Dacca muslin historian William Digby (Prosperous British India) estimated that the population of Dhaka dropped from
200,000 to 79,000 between 1787 and 1817; the export of Dacca muslin to England amounted to 8,000,000 rupees in 1787; in 1817, nil. The fine textile industry, the livelihoods of thousands, and the self-sufficient village economy, were systematically destroyed.Muslin From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Woman's muslin dress, Europe, c. 1855. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, M.2007.211.755. Muslin (/ˈm sl n/ or /ˈmjuˈsl n/) is a loosely-woven cotton fabric which originated in then India (and now Bangladesh), which was introduced to Europe from the Middle East in the 17th century. It became very popular at the end of the 18th century in France. Muslin is most typically an unbleached or white cloth, produced from carded cotton yarn. It is often used to make sewing patterns, such as for clothing, curtains, or upholstery. Because air moves easily through muslin, muslin clothing is suitable for hot, dry climates. Contents [hide] 1 Etymology and history 2 Uses 2.1 Dress-making and sewing 2.2 Culinary 2.3 Theater and photography 2.4 Medicine 3 References Etymology and history
Muslin clothes were traded by ancient Greeks from the Indian port town Machilipatnam, which was called Maisolos or Masalia in ancient times. Some believe that the name muslin originated from the name Maisolos. Marco Polo, the famous traveller, visited the Kakatiya kingdom in which Machilipatnam was located and praised the muslins available there. In 1298, Marco Polo described the cloth in his book The Travels. He said that it was made in Mosul, Iraq. Although this view has the fabric named after the city where Europeans first encountered it (Mosul), the fabric is believed to have
originated in Dhaka, which is now the capital of Bangladesh. In the 9th century, an Arab merchant named Sulaiman makes note of the material's origin in Bengal (known as Ruhml in Arabic). The word muslin is also used colloquially. In the United Kingdom, many sheer cotton fabrics are called muslin, while in the United States, muslin sometimes refers to a firm cloth for everyday use, which in the UK and Australia is known as calico. In British slang, muslin used to refer to women or femininity, while in nautical slang, muslin can refer to a vessel's sails. Uses
Dress-making and sewing
In Advantages of wearing Muslin Dresses! (1802), James Gillray caricatured a hazard of untreated muslin: its flammability.
Marie Antoinette, in 1783, in her famous "muslin" portrait When sewing clothing, a dressmaker may test the fit of a garment, using an inexpensive muslin fabric before cutting the intended expensive fabric, thereby avoiding potential costly mistakes. The muslin garment is often called a "muslin", and the process is called "making a muslin". With the availability of inexpensive synthetic fabrics, which closely resemble the hand (drape and feel) of expensive natural fabrics, a test or fitting garment made of synthetics may still be referred to as a muslin, because the word has become the generic term for a test or fitting garment. Muslin is also often used as a backing or lining for quilts, and thus can often be found in wide widths in the quilting sections of fabric stores. Culinary Main article: Cheesecloth Muslin can be used as a filter: in a funnel when decanting fine wine or port to prevent sediment from entering the decanter
 The thought is that the gauze reinforces the artery and helps prevent rupture. so most interior scenes were sets built outdoors with large pieces of muslin hanging overhead to diffuse the lighting. in home cheese-making. It receives paint well and. It is often used to create night time scenes because when it is dyed. nor Sanskrit. either precolored or painted with latex paint (diluted with water). Muslin was manufactured in the city of Dhaka and in some surrounding stations. an old trade centre in Iraq. but it is widely used because it makes an excellent painting surface. by local skill with locally produced cotton and attained world-wide fame as the Dhaka Muslin.to separate liquid from mush (for example. sometime headquarters of European trading companies in southern India. Muslin is used by beekeepers to filter melted beeswax. It is commonly used as a background for the chroma key technique. movie studios did not have the elaborate lights needed to illuminate indoor sets. It is used to mask the background of sets and to establish the mood or feel of different scenes. It also holds dyes very well. pour into a muslin bag and squash between two saucers (upside down under a brick) to squeeze out the liquid whey from the cheese curd) Muslin is the material for the traditional cloth used to wrap a Christmas pudding. Theater and photography Muslin is often the cloth of choice for theater sets. The origin of the word Muslin is obscure. Muslin is the most common backdrop material used by photographers for formal portrait backgrounds. It is wrapped circumferentially around aneurysms or intracranial vessels at risk for bleeding. when the milk has curdled to a gel. can be made translucent. some say that the word was derived from Mosul. cannot be microsurgically clipped or coiled. Medicine
Muslin gauze has also found a use in cerebrovascular neurosurgery. especially of Dhaka origins. muslin can be used as a cheap greenscreen or bluescreen. boil. it often gets a wavy look with the color varying slightly. due to their size or shape. In video production as well. In the early days of silent film-making and up until the late 1910s. Muslin is not a Persian word. Muslin a brand
name of pre-colonial Bengal textile. if treated properly. These backdrops are usually painted. nor Bengali. so it is very likely that
. mash. then filter by pouring the mush into a muslin bag suspended over a jug) to retain a liquidy solid (for example. It is often used for aneurysms that. making it clean and particle-free for sale. Muslin shrinks after it is painted. to make apple juice: wash. most often with an abstract mottled pattern. while others think that Muslin was connected with Musulipattam. such that it resembles a night sky. chop.
ranging from the finest texture used by the highly aristocratic people. the emperor. attracted a large number of visitors and the British Press spoke very highly of the marvelous Muslin fabrics of Dhaka. Golconda. provincial governors and high officers and nobles. they gave the same name to Dhaka fabrics. But Dhaka Muslin became famous and attracted foreign and transmarine buyers after the establishment of the Mughal capital at Dhaka. In the great 1851 Exhibition of London. which was grown in certain localities on the banks of the Brahmaputra and her branches. from the cleaner to the maker of thread and the person who did the actual weaving. and through Mosul from other eastern countries. and by the ancient Chinese travellers. A huge quantity of the finest sort of Muslin was procured for the use of the Mughal emperors. Dhaka Muslin occupied a prominent place. The productions of Dhaka weavers consisted of fabrics of varying quality. down to the coarse thick wrapper used by the poor people. The Muslin industry of Dhaka received patronage from the Mughal emperors and the Mughal nobility. belonged to a family of weavers. The finest sort of Muslin was made of phuti cotton.the name Muslin was given by the Europeans to cotton cloth imported by them from Mosul. and when they saw the fine cotton goods of Dhaka. they were used for manufacturing slightly inferior and course clothes. The other kinds of cotton called bairait and desee were inferior and were produced in different parts of Dhaka and neighbouring areas. viziers. because not only Dhaka cotton textiles. or if the family was small two to three families joined together to manufacture the cloth. That the name Muslin was given by the Europeans admits of little doubt. Muslins
. nawabs and so on. etc were also called Muslin.
