or front) beam}

{Heddles - which is used to separate the warp threads for the passage of the weft, which is an integral part of a loom}

{Shuttles - a spindle-shaped device used to carry the crosswise threads (weft) through the lengthwise threads (warp)}

Weaving the fabric is arduous in nature and requires a lot of hard-work; physical as well as mental. The weaving process, where the yarn passes through the hands of one craftsperson to another, carrying forward the Indian tradition of the handloom & hand-made and creating weaves that always have a unique story to share. The resulting piece evokes a strong sense of culture from where it originates. When you are buying something handwoven, you are buying more than just a product. You are buying countless hours of contribution to perfection. You aren't just buying a product, but a piece of art, part of a soul, a moment of weavers’ life. These weavers dedicate themselves to weaving, and their livelihoods are intertwined in the very patterns they create.

Conversations with weavers, surrounding their journey gives a different meaning to words like passion, life, perseverance both philosophically & spiritually.

An impactful quote from a weaver, I met..

“Inspiration is everywhere. We just have to be open to it. I love the riverside, walking on the grass. Basically colour and texture are in every place. You have to be open to it and take it in. Always stretch the boundaries as an individual. The need of an hour is to not eliminate what we have but to help nurture it "

So true !! They are so close to the earth in every possible way and that makes them so humble about their art.. their talent.. there is so much to adapt from them and practise in our urban lives..

The handwoven fabric is magical, fascinating. It's amazing to witness how it starts out with just yarns and end up with actual yardage that one can wear.

So let’s buy handwoven and give these weavers the recognition & honour they truly deserve!

Let’s appreciate and patronise these artforms, our heritage!

Let’s do this with pride !! Let’s spread the smile among the weavers !!

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