Art Of Weaving


Rangkaat is a Hindi word derived from Rang (colour) and Kaat (to cut). It refers to a tradition of specialised weaving in Banaras handlooms, which uses the complementary, interlock technique to create distinct colour-blocked patterns. The use of zari here is both decorative as well as functional, joining these different patterned segments. The process of weaving involved is slow, time and labour intensive, with a requirement of the designers’ abilities to envision tones and shades which will emerge with the insertion of different wefts into a common warp, and their balance in the overall composition of the saree.


A tradition of richly brocaded satin, originally created for use in Tibet and the Buddhist Himalayas, was introduced to Banaras handlooms in the late 19th century. Swati & Sunaina Gold's collection in Gyaser is the first such known intervention in transforming the fabric into sarees.


The technique of discontinuous supplementary weft brocading using zari on a plain weave in Banaras handlooms is called Kadhua. The term is derived from the Hindi word for embroidery - Kadhua, suggesting a form of loom embroidery.


The technique of discontinuous supplementary weft brocading is widely associated with Bengal. A tradition of its weaving in cotton and silk is practiced in Banaras as well, employing fine yarns to achieve a gossamer, light weight fabric.


Pachrangi is the tradition of using five — or paanch in Hindi — colours as a striped pattern in textiles of Banaras. This requires meticulous planning at the warping stage and forms an aspect of pre-weaving handloom processes which often remain unknown.

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