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KOSA TRADITIONS – Kosa sari weaving of Champa and Chandrapur

Digital publication of Student document for private circulation

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No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted

Graduate Diploma Programme in Design, Textile Design

in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,

Batch 2008-12.

including photocopy, recording or any other information

Edited and Designed by Smriti Prasad and Sneha Ghosh

storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in

Š Text and Photographs by Smriti Prasad and Sneha Ghosh,

writing from the authors.

Photographs & sketches listed otherwise in bibliography.

Š National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India.

Digitally Printed by Chaap Digitals, Ahmedabad.

Washed tussar fabrics at the dyeing unit, Seoni Champa.

KOSA TRADITIONS – Kosa sari weaving of Champa and Chandrapur

A craft documentation by– Smriti Prasad and Sneha Ghosh Guided by– Mrs. Swasti Singh Ghai


“Knowledge is in the end based on Acknowledgment” —Ludwig Wittqenstein


oundation of our knowledge, about the craft and its related domains was laid down by some of the learned and wonderful people, whom we would like to,

acknowledge and pay our sincere gratitude for the immense involvement and support they extended towards us throughout the documentation process. Our Faculty and Guide Mrs. Swasti Singh Ghai, who introduced this course/project to us and believed that we would be able to bring out the essence of the craft tradition through our document. We thank her for the suggestions and inputs for building up this document. Thanks to Mr.

Amit Kharsani for helping us in the layout of this document. Thanks to Mr. Sakthivel, for his encouragement to dig out the known from the unknown. We also thank our senior faculty Mrs. Aditi Ranjan for sharing her knowledge about Kosa. We thank Mr. A. Ayaz Khan, Director, IIHT Champa for his guidance during the field work at Champa and Chandrapur; Mr. Gopala Dewangan, alumni IIHT Champa for his assistance throughout; Mr. Patel, District Sericulture Officer, Seoni; Mr. J. P. Bariha Sericulture Officer, Raigarh; Mr. O.P. Mishra, Superintendent, WSC Raigarh. Mr. R.R. Sahu and Mr. S.D. Garde, field officers; Mr. H.K. Chauhan, Mr. Kashyap, Mr. Pramod Kumar, Mr. Rajendra Dewangan, Mr. Virkishor Dewangan (chairman, Parmeshwari weavers society); Mr. Shekhar Dewangan (Sitaram Haath Kargha, Champa); Mr. Ajay Dewangan(Kosa Emporium, Champa); and the weavers at Champa and Chandrapur. Most importantly we thank our Parents Mr. Mukesh Prasad and Mr. Sandeep Kumar; Mr. Sunil More (Subedar, Indian Army) for their presence throughout the field work. We thank our senior Sapna Vedulla and our batch mates for their feedbacks and support. Thanks to Mohit Madhukar, Prerna Sunderaman, Zubair Ansari and Tanvi Sonavane for extending their helping hand for this document. And above all, the Almighty who kept us in good health and gave us the strength to complete our document.



ilk, is considered to be the most celebrated materials in the world of Textiles. In India one can find many examples of the craft traditions that involves the

weaving of silk, like the Patola saris from Patan, Gujarat, Banarasi saris from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Paithani from Paithan, Maharashtra, etc. Kosa silk weaving tradition of Champa and Chandrapur in the State of Chhattisgarh is one such craft traditions. Being students of Textile Design at National Institute of Design, we undertook the module/course of Craft Documentation in which we considered the Kosa silk weaving traditions as a subject for documentation. Craft Documentation as a module/course helps to build the sensitivity in the students to get engaged with the live craft traditions of India. It gives the opportunity to know these crafts from close quarters, thereby develop an appreciation for it. We both belong to the cultures which are different from that of Chhattisgarh, but our interests towards the material ‘Silk’ and the fundamental processes in the making of the fiber itself compelled us to undertake Kosa silk weaving traditions as a subject to study. Our field work which was for a duration of two weeks consisted of interviews with the makers, middlemen, wholesale dealers, handloom and sericulture officers, local people, technicians and other concerned people of the place. It also included visits to places like sericulture offices, Kosa rearing farms and grainage, IIHT, WSC, weaving workshops and other important places, which the readers can go through in the document. Apart from the interactions and observations of the making of the craft this course allowed us to undertake an analysis of the field information and process it along with the secondary research and develop a comparative understanding and thus be in a position to appreciate the material and conceptual aspects of the craft traditions. It gave us the platform to acquire a position of respect and empathy vis a vis the craft traditions, to the creative genius of craft processes, to the dignity of human labour and to the dedicated and simple life of the makers. From the brief account of the place where we went one can experience the interrelation between Kosa– sari– makers– trade. We have also tried to highlight the concealed issues of the system. The chapters in this document establish a link between the stories, interviews, processes and the secondary research done by us. It gives a clear understanding about the place, the people, the craft and its makers along with the market structure and the underlying issues in relation to the craft that we have studied. Each chapter is an amalgamation of the knowledge that we have acquired at the fieldwork and the secondary research. We have started the chapters with an overview about Saris in the Indian subcontinent followed by the context where the craft is practiced. Then comes an introduction about Kosa, Kasa and Kanchan– the three main crafts practiced in the region. A brief account of Kosa rearing and the story of Dewangans (the weavers who practice this craft) and the processes involved in the making of the Kosa pat. The later chapters of the document deal with the market structures in the Handloom industry and the Organizations that are a part of the handloom sector of India. At the end of the document a catalogue of samples is provided which will help the readers to connect more with the craft and its environment. With this, we hope that this effort of ours bring more opportunities for the makers of the craft and the next generation students.



Anticlockwise from top to bottom a Main entrance gate of National Institute of Design, Paldi, Ahmedabad, India b Terracotta horses at the main entrance of the building. c A view of G. G. Sarabhai Square, at NID. d A view of old utensils near the Aquarium. Following page Kosa yarns and a finished Kosa sari drying in the sun.




Introduction 016 Sari The Epitome of Traditions 018 Central India 026 ◊Madhya Pradesh ◊Chhatisgarh t+BOKHJSo$IBNQB t3BJHBSI t4BSBOHBSI t$IBOESBQVS

Kosa Kasa Kanchan 046 Kosa Sericulture 052 ◊Kosa Crops ◊Life Cycle ◊The Host Plants ◊Process, Skill & Knowledge

The Handloom 070 ◊Loom Parts ◊The Loom Maker

Dewangans 080 ◊Weaver's Insights

Weaving 092 ◊Pre–loom process ◊Weaving t1IFSB t,IBQB t+BMB ◊Post–loom process

Market 126 ◊Retail Stores ◊Societies/Mahajans ◊Handloom Mark ◊Silk Mark

The Handcrafted 138 ◊Indian Craft Industry ◊Revival of Crafts ◊Recent Trends

Other Stack Holders 146 ◊IIHT ◊WSC ◊CSB

Woven Samples Conclusion Annexure Glossary Bibliography



ane bane o Dai” (Greetings to you grandmother), says

Gopala Dewangan as we entered the house of Punai Dai, who sat calmly on her machia and reeled out the golden thread from Kosa fal. She smiled at us and affectionately replied “bane bane bachua”

