Technique of Velvet Handloom Weaving

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Published on: 05 September 2018

Radhana Raheja

Radhana Raheja is a textile researcher and conservator with a Master of Science degree in Fabric and Apparel Science from Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi. Her experience includes a year-long project as a Textile Conservator at the Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur, for the Exhibition titled ‘Royal Rajasthan: The Desert Kingdom of Jodhpur’ in collaboration with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. She then went on to work as an Assistant Professor for Lady Irwin College and Bhagini Nivedita College, University of Delhi, and taught an array of textile-related subjects, including textile conservation, fabric science, and apparel design and construction.

Velvet handloom weaving is a tedious task which requires great patience and precision. The Ansari family at Cholapur, Benaras are the only weavers in India who weave velvet fabrics on a handloom. The technique employed is quite complicated and yields merely an inch of the fabric per day, depending on the complexity of the design. The images show the elaborate set-up of the loom and the kinds of fabric that are woven.