Handlooms are fundamentally different from power looms. Motion of the handloom is operated by skilful human hands, without using any source of energy like electricity, water, air or sun to drive the motion of the loom.
Fabric is woven on a handloom by interlacing of warp, running length-wise and weft or filling, running width-wise.
Warp threads are raised and lowered by manual shedding motion to form shed. Through this shed, the shuttle is passed carrying across the weft thread which is beaten against the woven fabric by the movable comb like frame or reed. When the heddle is shifted, the two sets of warp reverse position, binding the weft into the fabric and opening other shed.
A Banarasi Fabric is a Fabric made in Varanasi, a city which is also called Benares or Banaras. The fabric are among the finest fabrics in India and are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari, fine silk and opulent embroidery. The fabrics are made of finely woven silk and are decorated with intricate design, and, because of these engravings, are relatively heavy.
The handloom sector in Gujarat has a bag full of weaving and printing styles. The prominent one is that of Bandhej, which is known as a spectacular tie and dye process. Another one to check out is Jari work, which showcases rich embroidery done with gold and silver threads. After all, Gujarat has got an opulent culture of elegant handlooms. The weavers of Gujarat have that artistic knack to create a style statement out of simplicity.
This state is also a home to Mashru style of weaving silk with cotton. It is a fabric woven with a permutation of cotton and silk, which is popular among masses for bold patterns and vibrant colors. Another example of Gujarat’s excellence lies in the art of block printing (Dhamadka and Ajrakh).