(Greetings to you son). The golden thread reeled out by her, traces its origin long back from a Chinese legend which says that a cocoon accidently dropped into a cup of tea that a Chinese princess was having in her garden. The hot liquid softened and loosened the fibres of the cocoon, which the princess pulled and drew away from the cocoon as a continuous strand. Who knew that this silk would rise from the depths of unknown to become the most celebrated fibre in the world of Textiles. Our expedition for Kosa started on November 2nd 2010, when we reached Champa to understand how the entangled threads of Kosa gets woven into beautiful lugdas/pattu/pat. Kosa fal the wild silk of Chhattisgarh is cultivated widely all over the state, employing several workers under the Sericulture setup. The threads of Kosa fal are woven into a five and a half meter drape– the Kosa lugda. Kosa lugdas are traditionally woven by the Dewangans, who are said to be the first weavers of the Universe. During our journey we came across the shift in techniques to weave these saris– from Phera to Khapa to Jala. These saris are woven on the handlooms with a change in the arrangements that are done according to the pattern and structure of the saris. While we were strolling in the galis of the market in Champa we saw tribal women wearing blue body whitebordered cotton saris. We asked one of the shopkeepers about the Kosa lugda. And he told us that in earlier times the women of Jamindar Gharanas used to wear these saris on special occasions. And nowadays these saris are a part of big showrooms and brands like FabIndia. Our interest drew us to the markets of Champa where we saw a huge variety of Kosa saris and other Kosa products. The Mahajans, on the gaddis were dealing with the weavers, explaining them the designs for the next collection of saris. “Agar apko sari weaving dekhni hai to apko Chandrapur jana chahiye” (If you want to see the sari weaving then you should go to Chandrapur too), says one of the middlemen of Champa. So, after spending

a week at Champa we headed towards Chandrapur to witness the tradition of sari weaving. On our way we took a day’s halt at Raigarh and visited the Weavers Service Centre. An old document of samples was lying in front of us, ready to share the designs practised decades ago. These traditional designs conveyed their stories to us lying down all quiet with death written on their faces; this clearly explains how this traditional motif repertoire is beyond the memory of the present generation and thus is absent from the present market of saris. With a dying hope of seeing these motifs still being woven we continued our journey towards Chandrapur. As, we were walking down the lanes of the village we heard the striking sound of the looms coming from each and every house. Gopala who accompanied us said that for the next five days we shall be witnessing the same sound. “Majhi re mohe le chal us paar, mohe le chal us gaam, Jahan paat bane hai resham ka, mohe le chal us dham”. – Smriti Prasad Almost in the consonance with the rhythmic beauty of looms, some thoughts like this float in our minds while we were taking a ride in the dongis on Mahanadi after we took blessings from Chandrahasini Devi. In our country, skilled people such as weavers are still investing hard labour working day and night to create this exquisite simplicity and beauty. It is the fruit of their devoted and dedicated work and hard labour that we still get to see evidences of the wonders that a handloom can do to the shimmering strands of silk yarn. In the coming chapters we have compiled our experiences and findings about the craft of Kosa sari weaving, the place, weavers and other such domains which support the craft to flourish so much. It is through our fieldwork and research that we could gain a deep understanding of the processes and techniques and realize the skill and mastery required in it all. Often insights have occurred while interviewing a weaver or looking at a process. It is this witnessing of the unfolding of a live tradition in all its dynamic dimensions that we stand informed, insightful and eager to share it with others. Yellow and green Tussar silkworms at fields of Arjuna/Saja at Baramkela, Chhattisgarh.

SARI The Epitome of Traditions

Kosa Traditions


BIHAR & JHARKHAND Motia/Khadi saris.


Dyed, fabric resist and printed saris.

Pata Kara– Flat border.

Baavanbuti saris.

Puliyila Kara/Katti Kara– Flat border ribbed end piece.

Tussar silk saris.

Kai Patta– Extra weft patterned.

Tribal saris.

Chutti Patt– Arrowhead pattern inlaid endpiece.

KARNATAKA Silk- Ilikal, Bangalore/Mysore/Mangalore. Khann-blouse fabrics cotton/silk. Cotton coarse count: 10s-30s. Cotton Medium upto 60s/Silk. Cotton fine upto 100s/Silk. GOA Coarse and medium count cotton saris. MAHARASHTRA Coarse and medium cotton count 20s-60s- Baan, Khadi. Medium and fine count cotton/silk saris 60s-100s-Lugda/jote, tok padar/patal. Silk/cotton saris- patal, paithan. GUJARAT Block prints on sari. Weaving– Cotton,wool,silk- Patola sari. Bandhani saris. MADHYA PRADESH & CHHATTISGARH Cotton, silk weaving.

Tribal saris with three-shuttle and extra weft. WEST BENGAL Coarse cotton. Fine count cotton– Shantipur saris, Tangail, Dhakai, Khadi, Jamdani and Bheeti saris, Dhonekhali saris. Tussar silk saris. Mulberry silk saris– Gorad, Korial saris, Bishnupur saris, Baluchar saris. ODISHA Fine count cotton sari. Coarse cotton sari. Tribal cotton saris– Bomkai, Kotapad, Santhali,Kondhs,Gadaba, Bonda. Sambalpur sari. ANDHRA PRADESH Coarse cotton– Kuppadam. Fine count cotton– Venkatgiri. Ikat saris. Narayanpet sari. Kalamkari sari. TAMIL NADU Sadha sari.

Cotton/silk zari weaving.

Serru and Kattam.

Block printing on saris.


Oraon mae sari.


Kosa lugda. Cotton lugda. UTTAR PRADESH & UTTARAKHAND Motia saris– Coarse count (Gara and Gazi).

Previous page

Buan– Coarse cotton with silk/zari border.



A close up of a Jala sari border, at Kosa Silk Emporium, Champa, Chhattisgarh.

Hand embroidered– chikankari.

Right: From left to right

Dyed and printed saris.

A glimpse of sari draping styles: courtesy: Rta Kapur Chishti, Amba Sanyal, Saris of India,

Varanasi saris.

Madhya Pradesh. Design of a Jala sari at Silk Emporium, Champa Chhattisgarh. Design of a Jala sari at Silk Emporium, Champa Chhattisgarh.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh













TAMIL NADU KERALA Map of India showing the states where sari is worn.