Fine white muslin (19th century)
Contemporary embroidered muslin
The textile industry of Bengal is very old. Bengal cotton fabrics were exported to the Roman and the Chinese empires and they are mentioned in Ptolemy's Geography and the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. but cotton goods imported by the Europeans from other parts of India like Gujrat. The persons connected with the manufacture of cloth.
it was once the capital of Sultan FAKHRUDDIN MUBARAK SHAHand his son (1338-1353). Tanzib (adorning the body). The traders were active at Dhaka. Armenia. Junglebary was for long a residence of the family of Isa Khan. Jhuna (used by native dancers). Java in the east. These places manufactured fine quality cloth. So the weavers of these places got support and encouragement from the aristocratic class. Rang (of transparent and net-like texture). Abirawan (fancifully compared with running water). because they were situated near the places where cotton suitable for manufacturing Muslins was produced. sometimes six months. The Mughal government appointed an officer. Dhaka does not need introduction. Teetbady.Khassa (special quality. Names thus derived were Malmal (the finest sort). Local businessmen procured the cotton goods from theADANGs or manufacturing stations and sent them to Dhaka. Sonargaon is now in Narayanganj district. 15/20 miles away from Junglebary is also in Mymensingh district. sometimes mentioned as Malmal Shahi orMalmal Khas by foreign travellers. Weaving was prevalent in the Dhaka district in almost every village. Malaya. and the weavers spent a long time. fine or elegant).Darogah or Darogah-i-Malbus Khas to supervise the manufacture of Muslins meant for the emperor or a nawab. to make a piece of this sort. Some traders
. Kumees (used for making shirts). Iran. or the place of manufacture or the uses to which they were applied as articles of dress. It was costly. The finest sort of Muslin was called Malmal. or some portion was used locally. Shabnam (morning dew) Alaballee (very fine). where foreign buyers were ready with cash in hand.were designated by names denoting either fineness or transparency of texture. Charkona (chequered cloth). nawabs etc. Junglebary and Bajitpur. Teetbady is a village in the Kapasia thana of Gazipur district. Dhaka Muslin was in great demand in the national and international markets. Dhamrai is still an important place on the Bangshi river. Muslins other than Malmal (or Malbus Khas and Sarkar-i-Ali) were exported by the traders. SONARGAON. about 20 miles west of Dhaka. and again capital of ISA KHAN in the Mughal period. The foreign traders came from far-off countries like Arabia. Nayansukh (pleasing to the eye).Doorea (striped). Bajitpur. These were also the places where the headquarters of ruling dynasties. Junglebary is now in the district of Mymensingh on the eastern bank of the river Brahmaputra. The Malmal was also procured for the diwan and other high officers and for JAGAT SHETH. Jamdanee (figured cloth). in the west. and China. but some places became famous for manufacturing superior quality of Muslins. were established. These places were Dhaka. Buddankhas (a special sort of cloth). Muslim or Hindu. It was used by emperors. Dhamrai. it is the same place where the capital stands now. Seerbund (used for turbans). the great banker. Muslins procured for emperors were called Malbus Khas and those procured for nawabs were called Sarkar-i-Ala.
which they sent to Delhi for the use of emperors and ministers. The costly Dhaka cotton goods. With the establishment of the EAST INDIA COMPANY's monopoly over the trade of Bengal after the battle of Palashi. The Ostend Company also came towards the beginning of the 18th century. the Muslins meant for the subahdar. the export of Dhaka Muslin came down to almost half of that of 1747. the ENGLISH settled first at Hughli but later shifted to Calcutta and the FRENCH settled at Chandernagore. nawab etc was valued at rupees twenty-eight lakh and a half. the DUTCH settled at Chinsura. The decline of Dhaka Muslin was due to loss of patronage from the Mughal emperors. the English in 1669 and the French in 1682. The imports of European companies had no local markets. In the 17th century. including those procured for the emperor. the European companies came and established their settlements in Bengal. while others sent the Muslin to countries outside India. but with the coming of the European companies and the establishment of their settlements in Bengal the export of Dhaka Muslin increased enormously. so much so that they had to establish settlements and factories at Dhaka proper to feed the increased volume of trade. 1757. the Portuguese trade declined. bullion. by the end of the 18th century. Formerly Europe used to get the Muslin through Iranian and Armenian merchants. diwan and other aristocratic people (like the banker Jagat Sheth) were sent there. The Dutch set up their factory at Dhaka in 1663. on the bank of the river Bhagirath. By the beginning of the 17th and certainly by the middle of that century. The Muslin industry of Dhaka declined after the BATTLE OF PALASHI. the trade of other European companies and traders belonging to other nationals practically came to a stop. paikars and also through their own officials.were busy in inter-provincial trade. they also established settlements at Dhaka. The volume of the export trade of the European companies increased year to year. The Mughals not only lost their power and prestige but also their buying and spending capacity. lost in competition with the cheap industrial products of England. When they found their export of Muslin extremely profitable. But the most important cause of decline and the ultimate extinction of the Muslin industry was the industrial revolution in England. to meet the growing demand of Bengal. The government officials procured various types of Muslin. Their principal settlements were located near HUGHLI. so the companies imported hard cash. [Abdul Karim]
. and particularly of Dhaka. When the capital was transferred to Murshidabad. Available estimates show that in 1747 the export of Dhaka cotton goods (chiefly of the fine variety of Muslin). and by the middle of the 19th century was valued at less than ten lakh Rupees. particularly the Muslin. through dalals. the PORTUGUESE at Hughli. which introduced modern inventions in manufacture. nawabs and other high officials. They procured Dhaka Muslin.
which is dated from the Harappa and Mohenjodaro settlements of 2600 B. A Sketch of the Topography and Statistics of Dacca. At the excavation sites of the Indus Valley dyeing vats show that the art of fabric dyeing was known and widely used. London 1840. timber and precious woods. but in later times came to include knitted. Traditional handloom textiles began their long journey in the earliest civilizations of India. London 1851. while a mantle or cloak called drapi is recorded. to 1800 B. Gold and copper.
Background Textiles are believed to date from pre-historic times evidence of weaving being traced to a period before 3000 B. such as vasas. lead. and a bride wore the vadhuya at her marriage. do not provide visible evidence of the making of textiles. copper tools. London. Descriptions of different types of dress for various strata in society are mentioned in the Rig-Veda. India office Records. as creation. resulting in the material or textile. Historic events of the period from 3000 B.C. bonded.) contains literary references to dress. pearls. A Karim. dancing female and male figures of priests and deities.
