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What is Jamdani?

Jamdani or Jamdhani is a fine art weave attachment, intended to enhance the look and appeal of the saree on which it is hand woven. It is also considered a hand-woven technique that creates patterns of various colours and designs on cotton or silk sarees. Intending to improve the aesthetic appeal, it takes the form of cotton and gold colored thread weaving to create motifs of geometric patterns and floral designs in colourful hues.

Jamdhani hand weaving is a necessary accompaniment for Bengal sarees and is on display on the cotton and silk offerings of the Baluchari, Shantipur, Bengal cotton and Tussar silk fabrics that are Bengal’s pride. Jamdani sarees are much sought after by fashion conscious professional women in Bangladesh for their elegance.

A traditional weave that came from Bangla Desh, it is also the pride of West Bengal, India. Produced in Bengal and Faizabad in U.P., a special Jamdani Tanda or cotton fabric brocaded with fine embroidery on cotton or zari is made.

Jamdani – universal appeal

So universal is the appeal, that today the Jamdhani is an inclusion today in the making of some of the other traditional handloom varieties also across India, such as the Banaras, Venkatagiri, Uppada, Kanchipuram, Dharmavaram, and Mysore Sarees.

Where did Jamdani originate?

Jamdani originated in East Bengal currently known as Bangladesh. Partition saw migrant artisans re-settle in the current West Bengal, India, to continue to practise this fine ethnic art.

Jamdani types

Based on the variations in the Jamdani weave, sarees can be termed as Daccai Jamdani, known for its colourful motifs, the Shantipur Jamdhani for its soft texture, the Tangail Jamdani for its traditional borders and the Dhonekai Jamdani for its colourful hues.

Different saree varieties in Bengal

There are at least six varieties of Bengal handlooms, each deriving its name from the village in which it originated, and each with its own distinctive style. The undisputed queen of the range, however, is the fabled Jamdani, which in all its myriad local avtars continues to retain its original grandeur and sophistication. The original version is referred to as Daccai jamdani.

The specialty of the Jamdani saree

Traditionally woven saree of Bengal, the Jamdani saree is fabulously rich in motifs in geometric, figural and floral patterns woven in a contrasting shade to the base fabric of silk or cotton. The motifs are often woven with maroon, white, green, black, silver and golden coloured thread woven into a gray or natural coloured base fabric. It was considered at one time as one of the finest muslins in the world.