Kosa Traditions


ari– an exquisite unstitched piece of fabric, which drapes

Dimension of a sari is also governed by the way in which

over and around a woman describing her sociocultural

it is draped around the body. There are many number of ways

identity. In a country like India with such a versatile diversity

in which a sari can be draped, each signifying its origin and

in societies, it subsumes different caste, communities and

the wearer’s sociocultural identity, including the community

cultures together in its folds as a single entity. Being one the

or region they belong to. A traditional sari can be identified

most age old garments of the subcontinent, it enhances and

by the way it is designed and woven. It is divided into three

blends with the distinctive identity of every Indian woman. It

distinct parts– the deh or zamin, the kinar and the aanchra/

relates with the Indian woman the most with its myriad styles

jhela/pallav. The deh/zamin covers the central part of the sari

"Dhanpada describes in 927 A.D, the dress of a lady of some position as a silk sari obtained from the heavenly tree, Kalpapdu pausuk". Dr. Moti Chandra in 'Indian Costumes and traditions'

of graceful drape and exquisite designs. From a traditional

that is draped around by the body and usually pleated in front

ceremony to a very functional everyday wear, it is the most

of the navel. Designing of this part is done so that the ornamented areas are visible when the

celebrated attire for any kind of occasion. Its exceptional

garment is draped.

traditional varieties add more glamour and vogue even in

The kinar is relatively heavier than the deh, and runs through the entire length of the sari

the most contemporary style. Sari, is also the most ancient

along the selvedge. The selvedge is also integrated with the kinar and its design. The kinar not

garment style in the history of world's textiles and which is

only enhances the beauty of the sari but also adds additional weight at the edge that facilitates

still going on.

the fall of a sari. The kinar design also represents the personality and the social status of the

Woven saris are the most prized and value added items

wearer. Width of the kinar varies depending upon the traditional design and fashion that affects

of Indian Handloom Industry. The fascination for a sari and the

a sari style. The aanchra/pallav is the end part of the sari that is draped over the shoulder and

sense of identity of the Indian women has led to control the

left to hang over the back or front. It is designed according to the way it is traditionally draped

pace of evolution in terms of style or form of a sari, providing

and also for what occasion it is used. It is also the most flaunted part of the sari.

survival of weaving traditions in the Indian society. It holds an important place in a long tradition of wearing unstitched and uncut cloth e.g. shawls, dhoti, dupattas, pagadis. A sari speaks not just about aesthetics and design, but also of purity and dignity. It’s not only about the textured cloth with different patterns, weaves and structures, but also about the style to drape the unstitched garment over and around the body. Usually a sari measures 45-52 inches in width and 4-9 yards in length but it varies by region and by quality. A good quality sari made of expensive fibres like silk or fine cotton muslin, will often be both broader and longer than one that is less costly; the least expensive mill-made saris worn by peasants and the urban poor are noticeably short in length and width. Till the coming of mills, saris were made on handlooms. The weavers varied the length and width of the sari depending on the group/community that would be using it. Many of the traditional heavy cotton saris worn by tribal, peasant have often been short and at times less wide in order to facilitate movement that is required when undertaking work in forest or fields.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Phera sari from Champa, Chhattisgarh

Sari The epitome of traditions



18 inches


b b 123 4 5 1 234 5






Sketch courtesy: Rta Kapur Chishti, Amba Sanyal, Saris of India, Madhya Pradesh. a Dent in a Reed. b1 One finger width: Approximately 1 inch. b2 Two fingers width. b3 Three fingers width. b4 Four fingers width. b5 Five fingers width: Approximately 4.5 to 5 inches. b6 Ek haath (one arm length from elbow to fingertips): Approximately 18 inches. b7 One handspan: Approximately 9 inches. c One handspan, the maximum width of the border: This forms a complete veil over the head referred to as Ghunghat. d Ek kheel (approximately 27 inches).

Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

In India– the Sari is known by several names– Pudava in Kerala,


Seere in Karnataka, Lugda/Kapad/Sado in Goa, Baan/Lugda in Maharashtra, Sadlo/Lugda, in Gujarat, Jote/Lugda/Pata in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Dhoti/Lugdi/Lugga/Sari in Uttar Pradesh, Dhoti/Luga/Langa in Bihar and Jharkhand, Bhaaj in West Bengal, Dhoti/Saarhi/Luga in Odhisha, Dhoti/


Chire in Andhra Pradesh, Selai/Podavai in Tamil Nadu.

The diagram here, is the layout of an Orissan hansabali kapta, a traditional ethnic sari from the Eastern Deccan. Its endpiece is about one metre long.

Following page Left A view of Kanha Forest, Madhya Pradesh. Right: From left to right Narmada river Omkareshwar Bhil painting Buddhist Stupa, Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh



Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Sari The epitome of traditions

Front Pleats Northern


Maharashtrian kachchha

Front Pleats The upper, inner edge of the sari is tucked in at the right front

The endpiece is draped over the front left shoulder so the end hangs down the

hip with the left hand, and the upper border tucked around the waist into the

back. In the Tamil version, the hanging end is wrapped round the waist from

petticoat string band. One half to two thirds of the cloth are pleated with the

the right front side and tucked in at the left hip waist.

left hand, and then tucked into the petticoat waistband. Maharashtrian kachchha All kachchha drapes require an 8-10 metre sari, and Northern The remaining cloth is passed round the left hip and draped over

no petticoat is used. The upper border is ďŹ rst tied tightly round the waist

the right shoulder from the back. The left corner of the endpiece is tucked into

before the front pleats are created. The central point of the pleated fabric

the petticoat waistband at the left back hip. The cloth draping the shoulder

is pulled backwards at the hem between the legs and tucked into the sari

and back is pulled over the head so that it rests like a veil.

waistband. The remainder is wrapped and draped in a manner to the nivi style.

Nivi The remaining cloth is passed around the left back to the right where the

Courtesy: Rta Kapur Chishti, Amba Sanyal, Saris of India, Madhya Pradesh.

endpiece is pleated so that it will be narrow enough to rest on the shoulder. Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008



Kosa Traditions



adhya Pradesh emerged as an Indian State on 1st

of British India. However, after independence, it attained the

November 1956. During that period, the State also rose to

true stature of an Indian State in 1956. The States of Madhya

prominence as the largest State in India. However, with the

Bharat, Vindhya Pradesh and Bhopal were incorporated into

bifurcation of Chhattisgarh in 2000, the modern-day Madhya

the State and the Southern region of Vidarbha was conceded to

Pradesh came into being.

the Bombay State. In November 2000, the present day Madhya

The origin of Madhya Pradesh dates back to the

Pradesh came into being, when the Southeastern region of the

Paleolithic age, when men were primitive and dwelled in

State was carved out to form the new State of Chhattisgarh.

caves. Bhimbetka cave paintings of the state reiterate the fact. As far as chronicling is concerned, the history of Madhya

Geography– Forested land, rivers and people.

