History of Jamdani Saree:
Jamdani, a word came from Persian language, is a combination of the words ‘Jam’ and ‘Dani’ meaning “flower” and “Jar” respectively that means- Jar of Flowers. Basically this is a saree weaving technique. This weave done by hand loom on brocade is a really time consuming process and is a blend of figures and floral motifs. Jamdani also known as muslin cloth has a weave of the typical gray and white, and sometimes a mixture of cotton and gold thread. If you want to know about the History of Jamdani Saree then let’s dig into the history.
Jamdani weaving is the Cutting Edge symbol of Bangladesh’s rich cultural heritage. The Capital City of Bangladesh, Dhaka and one of the other most famous place called Narayanganj in Central Bangladesh have served as hubs for Jamdani handlooms for centuries. Large number of journals has reference for the History of Jamdani Saree and jamdani weaving. In the book Sril Silat-ut-Tawarikh, written in the 9th century, the Arab geographer Solaiman talks about the fine fabrics fabricated in the state called Rumy, or modern day Bangladesh. An interesting article in “The News Today” references the famous Book of “Periplus of Ertitrean Sea” (written as an navigation and trading story of the world), noting that it documents the fine fabrics available in this area as far back as the first decade before the birth of Christ. The golden age of Dhaka muslin, After all, began with Mughal rule in the 17th century. Due to the labor and time demanding manufacturing operation, Jamdani fabric was extremely expensive and thus a luxury afforded by only royals and nobles.
If you want to know more about the History of Jamdani Saree then you will also needs to know few terms and technique to know the original jamdani. Jamdani weaving is related to other handloom weaving approach, at which point small shuttles of threads are passed through the weft. It is hand-woven on a bamboo loom with the weaver sitting in a trench dug into the ground. As shown in the bellow image, two weavers sit alongside each other at the loom and add every alternates auxiliary weft motif separately, by hand, alternatively the supplementary weft threads into the warp with fine bamboo sticks in a zigzag manner using individual spools of thread. It is a special mechanism as there is no use of rules what so ever and neither does the loom make any noise. The design is drawn on a graph paper and placed bottom of the warp. It is important that the designs are never sketched or outlined on the prototype fabric. In fact some seasoned weavers don’t even use the graph paper; they insert motifs from their memory and for few designs they make so often that they really don’t need it! The patterns are mostly floral or geometrical. The Victoria and Albert Museum of London have a fine collection of Jamdani saris.
What makes Jamdani the so charming art form it is? Its exclusivity is associate to its rarity. The decline in the Jamdani industry is recorded to have begun as early as the middle of the eighteenth century. With the decline of the Mughal empire in the Indian sub-continent, Jamdani kaarigars or weavers lost their most influential patrons. This is not the only reason but this is considered to be the primary reason for the decline of this elegant art form. The decline was emphasised with the subsequent import of lower quality and cheaper yarn from Europe. These issues have had effect in present times as well. With the oldest generations of craftsman on this industry was unable to sustain their craft production, the younger generations did not have any training to fall back on. Also, the main Jamdani-making belt in Bangladesh, on the banks of the river Shitalakhya, is under serious threat with waste from factories, mills, and settlements. The long-winded nature of the Jamdani weaving process demands a price that limits its consumer base. A craft process at risk of destruction, it must be recognised that the Jamdani industry can only survive if the market is expanded and keep the History of Jamdani Saree at height.
This is our historical and heritage and we will have to take the necessary action to keep our glory alive. In modern days with the blessings of eCommerce now millions of peoples from the different part of this planet is connected through internet and we are in jamdani.com come forward to enhance and bring our glorious product to worldwide. According to our survey, we have found that many of the young generation are interested on Jamdani but at the same time they want this fabric should expand in other clothing so that it can come forward as our mainstream. So that users can use it regularly not occasionally and we found some other clothes like 3pcs, lehenga, dopatta could be a good approach to meet the modern needs. Lets try to rebuid the History of Jamdani Saree which will make Bangladesh more recognisable in the world.