What is Jamdani?
- Jamdani is a fabric woven entirely by hand on a wooden loom using a process that dates back to the 3rd century BC, but in its current form, can be traced more acutely to the Mughal Emperor era of the 1500-1600’s.
- The weaving process is a lot like tapestry work, where small shuttles of colored, gold or silver threads are passed through the weft. It takes 100+ days to weave approx. 5 yards.
- The art form is truly something to be marveled at, and is widely recognized as one of the most intricate, and labor intensive weaving techniques known to man. Historically aristocrats and royal families could only afford such luxuries.
- Jamdani patterns are mostly geometric, plant, and floral designs from Persian and Mughal fusion thousands of years ago.
- The weaver often works from intuition alone, creating motifs drawn from surrounding nature. The patterns will not be repeated by the weaver again.
- Jamdani has been recognized as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
Jamdani weaving is so important to the culture of Bangladesh that in 2013, UNESCO inscribed it on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This artform is truly cherished among the weavers, and has become a source of great pride and identification for the communities that practice it. The skills and artistry can’t just be picked up by anyone; they are passed down through generations, and for many weavers, the lineage of styles and patterns can be traced back to ancestors who forged the way for those practicing it now.
As its popularity for use for sarees grows in Bangladesh and India, the demand for Jamdani is undergoing a revival not seen since the 1800s. And as communities of people of Bangladeshi and Indian origin continue to migrate all over the world, the affinity for Jamdani fabric will continue to grow. Our hope is that our incorporation of this incredible fabric only helps to expand the knowledge of this amazing artform worldwide!