Pradesh regresses to the time of Emperor Ashoka. Chandra

Madhya Pradesh lies in the middle of the Indian Subcontinent

Gupta Maurya, grandfather of Prince Ashoka, established the

between 22.42°N Latitude and 72.54°E Longitude, sharing

Mauryan Empire (321 to 185 BCE) in Northern India, including

its border with six neighbouring States. The Northern border

the State of Madhya Pradesh. Mauryan Empire received a

of the State has two neighbouring States namely the State of

setback after Ashoka’s death and subsequently ebbed away

Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. The Western border of the State

into oblivion.

is shared by a part of Rajasthan and a part of Maharashtra

With the culmination of the Mauryan Empire, Central

with Gujarat in between. On the Southern part of the State

India saw many contestations for imperial victory amongst

of Madhya Pradesh lies the States Maharashtra and Andhra

the Kushanas, Sakas and other local dynasties, from 3rd to 1st

Pradesh. The entire Eastern border of the State is bounded by the States of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

century BC. Madhya Pradesh attained glory when it came under the Gupta dynasty in the 4th and 5th centuries. However, the

Bronze Sculpture: Maurayan Period

The total geographical area the State of Madhya Pradesh

Guptas collapsed with the attack of the White Huns, who were later defeated in 528, by King Yashodharman of Malwa. During this medieval period, the State also came under the sway of Rajputs, like the Paramaras and the Chandelas, and these rulers ascended it to new heights of prosperity and creativity.

Later, Gond kingdoms emerged in regions like Gondwana and Mahakoshal and Northern Madhya Pradesh came under the Muslim Delhi Sultanate in the 13th century. However, with the decline in power of Delhi Sultanate, the State saw the burgeoning of many independent regional kingdoms. Excluding Gondwana and Mahakoshal, the entire State became the imperial seat of the Mughal Kingdom. With the death of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707, it saw the emergence of the Marathas, who gained total command over the state, until their expansion impeded with the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. British dominion extended to Madhya Pradesh with the fall of Marathas and most of its regions became princely states


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Buddhist Stupa, Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh

Central India




covers is approximately 308,000 sq. km divided among the


45 districts of the State. Forests cover a major part of the State


m Tika


and the cultivated area accounts to almost half of the total


landmass of the State. The State covers a wide area of the

watershed of a number of rivers. Catchments of many rivers Ratlam


Northern part draining largely into the Ganga basin and the

Indore Jhabua

Chambal, Sone, Betwa, Mahanadi and Indravati rivers flow from the Western side of the State to the East, while Narmada


and Tapti flows from the Eastern side to the West.



Damoh Katni Umaria


Sehore Dewas




Rajgarh Bhopal


Tapti rivers and their basins divide the State in two, with the




Madhya Pradesh represents great river basins and the

Southern part into the Godavari and Mahanadi systems. The


Guna & Ashoknagar

Indian plateau region.

of India are lying in Madhya Pradesh. The Narmada and





Narshinghpur Hosangabad



population who, in most cases, live apart from mainstream Jabalpur. On the West lives the Bhils, while the Oraons inhabit the Eastern part of the State. The Bhils get their name from a Dravidian word for bow, which is the hallmark of the tribe. There are 46 recognized Scheduled Tribes and three of them have been identified as “Special Primitive Tribal Groups” in the State. Maximum population is that of Gond tribes.


Jashpur Korba Bilaspur


Chhindwara Kawardha

Khandwa & Burhanpur



Dindori Anuppur



Balaghat Raipur Mahasmund

Madhya Pradesh is home to majority of India’s tribal India. The Gonds tribe is found in the jungles South of





Previous page Left A view of Kanha Forest, Madhya Pradesh


Rajandgaon Ranker

Right: From left to right Narmada river: Omkareshwar Bhil painting. Buddhist Stupa, Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh



Map of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh showing the partition.

is another important mineral, found in the Balaghat and Chhindwara districts. There is bauxite

Madhya Pradesh has a subtropical climate. Like most of

which is required in the production of aluminium and which is available in the Katni tehsil

North India, it has a hot dry summer (April–June) followed

of Jabalpur. Madhya Pradesh has a large deposit of limestone required for the production of

by monsoon rains (July–September) and a cool and relatively

cement. The Panna region has a rich diamond bed and is well known for the production of

dry winter. The average rainfall is about 1,370 mm (53.9 in). It


decreases from East to West. The South-eastern districts have

The State has rich granaries of food. In the Northern part sillimanite and ochre are excavated.

the heaviest rainfall, some places receiving as much as 2,150

Other natural products are steatite and China clay. There are many flourishing textile mills in

mm (84.6 in), while the Western and North-western districts

the State and artificial silk manufacturing plants located at Ujjain, Nagda, Indore and Gwalior.

receive 1,000 mm (39.4 in) or less.

In the public sector, huge plants, namely the Bhilai Steel plant, the Heavy Electrical and the Bailadilla are the major achievements.

Economy Coal and iron are among the most important minerals of

The Nepa Mills produces newsprint for the country. Diesel engines are manufactured at Indore and attractive pottery and carpets are produced at Gwalior.

Madhya Pradesh. The iron ore found in Madhya Pradesh is

The State is famous for traditional village crafts such as Chanderi saris, leather and clay

of high grade and occurs in the Gwalior district. Manganese

toys. Ancillary industries such as dyeing, calico printing and bleaching have also tended to Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

concentrate in areas producing handloom cloth, silk and wool products. The State's woodwork and lacquer-ware are also very famous. Agriculture is the largest area of occupation in Madhya Pradesh. Around 1/5th of the cultivated land is under irrigation. The major food crops here include, jowar, wheat, rice and gram. Among the other crops, the oilseeds, cotton and sugarcane are some of those that need a mention.

Arts & Culture/Diverse Textile Traditions The State is famous for its hand printing, generally with vegetable dyes. The major hand printing centers of the State includes, Jawad, Bhairongarh, Mandsaur, Umedpura, Burhanpur, Bhopal, Indore, Gotampura, Sohawal, Tarapur and many more. Garments, bedspreads, tablecloths and curtain material are produced at Umedpura and Tarapur in Nandana prints that were once in vogue amongst the villagers of the legendary Nimar plain. From Bhairongarh comes printed quilt covers in attractive colours and designs, lungies,


odhanis, jajams (oor coverings), bedspreads and tablecloths. Tie and dye chunris are the speciality of Tarapur and Mandsaur. Soft, subtle shades in delicate weaves come off the looms in Chanderi, near Gwalior. The famous Chanderi saris some of them with gold checks and rich gold border along with two gold bands on the pallav, give each sari a special touch. The craftsmanship of the famous Maheshwari saris has a wide variety of checks. Madhya Pradesh is also famous at producing Tussar silk handloom fabrics. Skilled craftsmanship of Madhya Pradesh also displayed in a variety of zari embroidered (gold and silver threads) articles. There are zari wall hangings, handbags, saris and splendid brocade borders. Carpet weaving centre of Gwalior, in Madhya Pradesh is regarded as Mecca of crafts. Madhya Pradesh is not only the geographical centre stage of India it also occupies a similar position in India’s traditional heritage of music. Genius like Tansen who perfected the Dhrupad style of singing was born here. Moreover, the Gwalior Gharana of Madhya Pradesh is a famous name in the world of Indian classical music today. 30

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh


Central India


b Facing page: From top to bottom a Narmada river: Omkareshwar. b Chanderi saris from Madhya Pradesh. Clockwise from top to bottom a Bhil painting. b Bhagoria dance, a tribal dance, Madhya Pradesh. c Gond painting.


