October 13, 2009

Benarosi Weavers

First working day in Dhaka, we went to Mirpur to visit local artisans. There we met a Bihari community who are weaving Benarosi silk sarees, originating from Benares (or Varanasi) in India.

Their looms are amazing! It is hand and foot operated but the pattern is 'programmed' into the loom using a series of cards with a punched out code, telling the loom which threads to pull out at which time.

Any pattern is possible, however due to the cost of having the pattern cards made, the same set of traditional patterns tend to be used for up to 80 years.

The men showed great love for what they do, and said "Our great grandparents did this... and this is all we know how do. And we will keep doing this until the world ends"

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