“The cloth is like the light vapours of dawn”-
Yuan Chwang traveller & scholar, 7th century.
The intricacies of this weave represent both the glory of our past and splendour of our future. This marvellous discontinuous weft technique is one of the most time intensive and advanced in the world. From contrasting monotones of white-on-white, Gaurang has expanded the vocabulary of Jamdani designs into colourful, vibrant forms in cotton muslin with threads of silk, silver, gold and more to create many fascinating iterations. His Banarasi signature masterpieces in the elaborate Jamdani techniques are distinctive with exquisite motifs, curvilinear patterns, asymmetrical layouts and non-traditional imagery rendering it timeless! Some of his Jamdani weaves have between 250 and 500 different discontinuous weft threads laid out on the loom. Carefully the weaver picks the right thread and interweaves each weft by hand through thousands of warp threads. On a usual day, a Jamdani weaver weaves between a quarter and an inch of fabric, spending more than two years weaving one Jamdani Saree.
Since time immemorial Banaras has had its own unique identity. Banarasi sarees are known for the intrinsic and delicate silk embellishment showcasing the cascade of tradition and craftsmanship. Our skilled weavers work on their indigenous looms through jacquard attachments with punch cards to support Gaurang’s constant innovation with unique weave structures, design and texture to add fresh drama and contemporary flair to the Sarees. This complexity, requiring great skill, renders the arrangement of motifs/designs in such fine details that it looks like our heritage Sarees are being embroidered on the loom. The jacquard loom is the most versatile loom and Gaurang pushes to capture its infinite possibilities of that flexibility through integrating hues of colours and distinguishing designs. The rhythm of his handlooms resonates through the small winding lanes of Benaras and echoes the emotions delicately crafted by the weavers bringing the 6-yard canvas to life.
India boasts of a historically rich treasure trove of hand embroidery techniques in which undoubtedly the craft of pristine Chikankari remains a symbol of timeless elegance. Gaurang translated his designs into skill and techniques of the Chikankari Karigars to create great art. Researching old motifs and patterns, reviving long lost stitches and amalgamating it with his unique, dramatic and artistic block designs his creations integrates the past, present and the future.
For Gaurang it isn’t just about reviving the Chikankari craft but taking it beyond. While white, delicate soft hues and pastels win hands down in Chikankari, he boldly experiments with indigo and naturally dyed threads to trace his unique motifs in his designs making the Sareesmore versatile. The innate spirituality and serenity along with a new found accommodative attitude among conservative craftsmen make this craft not just repetitive procedure but an everlasting pleasant memory in making Quintessential Heirloom pieces.