Festivals Madhya Pradesh celebrates almost all the festivals of Hindu

Since Chhattisgarh was a part of Madhya Pradesh it was

solar calendar. Besides the usual Hindu festivals, there are

necessary to know about the culture and traditions of both

festivals that are unique from region to region. The Bhagoria or

the Sates so that there is a clear understanding of the common

the Spring festival of Jhabua, Shivaratri of Khajuraho, Bhojpur,

features and the design language in the art and crafts of the

Pachmarhi and Ujjain, Ramnavami of Chitrakoot and Orchha

two States. Though they are no more together but the people

and the famous Khajuraho dance and music festival (tourism

share a common and unique identity, that is reected in their

festival) are some of the festivals need to be mentioned here.

work. We tried to analyse these things and put together the

The Pachmarhi festival is the storehouse of the rich tribal and folk cultural extravaganza. The attire again differs here from region to region and tribe to tribe. Though the most common among them is the usual Indian sari for women and

facts that connects the people and the crafts of each State.

The Bhils and Bhilala tribes of Madhya Pradesh paint myths related to creation called Pithora paintings. Horses, elephants, tigers, birds, gods, men and objects of daily life are painted in bright multicoloured hues. Gond paintings have themes of the the local festivals like Karwa Chaut h,D eepawali, Ahoi etc. Tribal Gond paintings are done by the tribal women of the village using simple homemade colors.

kurta pyjama for men.

Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions



hhattisgarh is one of the youngest States of the Indian

Nation. Constituted on 1st November, 2000, Chhattisgarh is located in the heart of India and shares its borders with six States of the country; Uttar Pradesh to the North, Jharkhand to the North-east, Odhisha to the East, Madhya Pradesh to the West and North-west, Maharashtra to the South-west and

Andhra Pradesh to the South-east. The geographical area of

Koriya Sarguja

the State covers over 135,000 sq. km. Chhattisgarh is situated

Jashpur Jashpu hpur

between 17 to 23.7 degrees North Latitude and 8.40 to 83.38 degrees East Longitude (The Tropic of Cancer runs through the Korba

State). The climate of Chhattisgarh is mainly tropical, humid Bilaspur

and sub-humid. The Mahanadi is the principal river of the State. The other major rivers are– Sheonath, Hasdeo, Mand,

Raigarh JanjgirChampa


Eeb, Pairi, Jonk, Kelo Udanti, Indrawati, Arpa and Maniyari.

Regional Characteristics



Chhattisgarh can be divided into three distinct regions: Rajandgaon Durg

Northern region To the North lies the dense forests, hills and water reservoirs. The districts that are part of this region are

Dhamtari Ranker

Korea, Surguja, Jashpur, Raigarh, and Korba. These districts have similar geographical, climatic and cultural conditions. Many of the indigenous tribes like the Paharikorba and the Pando live in these areas. In the rural areas of the region, people are dependent largely on agriculture and minor forest


produce. Due to the available natural resources, the level of migration from this region is comparatively limited. There are


no urban centres except Korba and Ambikapur. Korba is the largest town, and the limited industry is concentrated here. There are coal mines in Surguja and Korea districts. Central plains region The districts that fall in the Central plains region are Raipur, Bilaspur, Janjgir-Champa, Kabirdham, Rajnandgaon, Durg, Dhamtari and Mahasamund. The river Mahanadi flows through the area and meets the everincreasing water requirement of the region, for irrigation and domestic use. The central plains of Chhattisgarh are known as the ‘rice bowl’ of Central India, because of the large number 32

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Map of Chhattisgarh

The ‘Madhya Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2000’ was eventually passed by both houses of Parliament and approved by the President of India on August 25, 2000. This paved the way for the creation of the 26th State of India on November 01, 2000. Chhattisgarh’s history and traditions date back to ancient times. It is said to be the parental home of Kaushalya, the mother of Ram (son of King Dashrath), legendary god of the epic Ramayana. Historically, the region was called Koshal, and over the ages it has come to be known as Mahakoshal. In ancient times Chhattisgarh was known as Dakshin Kosal.

Central India

of indigenous varieties of rice that are grown here. Bhilai and

these resources uses them in a sustainable way. Indigenous knowledge regarding the growing

Durg are well known urban centres, both with large steel

of rice and herbal medicines is well developed but is disappearing fast, due to the influx of

plants. There are a large number of rural artisans in this region,

modern scientific practices and medicines as well as the absence of any documentation of

and the silk weavers of Janjgir-Champa are well known. The

these valuable systems.

region is densely populated. Raipur and Durg account for almost half the total urban population of Chhattisgarh. The other districts, apart from Bilaspur and Rajnandgaon, have less than six percent of the urban population. Southern region: The Southern region of Chhattisgarh is known for its varied and rich forests, its diverse tribal population and unique culture. The districts in this region are Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada. The States of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Odhisha border these districts. The people of the region are dependent on traditional agriculture and forests for their livelihood. The Bailadila mines in Dantewada district represent the limited industry in the region.

Population As per Official Census of India 2011, Population of Chhattisgarh is now 2.55 Crore. The State has the population density of 189 persons per sq. km. The sex ratio is 991 females per a

1,000 males. Almost a third of the population belongs to the scheduled tribes.

Culture Chhattisgarh enjoys a unique culture, peopled as it is by a number of tribes and communities, each with its distinct identity and way of life. In spite of a number of tribes, its people share certain commonalities and a philosophy which is central to many tribal cultures; the veneration of natural resources– water, forests and land on which life is dependent– a regard for community values and traditions, a practical recognition b

of the interdependence between different communities and Clockwise from top to bottom a Daily haat at Chandrapur, Chhattisgarh. b Rangoli made using powdered colours and abeer. c Rangoli making competition during Deepawali.

peoples, and a refreshing spirit. Richly endowed with resources like forests and minerals (diamonds,gold,iron-ore,coal,corundum, bauxite, dolomite, lime, tin and granite to name a few, the people hold the Earth and its forests in high regard and esteem. Over centuries,


they have evolved a way of life, which while dependent on Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

Arts and Craft

in the Central region; the ancient Dandakaranya region of Bastar to the South;

The long and close association with nature has culminated in a craft heritage in

and Jashpur and Raigarh in the West. Chhattisgarhi is the official language of

the State of Chhattisgarh. Raw material is sourced entirely from the surrounding

the State (regarded as a dialect of Hindi). The Gonds speak Dravidian, in the

environment– dhokra and wrought iron are obtained from recycled scrap,

West Marathi is spoken, Laria in the East, Surgujya and Oran in North, Gondi,

wood and sisal from the neighbouring forests and marshes and terracotta from

Halbi and Telgu in South.

the riverbeds. All available natural resources are utilised to their optimum potential. Nowhere is this more clearly reflected than in the construction


of their houses. The fences erected around the house are constructed with

The forests of the State are of two major types: tropical moist deciduous

bamboo sticks. Pigsties and hencoops are similarly constructed. The houses

and tropical dry deciduous. Most of the dense forests are concentrated in

themselves are made of mud, branches, bamboos, and thatch, all materials

the Northern (Surguja, Korea, Jashpur and Korba districts) and the Southern

sourced from their immediate environment, and skilfully utilised. Bastar’s

regions of the State (Bastar, Kanker and Dantewada districts). These areas

dhokra work is certainly the most famous handicraft from this State. The

also have large tribal populations. The plains of the central region of the State

weaving tradition in Chhattisgarh, practiced by the Dewangans is worth

have much less forest cover. In this region, the dependence on agriculture and

mentioning. Since generations these weavers have been weaving the beautiful

therefore on land as a source of livelihood is much higher.

