Traditional handloom weaving involves several processes. The cotton yarn is wound into 19 metre lengths, dyed and then sent to the weavers’ quarter where the warp is prepared in the streets ready for the skilled weavers working in their homes. This was once a common sight in the village but now less so.
Cotton fabric made by handloom weavers in K.V.Kuppam.
Cotton yarn is wound into 19 metre hanks.
The yarn hanks are dyed and hung out to dry.
The 19 m hanks of warp threads are then sent to be sized using rice water starch.
Rice water and coconut oil starch stiffens the warp threads making it easier to span the looms. It washes out easily afterwards.
The warp threads are stretched evenly onto boards.
Working in the shade, the size is flicked carefully all along the length of the warp threads.
Using a specially adapted brush the men run up and down the 19 metre length until each thread is coated in size.
To complete the process the warp is spun around to dry it quickly.
Each individual warp thread has then to be tied to the reed threads in preparation for weaving.
Each morning the prepared warp threads are stretched out in the streets around the weaver’s quarter.
Working down the length of the warp the threads are evenly distributed before being rolled ready for the loom.
The rolled up warp is attached to the pit loom and a Self Help Group member begins weaving.
After weaving the cloth is washed and dried in the sun.
Each length of cloth is carefully ironed.
Finally the cloth is folded and is now ready to be used.
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