. Dhaka. A garment called atkal described as woven and well fitted is mentioned. 1925. 'tantu' for yarns or threads and 'tantra' the warp are found in Vedic texts. lists of goods and official inscriptions. vol. the ancient name for the Indus region. as seen in the terracotta and stone statuary of figurines such as the Mother Goddess. "An Account of Dacca. China and Mesopotamia. fuchsite inlay and jade were probably traded for the products of the Indus Valley settlers. Board's collection no. In ancient philosophies the universe is envisioned as a fabric woven by the gods. The word textile refers to a filament or yarn that can be made into fabric or cloth. JC Sinha. shell and bone. by former Resident of Dacca. leading us to believe that clothes were in use. Dhaka Commissioner's letter dated 2 may. God is the weaver the fabric is man. analyzed by scholars and anthropologists reflect the trade and cultural exchanges between the inhabitants of the Harrapan and Mohenjodaro region and Babylonia (Mesopotamia). Female dancers used the embroidered garment or pesas. "The Muslin Industry of Dacca" in the Modern Review. A whole range of mystic thought expressed in folklore and folk verse compares the act of weaving. A Descriptive and Historical Account of Cotton Manufacture of Dacca. felted and tufted fabrics as well. Harrapan seals used to seal bundles as merchandise. Mesopotamia trade documents.2. The Rig-Veda (1500 B. beads. Certainly from the time of the Rig-Veda weaving and a variety of terms describing different materials are used. No. VII. 1844. vasana and vastra . Fine weaving probably passed from India to Assyria.C. One can deduce that clothes of simplified forms were in use. The word derives from the Latin 'textiles' originally meant only for woven fabrics.C. the laying of loom threads as warp and weft. In the subcontinent textiles are hallowed by ritual and spiritual connotation. thus supporting the archaeological finds of Harrapa and Mohenjodaro. mentioned Meluhha. The number of needles found at the Indus Valley sites evidences that the technique of sewing was practised. The early Indus Valley civilization. Egypt and Mesopotamia and later to South Europe. 100122. describing two parts of the worn garment: the vasu (lower garment) and the adhivasa or upper garments.C. dated 1800" in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Pakistan. Cotton. The taste for dressing was epitomized in the words suvasas and suvasana meaning well clad. but the find of a small shred of cotton cloth stuck to a pottery shard indicates that weaving was part of craft production.C. display cord or sacking (hessein) impressions on the clay seals testify to different weaving techniques. silk. lapis lazuli stone. The Indus (Harrapan) seals seen at Ur and other Mesopotamian cities convincingly corroborate that sea trade between these two regions had commenced as early as 2600 B. wool and flex fibre were produced in many regions of the world and the skill and artistry of weaving occupied the imagination and dexterity of those ancient peoples.C. Clay and metal seals from the Indus Valley sites depict human figures clothed in shawl like draped garments and loincloths held in position by woven belts and sashes. and continued up to 1800 B. such as cotton textiles.Bibliography James Taylor. words for woof and web 'otu'. turquoises.C. Spindles and spinning whorls have been excavated from the sites of the Indus Valley while the cultivation of cotton and use of sheep's wool has been evidenced from the implements found for processing these fibres. April.
Indian cotton textiles continued to be the cynosure among royalty all over Europe. 1877. reside the offspring of these blessed and gifted weavers. to provide in an almost unbroken line the heritage we own today. Italian traveller Manrique. in his writings of 1628. the most important being that the staple of the cotton is
. gave accounts of the fine cotton cultivation and its products.C. who received annual tributes of these fine cloths from their Governors in Bengal and which were so special that it cost ten times the price of any other clothes made for Europeans or others in the Empire. the applying of starch in the dry afternoon air and maintained seasonal time. It is the unique quality of the air at the particular point of conjunction. We are informed further that muslin merchants in 1887 protested the monopoly of the East India Company's hold on weavers throughout East Bengal (48. have come down to present times in a more or less continuous form. living along the same riverbanks and using the same type of bamboo looms to weave their magic. especially cotton had become a large industry. the season to stop weaving. The renowned muslins of ancient Bengal. and the dry winters. In fact. 335 it says.D.H. Muslin and Jamdani
The Indo-Gangetic civilization which grew and developed along the banks of the mighty Ganga-JamunaBrahmaputra. In the India Office Library in London is a manuscript entitled Textile Fabrics by H. The weaving techniques of ancient Bengal. He kept his elementary links with nature. Cole. The breezes that waft from the river over the village on its banks (especially the morning air before the sun rises high) give the weaver his `gift of the loom'. the Middle East and India. Even to this day the weavers preserve habits and activities that conform to the rainy season. it is amazing that the shape and design of the bamboo loom placed over a clay floor pit is unchanged over the past centuries. a catalogue made out in preparation for the Great Exhibition in London at that time. He held on ritualistically to the rising at dawn to start weaving. where the river Sitalakhya branches off from the mighty Meghna. fold up the looms and attend the village `melas' (trade fair). and later Emperor Aurangzeb. keeping their looms in tune with the earth on which it stands. `The cotton of which fine Dacca muslin are made is grown in the district and differs from the common cotton plant of Bengal in some particulars. and described the garb of the Indians in the court as 'flowered robes of fine muslin'. fused into the indigenous culture of the Bengal delta. the fixing of taana and baana (arranging yarns in order) when breezes are light at different hours of the day. stormy weather. it is believed. The weaver himself is a unique being too. Marco Polo who traveled through many parts of Asia in 1290 A. and the specialty of Dhaka muslin is undoubtedly linked to the genre of the Dhaka weaver's skill and talent. The other factor of vital importance to the uniqueness of Dhaka muslin is the existence of the cotton fibre itself. The Greek Chronicler Mesgasthenes visited the court of Chandragupta Maurya (Sandrocottus) in 325 B. In India the manufacture of textile.It is at this point in history that cotton wool and cotton fibres from Vanga or East Bengal are recorded as important trade items and revenue earners. where enough was produced for export. describes the patronage of the court of Emperor Shahjahan. has such fabric been woven by the hand of man. Under paragraph No. or else how could a loom craft come down over a period of two thousand years? The delicate weaves of the diaphanous material and later the figured muslins or jamdanis can only be explained by the unique inner quality of the Dhaka weavers and their descendants. or elsewhere in the world. Nowhere else in the subcontinent. which had been developed into a fine art. Even today in the villages of Naopara. the mode of weaving during the monsoon rains. Demra and Narayanganj.000 persons) which was done by issuing permits that prevented the weavers from taking on work for private traders. It is said that the grey waters of the Meghna turn to a light yellow colour in the tributary causing the air above it to hold a different dampness. It can be said that the zenith of muslin production was achieved with the patronage of the great Moghuls.
