Kashaf Saeed

Reviving of Jamdani

Video Thesis


The purpose of my thesis is the revival of Jamdani, the dying woven craft of the subcontinent. The livelihood of many artisans who suffered immensely after industrialization, my aim is to revive this craft and value this lost tradition.

My interest developed in these old textiles after witnessing my grandmother’s duppattas. I was curious about the rich textiles intricately woven on handlooms with intricate details. Some artisans are still trying to preserve these dying crafts of the subcontinent and I wanted to be one of those.

Jamdani, one of the finest Muslin textiles in Bengal, is also the proud heritage of weavers from Mughal era, reaching its peak of excellence during the 16 th century. The Mughals brought artisans from Persia to work with the master artisans of Bengal. Jamdani, woven directly on the loom using weft technique, is unique in its range of designs, both geometric and floral. Jamdani weavers have retained this rare, unmatched skill for centuries.

After its gradual decline in mid-19 th century, during the British colonial period, because of the impact of industrialization, as well as the import of lower quality and cheaper yarns from Europe, perhaps the greatest setback to the industry was due to the fall of the Mughal Empire.

My aim is to preserve and re-produce this precious and extraordinary skill and narrate its story which for I believe "what is once lost can be brought back again".

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