Kosa silk saris. Keeping their tradition alive each day they come up with new experiences in the form of saris. The Kosa sari weaving tradition flourishes in

Soil and Agriculture

the districts of Janjgir– Champa, Korba, Bilaspur and Raigarh.

Chhattisgarh has at least five different types of soil. In the districts of Bilaspur,

Festivals and traditions

are low in nitrogen and humus content. A major part of paddy production

The festivals, customs, traditions and culture of Chhattisgarh bind its 16 districts

comes from this region. In the hill ranges, the soil is sandy and loamy, which

together. Since Chhattisgarh is mainly a rural society, most of the festivals and

is also suitable for paddy. Laterite soil is good for cereal crops, while the black

traditions are associated with the agricultural calendar. Navakhani (celebrating

soil is best suited to cotton, wheat and gram.

Surguja, Durg, Raipur and Bastar red and yellow loamy soil is dominant. Both

the new crop), Matthi tihar (festival of the Earth), Aam tihar (celebrating the new

Agriculture is the main occupation of the people and the foundation of

mango crop), and Diyari tihar (festival of lights) are some of the festivals, which

the economy. Even in the districts in the North and South, where forests play a

provide an opportunity for people to come together and celebrate. Naturally,

significant role, agriculture is very important. The norm is single cropped and

no celebration is complete without the joy and merriment of dancing, which

rain-fed agriculture, with paddy as the main kharif crop, in about 80 percent of

is an inseparable part of life of every community in Chhattisgarh. Among the well known dances of Chhattisgarh are: The dance of the Raut (shepherd) community of the plains of Chhattisgarh

the net sown area. Chhattisgarh is known as "Dhaan ka katora/The rice bowl of India". It is only in the plains that there is any significant double cropping, mainly in the districts of Durg, Raipur, Bilaspur and Rajnandgaon.

The Shaurya nritya (valour dance), also called the Bison Horn The Maria dance


The Karsad nritya of the Abujmar region

Chhattisgarh is rich in mineral resources. Vast reserves of coal, iron ore and

The Gondi dances of the Gond tribe

bauxite are found here, along with limestone and dolomite. This is the only

The Parabdances

State in the country where tin ore is found. Diamonds and semi precious

Many of these dances celebrate a good harvest. Special songs welcome the

stones like corundum, quartz and garnet are also mined here. While mining

different seasons, and express joy, social power and grandeur.

provides employment to some people and substantial revenue to the State, the industry has an adverse impact on the environment in some districts.

Languages and dialects Chhattisgarh can be divided into four major regions on the basis of language/ dialect: Surguja and Korea in the North; Bilaspur, Raipur, Durg and Rajnandgaon 34

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh




d From top to bottom clockwise a Rice ďŹ eld of Chhattisgarh. b Rangoli colours in market, during Deepawali. c Dense forests of Bastar. d 108 diya at Sambleshwari Devi Temple Champa,Chhattisgarh. e Deepawali celebration. f Tribal dance of the Gond tribe.



Kosa Traditions


ur destination for the craft documentation was the

beautiful place called Janjgir– Champa where we spent most

Gopala took us to the local weaver's houses, nearby

weaving. We enquired that the District Head Quarter Janjgir of

Sambleshwari Devi temple where we saw the exquisite Kosa

the district Janjgir– Champa is the city of Maharaja Jajawalya

lugdas being woven on the pit looms. We also visited Beldar

Dev of Kulchury dynasty. The Janjgir– Champa district is a

para where we could see warp sizing in open fields. Our

major producer of food grains in the State of Chhattisgarh.

evenings was spent in visiting the local wholesale shops and

Janjgir, which is situated on National Highway 200. Janjgir

showrooms to see the finished Kosa lugdas. Sitaram Hath

is 65 km away from Bilaspur and 175 km from State capital

Kargha and Kosa Silk Emporium are the biggest wholesale

Raipur through road route. District head quarter Janjgir is also

dealers of the place. While we were exploring the place we came across Sadar

It is situated on Howrah– Mumbai main railway route. The

Bazaar, which is the main market place at Champa. There

railway station of district Janjgir is Naila and Champa.

we got to know that Kasa/brass and Kanchan/gold products

After crossing the bridge on the river Hansdeo, we

are also produced in the respective small scale industries

reached Champa and accommodated ourselves at Hotel

at Champa. After knowing this we went to meet the people

Jaipuria for the next ten days. Champa which is around 3 km

of Soni community near the temple who showed us many

away from Janjgir, is the epicentre of the Dewangan community

traditional jewellery and also to the Kaser /Kansari para where

who weave the Kosa silk saris and other Kosa products. We

we saw old and new Kasa utensils.

went to Indian Institute of Handloom Technology, Champa to

Next on our list was Seoni, which is 3 km from Champa

meet Shri A. Ayaz Khan, Director IIHT Champa. From there

where we saw the dyeing units of Kosa yarns and fabrics.

our journey to explore Kosa started. He helped us in mapping

There we could also see the calendering machine which does

places which were relevant for gaining understanding of Kosa

ironing of fabric yardages (refer chapter 8). Near to the dyeing

related traditions and then we moved on and started visiting

unit was the District Sericulture Office, where we met Shri

various places.

S.D. Garde who explained us the life cycle and processing of

It was the month of November and the festival of

Kosa silk worm and Kosa yarn respectively. He provided us

Deepawali was approaching. We were quite lucky to visit

with the samples of different types and varieties of silks found

Champa at this time of the year and experience a distinct

in India.

tradition of celebrating Deepawali. The markets and the streets of Champa was decorated with colourful lights, diyas, torans and flowers.