Its superiority has been attributed to the action of the sea. curved and closely set. the teeth of which being small. As in tapestry weaving. are passed through the warp.B. the weaver producing the exquisite designs by the skilful use of the bobbins in the course of the intricate weaving. "The famous malmal khas or 'King's muslin' could be made in lengths of 10 yards and one yard in width. with the seeds and wool unseparated. "With all our machinery and wondrous appliances we have hitherto been unable to produce a fabric which for fineness and utility can equal the woven air of Dacca. James Taylor noted in his book that `A skein which a native weaver measured in my presence in 1846 and which afterwards carefully weighed proved to be in the proportion of upwards of 250 miles to the pound'. By the 1800's English officials of the East India Company had made detailed records of the loom manufacturing industry. act as a fine comb in removing the loose and coarse fibres of the cotton and all extraneous earth or vegetable matter' The combination of a special raw material in the cotton (kapas) produced in the Dhaka region." These could only be made during the rainy season. Hence the word 'Mulmul Khas' (special mulmul) and 'SarcareAle' (the great ruler) were coined when mulmul was woven on order for royalty. The heat and climate of Dacca is lower by some degrees than that of the western district of the province'. Dhaka muslins exceeded in delicacy and were far superior in texture. and Junglebarry possessed all the components necessary for the best cotton ground'. is cleansed and prepared by the women who spin the yarn. Mitra also notes. The weavers responded with imagination and dexterity. I quote from. Watson said. He also adds that `the reason why the best weavers had settled in Dacca was that the finest kind of cotton was cultivated in the neighborhood of Dacca'. striped and checked muslins were produced since long on the Dhaka looms in different qualities for the local populace and figured muslins or Jamdani were woven under order for the richer classes. 'Hand Woven Textiles of India.longer. while that of Birbhum to the manufacture of coarse calico. small bobbins or shuttles filled with coloured. the remarkably fine sense of touch and the nice perception of weight which characterizes their fingers'. historian-traveller from Italy. Kapasia. fulfilling the requirements of their patrons. Without doubt it became clear that the ethos. the moisture in the air allowing the very fine thread to be woven. that is. the plain white. are grown in certain localities along the banks of the Brahmaputra and the Meghna. along with the aesthetic senses of the Muslim patrons at Bengal's capital and the Delhi court. the water of which. mixing with the rivers. which overflow their banks during three months of the year. finer and softer. This signifies the exquisiteness of the cotton yarn used to weave muslin. from their complicated designs they have always constituted the most expensive productions of the Dacca looms". containing from 1000 to 1800 threads in the warp. but mulmul was always a popular material for wearing comfort and beauty. led to an outburst of art expression. the innate skill of the Dhaka weaver. Persian influence takes dominance over design at this point in history and the Islamic civilization's unique grasp of geometric and abstract motif carries the craft of weaving to new heights. and would take a weaver almost five months to complete. talent and patronage. acknowledging the masterpieces of muslin production. which springs from religious inspiration. firmly established the name and value of Dhaka muslins by the 16th century. More beautiful still are the figured muslinsthe jamdanis. Although fine cottons were also produced at Mosalipotam in South India at this point in time. and later `the soil of Sonargaon. so as to become legendary. The perfection of embellished muslins called jamdani took place through that extraordinary coming together of three vital forces: material. The Muslim ruling classes with their Turko-Persian Central Asian combine of sense and style placed a new demand on the weavers. `Many Europeans have noted the slender and somewhat delicate physical frame of the natives of Dacca. The jamdani may be called a product of the shuttle in which the designs are inserted by hand during the process of weaving. The wool adhering to those seeds is carded with the jaw of the boali fish. No wonder the best jamdanis of old are today the prized heirlooms of many a Bengali family. and produce the effect of embroidery. so fine that it could scarcely be felt when held in the hands. The cotton in the state of kapas. The finest qualities called the photi. which have been cultivated from time immemorial in the districts. Regarding the climate Mitra quotes that `The climate of Dacca was well suited to the manufacture of fine muslins. How rightly has Dr. D. The Dhaka muslins (as a genre of woven loom cloth) were highly prized by this time and it is recorded by Tavernier. the unique atmospheric temperature on the banks of the Meghna. gold or silver threads. It must be understood that mulmul. causes a deposit of silt and sand and this improves and fertilizes the soil. The unique art of jamdani motif
. that the Iranian king Shah Safy (1628-1641) was presented by his ambassador to India a muslin turban 30 yards long. For an accurate description of Jamdanis as observed by the British officials.
were so generally worn in England. it is recorded as follow: `From Dacca. became unemployed due to the fall in exports of the finer qualities of mulmul or muslin to Europe.00. while the rose. Designs from Turkish leather saddles. Under the heading Bengal Div XIII. After the French Revolution the demand of muslin cloths at the French court ceased. The coercive policies of the British through their `gamasters' and `amlas' had begun to take its toll. loom worked jamdani pieces both white and coloured. established a new economy and bound India to the heels of the British economy' (N. as to excite popular feeling against them.K.was thus born and gives proof to the phrase 'divinely inspired expression' as creative weavers used their tools to express their thoughts. particularly to Versailles. to the detriment of the woolen and flaxen manufactures of the country." The British policy to protect its own textile manufacture led to a general stoppage of import of the fine cottons including muslins from Dhaka. and gradually India chintzes. star. Another interesting record at the India Office Library in London is the manuscript of the Colonial and Indian Exhibition: Indian Catalogue 1886. and weavers had begun moving out of their profession and tried to make a living out of their agricultural land. etc. the lotus is evidently absent. and the Government yielding to the clamor passed the law in 1721 banning wearing of all printed calicoes whatever. Vol-III) Many factors caused the loss of one of the world's greatest living treasures. America. The Dhaka weavers who were employed full time in this occupation. had by 1787 begun to suffer the negative effects of the mechanized spinning and weaving methods of British manufacture.038 in 1839'. cotton and woolen thread: sub section Nos. Hamburg and Lisbon was badly affected by the wars England was waging against France. Manila and China. resulting in a severe scarcity of cotton raw material in Bengal. sprig and arabesque foliage take over. but they were suffering under the oppressive `advance loan' conditions of the Company's officials. as by then the export trade to England had been completely overshadowed by machine made cheap cotton produced in Manchester. At this time also there is a noteworthy breakthrough in innovative design. 239. Results of this policy became further obvious by 1793 and I quote. In the Dhaka arang in 1776 there were 1. silk. lily. but the total would not be more than 68. Birdwood's record: "In 1641 Manchester cottons were still made of wool.9 Writing in 1839 James Taylor in his book Topography and Statistics of Dacca noted that the produce of the Dacca looms chiefly consisted of `flowered muslins (jamdanees) and Khasidas (Kasida needle work on muslin) but the quantity was small compared to what it was in former years'.C. Gulf of Persia and Arabia. No 239 Shahburga chawal-dana piece lent by Nawab Ahsanullah of Dacca ' This account indicated that the patronage of loom fabrics by the Nawab family
. which had been introduced into England between 1666-1670. and the disappearance of Mughal patronage at the court. Another important factor was the export of raw cotton to England. Ceylon. Economic History of Bengal. Sonargaon which in 1833 had a population of 5.000. But in vain did Manchester attempt to compete on fair free trade principles with the printed calicoes of India. Sinha.600 weavers. tents (shamiana and kanats) and Muslim architectural lines. Indeed the population of Dhaka declined as a results of unemployment and D. A distinct moving away from typical Hindu and indigenous motifs took place. according to the Company registers. In fact by the time of the first Great Exhibition of 1851.B Mitra states in 'The Cotton Weavers of Bengal' that `In 1800 the inhabitants on Dacca were 20. the price of cotton rose sharply leaving the weavers with no margin of profit on their production. 264.000 was the centre for manufacturing flowered muslins (jamdanees) done mainly by Muslim weavers in the town and surrounding villages and numbered about 1. `British policy British skill and British enterprise brought about a commercial revolution. We also see the angular and geometric outlines taken from glazed tiles. The Dhaka muslin. bring vitality to the jamdani woven textile design. loom embroidered fabrics. woolen carpet patterns and the enlarged blown-up paisley (kalka) lifted from Kashmir shawls and Persian woven brocades. As we seek to find the cause of the decline of muslin in the 18th century and disappearance by the 19th century we find ample indicators pointing to the loss of this rich cultural heritage. The debilitating actions by the colonizing power had commenced a long while ago as learnt from G.M. The Company's trade to Europe.300 weavers. Dhaka muslins were produced only on orders for the gentry and a small quantity for local markets.
