Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weaving in Kotay, Gujarat

On the 1st April this year my wife  and I visited the village of Kotay in Gujarat. We were a third into a twelve week trip we took earlier this year to India. My wife wanted yoga and meditation, I wanted textiles and we both wanted what ever India would serve up; we weren't disappointed on any counts.

We were in the village to look at the C10th Shiva Temple (which was very impressive and sad in the way that long abandoned buildings that have lost their people are).

In the village we tracked down the house of a weaver (with the help of some local youths who had decided to become our guides) and invaded his privacy. He was weaving a shawl  with some lovely inlay work. His loom was 4 shaft counterbalance with a fly shuttle and there were additional sets of heddles behind the shafts that were hand raised. As I was imposing on his time and I did not have his language I was unable to determine how these were threaded.

The diagram on the left is a scan of the notes that I wrote shortly after the visit.

This was my third opportunity to look at how hand loom weavers work in India and the equipment they use. I am still reflecting on the contrasts between the Indian production hand loom weaver and the western hobby weaver (me). I have yet to finalize my conclusions.

I have put the draft into my weaving software and I am happy to say that I can do it on a straight 24S threading  I am not sure however that I have the patience.

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