Preparation of the
The process of passing the warp yarn through the heald of
the loom as per the design to be woven is known as drafting.
This helps in the further process of weaving when locating
a broken yarn becomes easy due to the heald and also helps
in the designing processes.
The reed, a comb like structure, locally known as ‘raanch’,
is filled with the yarns by skilled craftsmen on their own
or through the men adept at this skill. The reed is made
of a special variety of bamboos found only near Benaras.
Since the process of denting is quite laborious and time-consuming,
its usually done either on a new loom or in case if the
design is changed. Otherwise, just new yarns are added to
the left over yarns in the reed to continue weaving. This
process of joining the warp yarns, with the help of the
thumb and the index finger, using some ash in the process,
is known as piecing.
The setting up of design on the ‘jala’ of the
loom is also a specialized activity and so is that of making
of the graphs for the designs. The use of dobby of up to
16 plates and jacquards of up to 100 hooks are also being
used in Kaithun, the total number of dobbys being about
25-30 while about 50 odd jacquards are in operation. Dobby
is mainly used for ground motifs and in some instances for
the pallu also. On the other hand, jacquard is being used
for making exquisite borders of the saris. The method of
using small spindles, locally known as ‘tillis’
for making the motif on the ground/pallu/border
of the sari makes the designing process quite lengthy but
at the same time provides such a fine effect, which is not
noticed in any other handloom sari easily.
Weaving is done mostly in pit looms using throw shuttle
technique having immense potential for improvisation for
improvisation. The designs are transformed onto the fabric
using Dobby, jacquards or by using an innocuous Jala.