Both Muslin and Jamdani are the pride of Bangladesh, expressing the country’s heritage and tradition. Both types are unique for their pattern and knitting style. However, Jamdani is a type of muslin that can be produced from either cotton or half-silk.
Jamdani is an amazingly thin and delicate cotton fabric that portrays natural flower, leaf and geometrical pattern on fine muslin. It is made out of corpus cotton. Basically, Jamdani means Jamdani saree.
In 4th December 2013, UNESCO declared Jamdani knitting industry as “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”. Though Jamdani knitting industry also produces jamdani pattern fabric clothes, Jamdani saree is the ultimate choices for most saree lovers. It is hardly possible not to find a Jamdani saree in the wardrobe of saree lovers.
There is a controversy about the naming of Jamdani though it is believed that Muslim people spread this knitting pattern throughout the Indian sub-continent. Folk Artist Tofael Ahmed holds the view that Jamdami means “Booty clothes”. Farsi word “Jama” means “clothes” while “Dana” denotes “booty”. On the other hand, it is also expressed that “Jam” means flower and “Dani:” means “Vase”. The flower pattern is portrayed in delicate muslin.
There is no direct and exact date about the production and invention of Jamdani saree. But most of the historians believe that Jamdani is the successor of Muslin. Jamdani gained its popularity during the Mughal Empire. But after the battle of Palashi, muslin industry became destroyed because of the industrial revolution and the invention of modern equipment. However, the old glory of Jamdani regained, and it is quite popular nowadays. Bangladesh Small Cottage Industries corporation established Jamdani Industrial area and research center in Noapara village of Tarabor, Narayanganj for enhancing and increasing the production of Jamdani.
Places that produce Jamdani:
Only areas besides Shitalakshya river, Bangladesh, can produce excellent Jamdani.
A good jamdani not only requires skilled handicraftsman and traditional knitting pattern but also needs a specific type of moisture and environment. Since the olden time, good Bangladeshi Jamdani is produced beside the Shitalakshya river, which is known for its unique moisture and atmosphere. Shitalakshya river is one of the distributaries of the Brahmaputra that flows over Narsingdi, Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj. It is also believed that the morning is the best time to produce Jamdani as you will find massive moisture in the morning. As a result, no places of Bangladesh can create Jamdani except the places beside Shitalakshya river. The past Muslin and today’s Jamdani both are produced centered in this area.
Materials, equipment and the stages of production:
Areas beside Brahmaputra River produce the best footy corpus because of enough heat, loose soil and rainfall. This footy corpus is used to produce both Muslin and Jamdani. There are several stages for making Jamdani where separate handicraftsman is involved in each stage specialized in a particular area. Though most of the weaving nowadays is instrument-based, Jamdani requires a special type of knitting know as handheld knitting. Both knitting and pattern creation process are done at the same time. The weaver uses a little bit thick threads for making the pattern. In fact, all of the weavers learn the work from their family and start learning from their childhood.
At first, the weaver creates the fabric then uses the thick thread for creating the pattern. Again he creates the fabric and then makes the pattern. The skilled knitter also calculates the place where to put the pattern thread. In this way, both fabric creation and pattern completion finish at the same time. After that, they polish the saree using starch. The more subtle and delicate the pattern and design, the more time you need to make the saree. Generally, a knitter needs seven to one month, or even a year to produce a single jamdani saree.
Types of Jamdani design and pattern:
Basically, the dominance of indigenous flowers, leaves, the creeper is found in Jamdani saree although geometrical patterns are also common. The different Jamdani gets its name according to the pattern. There are various names such as panna hazar, dubli jal, bootidar, terca, moyur patch ( peacock knitting), kolmilota, puilota, kochu pata, kolka par, angur lota ( grape vine), sondesh par, shapla ful ( water lily), jui buti ( Jasmine booty), Chandra bahar, hansho ( duck), jhumka (bellflower), calta par, kolosh ful ( callus flower), murali jal, joba ful ( China rose flower), projaproti ( butterfly), shamuk buty ( snail booty) and more.
Types of Jamdani:
There are two types of Jamdani- cotton Jamdani and half-silk Jamdani. The landscape treads of half silk Jamdani are silk where the horizontal threads are cotton. On the other hand, the entire saree of cotton jamdani is made with cotton.
Where to find:
In Bangladesh, you will find Jamdani in every shopping mall and markets, including the famous brand Aarong. However, if you are looking for online purchase, visit top e-Commerce Platform in Bangladesh for finding exclusive Jamdani with glamour and trendy design.