coronations and weddings. Delhi. so that we find patterns of the swan motif (hangshs/hamsa) and the paisley shape called kalka of Bengal and keri of North India.continued till very recent times. Descriptions of the clothes worn by aristocracy and priests in the Mahabharat and Ramayana are replete with examples of "rich silks". For ladies of the court were delicate motifs likebutidar or flowered patterns. Further back in history there are references that trading merchants carried silks and cotton fabrics through the region of Middle. black motif on off-white silk called "nightingales eyes" or 'bulbul chasm'. European writers later on called these "Kincob" and indeed the gloss and glimmer of the silk fabric created a dream like vision for the eyes. being commissioned by the upper classes. India) to the new state of East Pakistan in 1946-47 transfers the growth of a rich heritage to the soil of East Bengal. hazarbuti thousand flowers and nargis the narcissus flower. The post war migration of weavers from Uttara Pradesh (U. named dhup-chaon. Murshidabad and Madras set up weaving centres. Luchnow. cloaks and shawls had designs named "silver ripples".D. This fact can give culture activists a point to ponder. Central Asia and further on to Italy and France. Surat. enhancing the weaver's repertoire. embellished with gold. Banaras Kinkhawabs were further evolved with the mixture of two shades of silk threads giving the effect of light and shade. The fame of Banaras silks was duly
. The silk brocades of Banaras came under this influence. or maz-char. of Persian design in all its richness and grandeur. but the material referred to is jamdani and not the old fine muslin. The Persian language in itself is steeped in descriptive and colourful words or motifs that charm the mind and heart of the viewer. Men's robes. The Moghuls were masters in giving nomenclatures to the artistic products of the local artisans. The examples of the exquisite loom are hunting scenes of extraordinary finesse depicted in a design named shikargarh. This cloth was greatly popular among aristocratic ladies who flaunted the changing colours of their dress as they moved about in the daylight. It would be useful to recount the ancient lineage of weaving silk cloth. beldar or scroll and vegetal creeper designs. Traditional indigenous Indian forms were also imbibed on to Benaras silks. and silk threads. Ahmedabad. by then. Woven silk is mentioned in the Yujur Veda of approximately 1500 B. Bhopal. The yajur veda records the use of rupari and soneri threads to ornament the fabric and we learn from these ancient manuscripts that special women weavers called "pesaskaris" wove such material. that if cotton plantations are revived. Thus they named Banaras brocades as "dream fabrics" or Kinkwab. Descriptions of the "gold cloth" of Babylon. The use of silk for garments has become more popular in the recent fifty years or so. Auarangabad. We may therefore deduce that there was no high quality `Dacca muslin' produced after the 1890's since.P. the cultivation of cotton had been completely substituted by indigo and jute plantations which the British rulers found a much more lucrative trade item. Mosul and the Gangetic Valley being carried as gifts to King Herod of Biblical times and the Emperors of Europe is well substantiated in the exotic classical paintings of that luxurious era. Silk textiles were available in the last few hundred years from China and other parts of the Indian subcontinent and were used by the aristocracy and landed classes for ceremonies. It is interesting to note that some motifs of Moghul textiles are echoed in the fabrics seen in Ajanta fresco paintings of the 5th Century A.C. the moon and star motifchandtara and linear patterns called peacock's neck or murgh-gala. The fabled muslin disappeared because the unique raw cotton was no longer available. the gifted Dhaka weavers can still produce the muslin of old ilk Weaving The Dhaka Heritage The heritage of woven handloom silk in Bengal does not compare to the fine cotton muslins in terms of historic or chronological measurement. Alexandria. Over the centuries Banaras silks became renowned and the demand led to more centres being opened in other parts of the subcontinent for trade and marketing. Moghul patronage in the crafts and arts of the subcontinent had made a tremendous impact on the creative process.
The paper drawing of the designs would be the guide for the weaver. A brief description of the process undertaken by the Mirpur weaver was explained by Mohammad Rafiq. forms of creeper design. There has been no change in the loom since over a thousand years. Islampur of the old town and by the 1960s the posh newly built New near Nilkhet. Devdas. thickly embroidered motifs in silk thread embossing. 150/. An overall linear floral ornamentation was called jungala (foliage pattern). The weavers of Mirpur Palli were commissioned to produce the extravaganza of silk saris worn by Indian actress Aishwarya Rai and her dance troupe in the film Devdas. depending on the skill of the weaver in line-by-line placement of patterns on the taanaand baana. The soft breezes blowing out from the rivers were conducive to keeping the looms and the waft and weft of threads pliable. An art connoisseur of the period Theopbile Gautier wrote about the glory of Banaras brocades as "cloth.and a bridal saree fetched a princely price of Rs. Descriptions detail "a sari in yellow silk gauze with floral scrolls. I was able to obtain valuable information on the weaving processes as well as the names of original designs. the Banarasi loom is composed of wooden. and Ghar Ghar Ki Kahani. A brief description is given below :
. The item was supplied as part of the exotic textiles from Uttar Pradesh. is herself a skilled weaver. a matter of extraordinary skill of eye and hand. His wife Razia Sultana Parveen also from a weaver's family. Classical motifs from the Persian storehouse of design were known as jam-e-bahar (trellis patterns) and jam-e-var(Persian paisley) gul-dasta (bouquet or flower vase motif) also referred to as ambros.moyur-pakhee (peacock). The result of these factors brought about the migration of large populations from one region of India to another. By the Sarees outlets Market 1930s Dhaka set up its own Banaras Silk Industry Centre in Becharam Dewry. The process of preparing the threads for making saris is long and laborious. They belonged to Cholapur village of Benaras. each composite flower of floret being outlined in gold thread". tiapakhee (parrot). Liaqat Ali (70 years) and Qayyum (65 years) whose parents reached Dhaka in 1946. However. 400/-. By the 1920's the Banarasi sari became an essential part of the Indian bridal trousseau. As time passed Bengali words came into use such as lata-pata (trellis) prianka (floral) tara-buti (star bud) kalka (paisley). the only change has been the addition of the jacquard introduced after 1947. From these original inhabitants of Benaras (whose second and third generation families are residents in Mirpur). bamboo and small metal parts arranged in the earthen pit floor of the Karkhana (factory). the movement for Independence from the British and finally the desire for a separate homeland for Muslims. In recent years the influence of film and television media led to naming sari designs after Titanic. The main market were in Sadarghat Market. The culture of the Indo-Gangetic plains has been nurtured by the mighty rivers Ganga and Jamuna. border designs. in the old town. The master craftsman of Mirpur informed me that silk brocades carried names such as beldar. Among the first few families who packed up their looms in 1946 and came with high hopes to Dhaka to start a new life was Mohammad Sobhan. Another exhibit was the "diagonal pattern called tercha bearing stalks and foliage of the scroll type. none of their children have taken up the profession. diagonal floral styles and satin-but. As is common with most heritage crafts and arts produced in the subcontinent. The romance of the soft pure silks of Banaras had reached Bengal with the advent of Moghul rule. the border and end piece (anchal) being in thick silver checkered damask. father of Mohammad Rafiq whom I met in Mirpur Palli in 2004. India. All are attending school and college.
