Image: Detail of Eungie skirt, jamdani scraps (c) dosa inc.
In our latest issue, Issue 93: Rethink we look at jamdani, one of Bangladesh's finest heritage weaving techniques. Here, Sonia Ashmore adds to her article, with information on a new accolade for jamdani weavers from the World Crafts Council. Jamdani is a time-consuming and labour-intensive form of weaving because the design motifs are created directly on the loom. Each motif is added manually, a little like tapestry work, by interlacing the weft threads with coloured, gold or silver threads. The result is a vibrant pattern that appears to float on the surface of the fabric. Jamdani has survived as the national fabric of Bangladesh and its cultural significance was internationally recognised when it was included in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013.
Sonia Ashmore: “As the 2019 Jamdani Exhibition in Dhaka closed, the World Crafts Council announced that as a result of its visits to the Festival, Sonargaon has been designated a World Crafts City. A former capital of historic Bengal and centre of the muslin trade, Sonargaon today is a subdistrict comprising a number of weaving villages, vestiges of Mughal buildings and fortifications and the evocative remains of the colonial merchant city of Panam Nagar, listed on the World Monuments Watch list.”
Image: 1st generation jamdani choga (c) dosa inc. (c) Cooper Hewitt.
“World Crafts City status will link Sonargaon with nearly two dozen ‘cities’ worldwide ranging from the Outer Hebrides (Harris Tweed), via Yogyakarta (Batik) to Doñihue, Chile (chamanto weaving). The aim is to raise the profile of the area as the centre of jamdani weaving, recognise its contributions to the economy and culture of Bangladesh, generate initiatives for innovation and tourism and form active links with the worldwide crafts community. It should put jamdani weavers on the world map.”
The finest quality jamdani can be purchased by the metre from The Cloth House, 47 Berwick Street, London, W1F 8SJ T: 02074375155, www.clothhouse.com
The full article, APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS, can be read in Issue 93, out now.