Experiencing the traditions of Champa; far from our homes, we both celebrated our Deepawali in the hotel room by making rangoli and lighting diyas. Hoping that the journey

While taking a stroll through the lanes we could witness

of our craft documentation shall open new avenues to increase

women and children making colourful rangoli. Rangoli is an

our knowledge in the coming days, we thus continued our

important part of the Deepawali celebration at Champa. It is

excursion to reach our destination.

also known as Chaunk in the local language. After witnessing various kinds of Chaunk we concluded that artistic traits are in their roots. At the entrance of each house and shop we could see people installing banana plants and tying mango leaves around it. This according to them is the symbol of fertility and prosperity. We also visited the Sambleshwari Devi temple

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh


locals and the neighbouring districts.

of our time experiencing and observing the craft of Kosa silk

connected with rail route of South-Eastern-Central Railway.


which is a very important and famous temple amongst the

Rangoli locally known as chaunk is one of the most important art form in the State of Chhattisgarh. On the occasion of Deepawali people express their happiness, culture, art in the form of chaunk. Rangoli is supposedly a Sanskrit word which means creepers illustrated with powdered colour. Most of the chaunks in early times were illustrated by using rice paste and cow dung. The chaunks of Chhattisgarh are teenkoniya, charkonoya, chaukoniya, ashtakoniya, chatnaat shaped. One can see the traditional symbols in these chaunks like – gopad, laxmi paon, kalash, swastik omkar, shankh, chakra, gada, etc. According to these symbols the chaunks are also named like sita chauk, gurubari chauk, kusiyari, bihai, makhana chain, kanda paan, khur, beliya, terga – merga etc. The Deepawali is celebrated for five days. On the day of Dhanteras the Lakshmi – Ganesh idol is brought to the homes. Sita chaunk, padam and laksmi paon etc are illustrated with rice paste at the “puja sthal”.





d Clockwise from top to bottom a Idol of Sambaleshwari Devi. b Sweet shops during Deepawali in market. c Houses painted blue in Champa. d Collection of saris at Sitaram Haath Kargha. e Torans in a shop at Champa. f Local Vegetable market. g Preparations for Lakshmi puja in a shop. Centre A vendor with Ganesh Lakhmi idols.





Industrial Area


Jala weaver’s house

Mission Hospital

Sabji Mandi


Champa Railway Station

Lions Chowk

Jaipuria Hotel

Barpali Chowk Pramod Kumar’s workshop and house

BSNL PWD Resthouse Bus Stand

Thana Thana Chowk

Jalaram Bhojanalay

Municipal Office

Parashuram Chowk

Gopala’s House

Seoni (C)

Rambandh Talab BMD Hospital

Towards Korba

MMR Hospital

Jamindar’s House

Kadam Chowk


CHAMPA The District Janjgir-Champa was established on 25 May 1998. Situated between 21.6 degree to 22.4 degree towards North and 82.3 degree to 83.2 degree towards East is in the centre of Chhattisgarh State.

Beldar Para

Deepak Dewangan’s House

Towards Janjgir

Beriyal Chowk Govt. Girls High School


Subhash Chowk N


Sadar Bazaar



Hanuman Dhara Road

Dewangan Para

Kanhaiyalal Kansari’s House

Supplier Soni Para Workshop


Kansari Para

Govt. Boys School

Kansari Para

S Muslim settlement E

Finishing N


Christian settlement


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

a a.

b b.

Facing page Girl looking at a rangoli outside her house, Champa.

d. d



Clockwise from top to bottom a Bihai chaunk b Kamal chaunk c Purain chaunk d Manglik chaunk

Kosa Traditions


hile we were talking to some of the weavers at Champa

Mahanadi. The area besides the haat belongs to the Machuara/

they suggested us to visit Chandrapur as well to see the Kosa

fisherman community of the village. Their livelihood depends

sari weaving. The sari weaving is much more intricate and rich

on the river Mahanadi. As we moved towards the banks of the

in terms of designs at Chandrapur. Early in the morning we headed towards our next destination i.e Chandrapur. On the way we decided to take a

ride. As the sun started setting our ride came to an end and

halt at Raigarh and meet the staff at Weavers Service Centre,

we headed back towards the dharamshala.

Raigarh. At WSC we met Shri O.P. Mishra, one of the officers.

At Chandrapur we met Shri Virkishor Dewangan who is

He informed us about WSC and its role in the handloom sector

a dear friend of Gopala Dewangan. He is a wholesale dealer

of Chhattisgarh (refer chapter 11). We were fortunate to see a

of Kosa saris at Chandrapur. He took us to other weaver's

lot of old samples that had been made in earlier times. Many of

houses as well where we could see a lot of new designs and

these motifs are traditional and rare. Raigarh district is a district

patterns being woven. Gopala took us to a weaver's house

of the state of Chhattisgarh. It is the district headquarters.

where he was doing piecing. We also went to meet Shri

Raigarh was formed by merging the princely states of Raigarh,

Kedarnath Dewangan who lives in the outer circumference

Sarangarh, Udaipur (Dharamjaigarh) and Jashpur. Raigarh is

of Chandrapur. At his place we saw warp dyeing done by him.

one of major producers of steel in India, mainly due to Jindal

(Refer chapter 7 & 8).

Steel and Power Ltd. and other small producers.

After the visit at WSC we moved towards Baramkela

At Chandrapur we met Shri Pradyuman Dewangan and Pati Raam Dewangan, who are among the award winners for

with Shri J.P. Bariha, Sericulture Officer Urdana, Raigarh.

their work in Kosa sari weaving. We got to know about Yogita

Baramkela Tehsil is in Raigarh District of Chhattisgarh State.

Kosa Handloom which is one of the biggest Kosa sari dealers

It is 39.5 km from Raigarh. Here we were able to see the vast

and wholesalers in the State of Chhattisgarh. There we also

fields of Kosa silk worms which were being reared. Also, we

saw natural dyed yarns which is exclusive to this firm. They

could see the grainage in Sariya. (Refer chapter 5). Late in the

produce saris using these yarns on order basis (refer chapter

evening after our visits to Raigarh and Baramkela we finally

7 & 8).

headed towards our final destination Chandrapur.

Our stay at Chandrapur and Champa was full of

Chandrapur is a Village in Dabhara Tehsil in Janjgir-

excitement and knowledge that we have shared in the

Champa District. It is 15.9 km from Dabhara and about

coming chapters. The people and the place welcomed us

60 km from Janjgir-Champa. The place is famous for the

with open hands. The taste of food like rakhia badi, peetha,

Chandrahasini Devi temple where many devotees from the

gulgula, pidiya, dhoodh fara etc. and the aroma of kaali chai

places nearby and neighbouring States come and pray. The

is unforgettable.

place is situated on the banks of the river Mahanadi, one of the most important rivers of India. Within the coming five days of our stay at Chandrapur we had almost explored each and every street of this village. And the streets had a lot to tell. Opposite to the Chandrahasini Devi temple's entrance, is a dharamshala where we got our accommodations. The street that led to the Chandrahasini Devi temple was surrounded by small stalls where devotees could buy prashad to offer to the Goddess. As we moved ahead on the street we saw weekly haat near the banks of the river 42

river we could see many dongi/boats sailing in the river. We asked one of the fisherman to take us for a naukavihar/boat

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh



From top to bottom a An evening on the banks of Mahanadi. b Weekly Haat, Chandrapur c A lane of Chandrapur.


Towards Baramkela Towards Sariya

Nathal Dai (Temar Laga)


Chandrahasini Devi’s Temple Temple Market

Yadav Bhojanalay


Virkishor Dewangan’s Shop

Virkishor Dewangan’s House

Kuan Chowk Bharat Mata Chowk

Hemlal Dewangan’s House




Bus Stand

Guest House

Agrasen Bhawan N




Dewangan Para

Machuara Para


Kosa Traditions


hile we were talking to Gopala Dewangan he told us

Shri Kanhaiyalal Ji told us that the raw material is obtained

a very important thing about the place Champa. Every place

from the old and used utensils of bronze (Kasa). Bronze is an

has some or the other speciality about its being and so does

alloy of copper and tin, alloy in Chhattisgarhi is known as ranga.