One significant stimulus was in the 1940's resulting from political changes. belbuti. separated by narrow red lines with gold spots placed at intervals". which attempted a direct challenge to sunlight the accomplishment of millions of fairies". a leader among the weaver community and a second generation Banarasi weaver. Banarasi brocades were woven with the help of jacquard system.documented as some of the unique exhibits. were priced at Rs. Some other migrants were the father of Sanaullah Warsi (78 years) who still works at the loom in Mirpur.
Once the threads are arranged for the taana. The thread spools already prepared by the charka workers are kept on the earthen floor near the weaver. lachhis are then sent for dyeing.
. Special dyeing experts. Names of tools used to weave Benaras silk brocades are as follows:
Turai / belun (roller-beam) Khuta (side posts) Karga (pit) Lappa (horizontal wooden rods) Jacquard (cards perforated with holes for lifting needed threads) Phhana (bamboo read) Makri (upper/roof suspended rods) Gulla or baw of natawa bamboo/wood spool. who are not the weavers. for up to five saris with blouse pieces. 8. From these smaller lengths are cut and taken to spin spools on wooden charkas (wheels) for the baana (weft). This is done by using one colour dye up to a given measurement of the threads. The required lengths of threads for the taana (warp) of one or two saries are straightened out and joined if necessary to achieve the required length. Nowadays these are made of plastic. The exchange of information is all verbal and there is no written code or guideline. The heritage is alive because public patronage is forthcoming and because the weavers of the exotic art-craft are dedicated to passing on the legacy for posterity. India. they are fitted at the weaver's end of the loom by speciallsed craftsman. The dyeing process is fascinating. 4. These imported threads come in the form of bales and are put onto wood rollers. the bundle threads have to be washed in at least four pots of clean water mixed with a thread softener called khararee (digamen). 7. First high quality silk threads are purchased at an approximate rate of Tk.1. for example the main ground colour (jomeen) will be black. the renowned Banarasi brocaded silks. Katha or shirki (wood or bamboo flat instrument used to form floral patterns). The weaver explains the design to the setter referring to patterns such as keridar (paisley) or phoolkoli orkangeevaran. For the baana or weft. 5. but they are aware of their contribution to the cultural wealth of Bangladesh. 6. Dhaka has become a hub of a great heritage of craft of the subcontinent. Pakistan or Thailand.500 per kg imported from China. as 70 yards can be dyed at one time in three colours. The larger spools. Makku or dherki (five inch long flat shuttle piece of buffalo horn used to push threads left or right as needed. The taana-setter knows before hand that the sari has three colours. The silk threads are fine like hair and they are joined with a powder called madesun made from fine soft ashes (chhai). Tana (steel plate) Rooler (wood roller) Charka (hand spin or cycle wheel) Khalli (iron rods rotated to tighten threads) Charr or birni (thin wire used to tighten threads). 1. 2. The skills belong to the craftsman. the border (paar) and end piece (anchol) will be beige and motifs will be of cream shades. which look like large rolling pins called belun. before laying them out to dry. After boiling for over an hour with at least 4 bars of soap in water for a length of two saris. the loom setter uses the pareta a bamboo rolling pin also called natawa. The elders speak with nostalgia about their roots. 3. Today the far-flung cousins from the lineage of Banaras weavers are carrying on the legacy in their chosen homeland. do this by immersing the threads in boiling pots of soap water for at least one hour. The dyed spools are put onto turai or beams.
pineapple. Roeng.D. belonging to the Chakma.snake curve.beam. produce handloom cloth.heel to set threads of taana. Buddhist monks eat from charity (they do not cook their own food) and also they cannot purchase their garments.seed of eggplant. Burmese and Assamese peoples with the Aboriginal river. 7. Bandarban. Bourgogaw .three sticks used to hold threads. 8.for belt and Tarchidori. Khumi. The skill is considered a qualification of a good wife and mother and a spiritual value is given to the art of weaving.heel section. Arakanese. The Chakma Loom: The most well known loom is called Baen. Tammo bach . They receive gifts of their robes from the community. The Pala and Sena Dynasty overcame Buddhism and its followers sought safety in the hilly regions of Rangamati. who follow Buddhism.beam. Thur Sama . Bau Kati . but not all of these tribes had a weaving tradition.shuttle of bamboo. Tarchi Cam . Bago choke .spinning wheel. Such long pieces of fabric are made by Chakma women and hung out in open spaces or forest areas on a tall bamboo.C. Siyang . forest and agro-based peoples of old Vanga.small flower. which carries an ancient link with tribal or indigenous communities in larger Asia. 4. 9. and any monk whose clothes have worn out can cut off a piece to fulfill the needs of his apparel. 5.design on clay water pot. (up to the 12th century) when Buddhist influence was at its height and the great monasteries at Paharpur and Mainamati testify to that influence.aat-bo-lizard's foot. 3. Tuptupi . such as those woven to commemorate the death of a person and also those woven for marriage ceremonies. The weaving of material for charity in olden times was a religious act. Chori phool . There is a special cloth made of hand spun yarn and woven specially as an act of charity. Tonchangya. commerce and industries over the period approximately of 1000 B. The parts are as follows: Biyong. Pangue. who hang the material in the open. This is called the aalum.for spinningjhoom threads.
. as a gift to the monks.to keep threads uniform. Chak and Khyeyng. Tusha.like Bangla alphabet letter. Names of Designs : Every Chakma girl is taught weaving by her mother and elders.king of design. The most recent entry of outsiders started in the 8th century A. Teen beya . The Tribals of the Chittagong Hill Tracts consist of ten main tribes. Moru. 6. Kanjal . an important tribe. Padi cabang gach . The Chakmas. natural dyes. Anaj . Rope . which her mother shows her from an heir-loom woven catalogue. Khagrachari etc. They form some interesting Tribal population of the country. Chorki .Waist belt (of buffalo hide). Tripura. In fact some textiles are considered as sacred. imbibing and fusing with the earlier Indus Valley culture. Leblebi . Bangal Chabugi . Shaugtia bach. Some of the most famous designs are: 1. Weaving in Buddhist tradition holds spiritual and ritualistic overtones. At about eight years of age a girl is encouraged to start learning a range of designs. and the Indo-Gangetic Civilisation had reached fruition. It has twelve main parts. Begum bichi . Charka . 2. There are hundreds of patterns but a good weaver must learn. Tagalog . The Bengali race is a mixture of Mongoloid. nearly all made from bamboo and the chhaw betal nut tree. Ritual prayers are offered at the time of weaving. Several.Tribal Textiles Vanga or East Bengal had grown its townships. and the raw materials were made of handspun cotton thread.tiger's eye. 10.
but her determination has given recognition to a great heritage and kept it alive. Traditional jhoom handspun yarn has been replaced by Korean cotton yearn. They go up from sixteen to thirty-eight lines in a single pattern. Manjulika Chakma. 16. and the range has therefore increased. Manjulika Chakma opened the first commercial sales outlet in the 1960's.
in the next post. Tribal women are presently marketing their products in the local'haat'.cane stool design. i will let you know the technical hurdles behind the disappearance of the heritage. 14. Thengbala satarang . 17.small wild marigold. very few people know its technical hurdles for that reasons it lost totally.11. but by producing the material for shalwar-kameez. shawls. caps etc. Chaba Kangel .combined pattern. Previously red. Kangara . In 1960s and 70s there was no market.
I believe that there no one in the world who will be surprise to know that a complete garments can be kept in a small match box and that fabric was Dacca Muslin. Now there are at least twenty-five loom factories. the apt daughter of Panchalata Khisha. Logged Mostafa Zaman Jr. is also a winner of many national and international awards for her thirty years of dedication to the preservation and development of Chakma tribal textiles.
Stick counts refer to the number of small sticks inserted in the threads to form the motif. Chakma tribal textiles have a bright future. Member
. 12. waist coats.10 sticks. while doing my masterarbeit in Germany. Not only do our tribal women feel proud to wear our own dress. I came to know some important facts why today our one of the famous heritage lost its presence.snake twist. engaging two thousand workers in the hill tract region. you all know that basic raw material for muslin fabric was pure cotton. says she is optimistic regarding the increase of handloom production. Satacrang .crab. Daush beya . These form the complicated geometric designs of Chakma loom fabric.seven stick. but the raw material is available and its final products muslin lost (yarn count 200-400). machine made threads and gold zari threads. She believes that the future of woven material produced by the tribal people is undoubtedly bright. Recent changes have occurred in the textural quality of Chakma handloom fabrics. skirts.ducks feet. Manjulika Chakma mentioned that she markets some of her production through agents. 15. She says.
Aza thang . With increased demand. Now dyeing is done with chemical dyes. Sath beya karanga kapya . Majara . Panchatala Khisa who pioneered the craft of weaving tribal textiles for themarket. dark green and white were the main colours. There is a growing interest in tribal loom cloth. with the entry of rayon. black. men's fatua. or as vendors going house-to-house creating a new activity of profit for tribal women. It is up to us to meet that demand". we are attracting the general buyers. 18. 13. "If we move with the times. Renowned weaver Mrs.
Re: Why the Dacca Muslin fabric lost in course of time? « Reply #1 on: October 26.. Mahfuzur Rahman Senior Lecturer Department of Textile Engineering Daffodil International University fatima Jr. 2011.. 2011. Logged Suha Full Member
Re: Why the Dacca Muslin fabric lost in course of time? « Reply #2 on: October 26. Member
... 12:53:56 AM » I think your next post will be more informative and we are eagerly waiting for that. 09:21:03 AM » Good post Logged Md.
05:15:50 PM » there is not coincident with the concept of TAJMahala and its consequences after the completion of one of the magnificent wonders in the in the world. 09:30:40 AM » as far my knowledge. cut the finger of the manufacturer and did all things what can destroy the rich economy of this sub continent. Logged Fatima Binta Satter Disha Lecturer Textile Engineering AAA Jr.that is Eiffel Tower in Paris.
.they destroyed our own production of cotton (carpus).Re: Why the Dacca Muslin fabric lost in course of time? « Reply #3 on: October 26. 2011. I am sorry I lost the track. and i become one of the few fortunate Bangladeshi got all the view of Paris standing upon the tower. I had opportunity to visit one wonder in the world. the dhaka muslin is possible to make even today.our Muslin fabric was destroyed by the British. 2011. but believe me or not what was not happen for Dacca Muslin. I am not sure what was the logic behind cutting fingers of so many people. Member
Re: Why the Dacca Muslin fabric lost in course of time? « Reply #4 on: October 26.-ok. if you know the technical barriers and accordingly take measures.
the magnificent mahal was built through giving remuneration to its labors through cutting their fingers.
one must need expertise. Ali leaves us with the sense that. devotion. and sparked off a controversy when her publicist asked that the (coloured. Ali prefers not to be pigeonholed as 'Asian'. Asian) Guardian critic Maya Jaggi be replaced by somebody with less. we have to weave. but with respect and the hope of understanding. while no other textile fibers in the world has such exceptional property. Ali's publicist apologised for the "misunderstanding". the obvious affection for her characters.
Ali is the New New Thing. less accessible one. which is the most important factor for any yarn to weave. it is true that to convert cotton fiber into such higher count yarn. to use that loaded word.
this property of cotton fiber has given birth of 200-400 cotton yarn.Dacca muslin is pure cotton fabric. well. More gossip. ethnic antecedents. because this damp environment where humidity % is higher and high humidity means higher strength to the finest yarn in the world.
Despite the effective humour. high humid region is the only place where cotton fiber can be converted into such fine yarn. It offers enlightened literary tourism for the First World reader. after all. the new Zadie Smith. but a smaller.
. with its seductive promise of cartoon glimpses into a world permanently out of reach: "Duniya dekho!" In its 21st century avatar. Jaggi responded that this was the first time her background had been a factor in a long career. in this regard humidity (water vapor in air) can play vital role along with fineness of fibers and most importantly expertise. in the ancient time when Dacca muslin was made that was only weave on pit-looom. exploring an unknown (or. if you know the construction of any pit-loom than you know that a pit-loom is a loom that is set up in a humid square deep space into ground. this is just a bioscope show. the new Rohinton Mistry. that is cotton gain its strength while absorbing water or moisture. the bioscope's trained the other way. So it goes. though to reach this insight you have to discard the accumulated hype that almost buries the book itself under a flood of gossip. and the cotton has the most surprising properties which no other textile fibers has. which create damp environment in the digger spaced. exotic) world. the little box of wonders situated not in a larger world.Once there was the bioscope. patient and concentration. Monica Ali's Brick Lane is a bioscope story. consecrated by her presence in Granta's recent list of leading British novelists.
the second thing is that after converting fiber into yarn.
As they muddle through their lives. to use the words of her husband. but her real achievement is in depicting the flawed but deeply touching and infinitely complex relationship between Nazneen and Chanu. Chanu appears to be unidimensional when you first meet him. She evokes the sights and sounds of Brick Lane dutifully.
Nazneen is. Hasina works in a sweatshop. which evokes risibility more often than any other emotion in the reader's breast. and writes of these things in a curious patois meant to be either broken English or translated colloquial Bangla. The circumference of this strange new world is almost as narrow as her life in Mymensingh district. Ali evokes a grandeur in the everyday that resonates through Brick Lane.
Ali's style is unadorned. "an unspoilt girl from the village" when she is uprooted via the instrument of marriage from Bangladesh to the exotic world of Tower Hamlets in London. almost monotone. She holds out the possibility of redemption for them. will follow. a weak patriarch and ineffectual dreamer. who descends every so often from the oracular voice of women's wisdom into the mawkish with a discernible thump: "All my life I look for one thing only for love for giving and getting and it seem such a
. occasionally plumbing the unexpected depths that even an arranged liaison can provide. the same sense of allowing her to rediscover the world through her baby's eyes. Chanu. as did the first. evocative tourist guide. touches on their lives with a kind illumination. discards or is discarded by various male protectors. Bibi and Shahana. In an especially poignant episode. but it does set a gentle if unexciting rhythm.
As they negotiate the deeps and shallows of marriage. in a world peopled by characters who skate close to the edge of stereotype but don't always overbalance. but he has depth. Nazneen emerges from behind the veil of unassuming blandness draped over her features. Two more children. back in Bangladesh. the couple discover each other for the first time when they lose their first-born child. "just another obtuse struggling subcontinental male". is forced to prostitute herself. There are plenty of those. though they cannot excite the same awe in Nazneen's breast. in both departments. a community leader and activist distinguished unfortunately by a tendency to strike Howard Roarkian attitudes. or the lack of them. Cursed with beauty (yes. Running in parallel with the ebb and flow of life in and around Brick Lane are the letters that conjure up the hard-knock life of Nazneen's sister.
The deus ex machina which draws Nazneen past the lakshmanrekha of her normal life is Karim. It's more than she does for Hasina. doomed child. and initially far less colourful. Hasina. this is where things start to get a trifle predictable). in the manner of an able.All of that is so much baggage: Brick Lane will be remembered or forgotten for its own merits. and a surprising capacity for a muddled tenderness leavens his apparent leanings toward patriarchy.
It's a charming illusion. Their weave was so fine that the Egyptian Pharaohs used them for wrapping mummies. ten yards long) of muslin."
Despite the effective humour. Mosul. the famous Roman historian. two Indian cities. dresses of Dhaka muslin are considered the ultimate in luxury. Sir Abdul Gani of Dhaka ordered 30 yards of the most superior muslin as a gift to the prince. after all. Till 1813. yahudi. alizolah and samanderlaher. among aristocratic families of the Indian subcontinent. when Edward VII. with embroideries done in silver or with silk thread and this muslin was known as kasidah. Imperial Rome imported large quantities of this fabric. One yard of this fabric weighed barely 10 grams! Even today. refers to one type of Indian muslin known as jhuna. Ali leaves us with the sense that Brick Lane is. Swamy
Clothes made of Dhaka muslin are considered the ultimate in luxury. In 1875.thing full of danger can eat you alive and now I stop the looking it come right up to me and show all it tiny little teeth. cost Rs 400 or Rs 40 per yard. explored the lives of strangers with great intimacy.N. naubati. just a bioscope show. Dhaka muslin continued to sell in London with 75 per cent profit and was cheaper than the local British make. Alarmed
. but it makes a poor substitute for reality. namely Masulipatnam in South India and Dhaka in Bengal. the then Prince of Wales. In the first decade of the 20th century. came to Bengal. one thaan (one yard wide. there is no name more famous than that of Dhaka muslin. known as shama or evening dew. worn by Roman women of high rank to show off the contours of their bodies. despite the obvious affection for the people whose diverse lives she's trying to illumine. It provides the illusion of having travelled long distances and seen many distant marvels. Pliny.Reviving the once-famous muslin industry K. in Iraq and through the centuries when India became known as the home of exotic muslins. The word ‘muslin’ was derived from the name of the city of its origin. The variety known as sarkar-e-ala.
The history of Dhaka muslin is replete with exotic varieties. became famous for the weaving of this cloth.
IN the history of textiles. was used for the turbans of Mughal emperors. known as qutn-e-rumi.R.
a traveller. the finest muslin of Dhaka was reserved for the imperial court. one of the main problems faced by Dhaka weavers was to go around collecting yarn from the local spinners." The count for the best variety of Dhaka muslin was 1800 threads per inch. not much attention was paid to the muslin industry." The weavers were paid so little that. Till 1821. beauty and delicacy of texture. while the lesser varieties had about 1400 threads per inch.
. had this to say about the weavers: "It was a misfortune to appear very dexterous. yarn of a uniform texture could be obtained and soon the Indian handmade yarn industry closed. This yarn was not of uniform quality.at this competition. notwithstanding the great perfection which the mills have attained. which were revived by the Government of India after Independence. But. By modern monetary value. as by 1817. The best test of the material was that repeated washing made it finer. Unlike the case of many famous handicrafts of the subcontinent. West Bengal and other states in India have tried to revive muslin-weaving skills. "Hindu women of the age. Bangladesh. is the question experts are trying to sort out." During the medieval times. Kasidah and Jamdani fabrics for saris continued. Abbe Rynal. a British textile expert. at one-fourth the price of the Indian yarn. pressing and polishing the muslin was one of the specialised tasks of Dhaka’s washermen community. The superfine quality could be woven only in early morning or afternoon as otherwise the strong sunlight snapped the threads.
Whether the fabulous muslin industry can be revived now. But more than the duty. Another unsavoury fact associated with the killing of this Indian industry was that the thumbs and index fingers of many yarn makers were chopped off by the British in order to prevent them from twisting the finer yarns required for the muslins. were the weavers of superfine quality. with British machinery. a muslin weaver who has won a national award. In the 17th century. varying from 18 to 30 years. An interesting fact was that the polishing of muslin was done using conch shells and the fabric was not ironed. the Dhaka fabrics are unrivalled in transparency. their sight became impaired. Tangail and Jamadani sarees. Washing. But on a commercial scale.
Despite producing the costliest fabric in the world. they got only one to one and a half rupees per month. during the era when a rupee fetched two and a half maunds of rice. Recently. English mill-made thread was introduced in Dhaka. the revival of the muslin industry has to depend upon the gradual improvement of the quality of the popular and cheaper muslin-based Dhakai. because they were then forced to work only for the Government which paid them ill and kept them in sort of captivity. the manufacture of Dhaka.
According to Rabindranath Saha. Dr Taylor states. Dr Taylor. the British imposed 80 per cent duty on the Indian product. which have a great commercial market. this would mean a maximum daily wage of Rs 25 per day. The most famous of the weavers were registered as though in royal employ and were not allowed to make muslin for others. the weavers of Dhaka suffered because of their skill. In 1840. But after 30 years. the introduction of the machine-made yarn ruined the muslin trade. wrote: "Even in the present day.
The expertise of computer scientists is being made use of to create indigenous but varied intricate designs for the fashionable Dhakai saris. a senior executive in Tata Iron and Steel Co. thousands of Hindu weavers from Bangladesh came to West Bengal. has taken the lead to establish a muslin saree centre for weavers in the Kalna town. in the last decade. just as the skill of the muslin weavers was two centuries ago. there are six IBM workstations with more than 20 traditional weavers working on computer-aided designs. the modern Indian computer experts are the nation’s pride. Efforts are made to coordinate with the muslin industry in Bangladesh. serious efforts are being made to revive the muslin textile industry.
Today. so that both India and our neighbour can reap the benefit.In the town of Kalna in West Bengal. In 1947 and later in the 1970s. a visionary by name of Sujay Nag. Happily. And at the Computer-Aided Design Centre at Krishnagar in West Bengal.