Champa. It is famous for Kosa, Kasa and Kanchan. Kosa fal

Kasa undergoes galana, dhalva, peetna and at last chheelna is

is a local term for the wild Tussar silk which is cultivated all

done to ornate the ďŹ nal products. The raw material is melted

over the State of Chhattisgarh. This wild race of silk is the

at very high temperature known as galana, then the molten


raw material used for the weaving of Kosa silk saris and other

raw material is poured into the moulds of different forms, this

products. Champa is the main centre of the Kosa and the Kosa

process is called dhalva. After it is cooled down by putting it

sari trade. All the export is carried out from Champa. We have

into water it is again exposed to high temperature and beaten

given a brief description about Kosa in the next chapter.

with hammer to give the required shape and this process is

When Gopala mentioned about the Kosa, Kasa and



known as peetna. Coal/wood is used for the process of galana.

Kanchan being famous in Champa we got curious to know

He says that the coal is bought from the people of Bairat/Behri

about Kasa and Kanchan as well. So, we thought of making

community. According to him the Kanser community settles

Kasa and Kanchan a part of our documentation. We went to

near the water bodies because they can easily source water

the Kaser Para/Kansari Para where we met Shri Kanhaiyalal

from these water bodies for the processing of Kasa. The price

Kansari who is a practitioner of the craft and is a wholesale

of raw material is decided according to the market prices. The

dealer of the Kasa goods. He is practising this craft from last 25

women are involved in the ornamentation of the utensils.

years. This craft is being practised from ages. He told us that his

In earlier times Kasa products were used by most of the

forefathers migrated from Kantapali in Sambalpur to Champa.

people of Champa and the nearby places. Also, it is a custom

They are originally from Odhisha and they speak Sambalpuri

to gift a range of Kasa products to daughters at the time of

which is a dialect of Odia, they also speak Chhattisgarhi. To

their marriage. Shri Vats Ji told us about the huge range of

add on to this Shri Vats Kaser who is a wholesale dealer, said

Kasa products, which are traditional, and some of them are

that their community was a ghumakkad jati and wherever

new. These are Ghanghar, Ghaghra, Haula, Ghundi, Gariya,

they found water they settled themselves. They celebrate the

Lota, Balti, Maliya, Battu, Saikami, Thari, Hathi Paon Katora,

festival of Dusshera, Sahaj puja and Nuoaa khai.

Gilas, and Katori.

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh


Previous page Left Stacked Kasa utensils at a shop in Sadar Bazaar, Champa. Right: From left to right Gheencha fabric. Lota. Kanntha. From left to right a Boiled Kosa fal/ cocoon. b Reeled Kosa yarn on asari. c Woven Kosa fabrics.

Kosa Kasa Kanchan

Clockwise from top to bottom a Ranga/alloy of bronze raw material. b Galana/ melting. c Dhalva/ moulding. d A bronze lota and an ornamented thari/plate. e Gariya for storing water. f Peetna/ beating.





Kanhaiyalal ji informed us about the Union of Kasa Workers in Champa. The wages given to these workers depends on the market demand and the weight of the product. According to him a team of 8-9 workers can produce up to 15 kg of products in a day. The Kasa traders of Champa sell their products to the merchants of Bilaspur, which is the main market of Kasa products.



Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions




To see the chheelna/nakkashi (ornamentation) work we went to meet Santoshini Ji. She stays nearby to Kanhaiyalal Ji’s house. When we went there she was chopping something green in colour with white cut pieces with the help of a parsool. To us it looked like a lemon but when we asked about it she told that it is Dhelka, which was being chopped for the lunch. We asked her to pause for a while and show us the tools and the process of chheelna. Before starting the process she tied a cloth piece in her hand. When we asked why she did that she said, “taki daag na pade” (so that there is no fingerprints while ornamenting). We saw a wooden stand on which she placed the small plate to be ornamented and supported it by applying the pressure of her feet. She took out a chhini/chisel and with the help of hammer she started striking it to make designs. The designs were spontaneous and her own creation. She said, “din bhar main 25 -30 kg par Nakkashi karti hun” (in a day she manages to ornate 25-30 kg of utensils). 50

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Clockwise from top to bottom a Close up view of the hathauri/hammer. b Santoshini ji doing nakkashi/ornamentation on a utensil. c Close up view of chhini.

Kosa Kasa Kanchan



c Clockwise from top to bottom a Raw material for making the gold ornaments. b A worker arranging the small pieces of the pendent on the slab. c Firing process to ďŹ x the arranged pieces together. d Nagmori, made in silver. e Gothla and silver coin jewellery. f Devariya Parchaiya, a set of gold rings, traditional to Champa.



Kanchan or gold jewellery is also one of the major products manufactured in Champa. We were able to visit some of the workshops where gold jewellery is made. And we could see the traditional range of gold as well as silver jewellery in some of the shops. The community called Soni practises this craft. The range of silver jewelleries that we saw are– Kada, Kakni, Nagmori, Karaha, Devariya Parchaiya, Pairi, Inta kaat Bichiya, Bahuta, Jhabri, Jhanjh, Soota, Khulla Laccha, Jalebi Phans, Harva. Gold jewelleries are Borla, Kanfool, Gothla, Sarja nath, Gullubandh, Bagmunhi, Phulli, Rawa, Kantha, Katwa.


Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


KOSA Sericulture

Kosa Traditions


Scientific Classification

e were very curious to know more about the wild silk

known as Kosa. Moreover, we wanted to see those fields of

Antherea mylitta Phylum Arthropoda Class Insecta Order Lepidoptera Family Saturniidae

Arjuna and Saja trees where rearing of thousands of Kosa silk worms is carried out along with all the processes that are responsible for the extraction of the beautiful Kosa yarn. We went to the District Sericulture Office at Seoni, 3km away from Champa and there we met Shri. Patel, District Sericulture Officer. He introduced us to Shri. R.R. Sahu and Shri. S.D. Garde who provided us with very valuable information about Tussar rearing processes and the Tussar worm. Shri S.D. Garde told us that Mulberry silk belongs to the Bombycidae whereas Eri, Muga and Tussar/Tussah are silks of wild or semi-wild types of moths which belong to the family


Saturniidae. Tussar is a wild variety of silk, taken out from

Terminalia arjuna Division Magnoliophyta Class Magnoliopsida Order Myrtales Family Combretaceae Genus Terminalia Species T. arjuna Terminalia tomentosa Division Magnoliophyta Class Magnoliopsida Order Myrtales Family Combretaceae Genus Terminalia Species T. tomentosa

Tussar cocoon, which is known as Kosa fal in Chhattisgarhi. Silk (Sans– Pat; Hindi– Resham; Tam. and Tel.– Pattu) is a natural fibrous substance, obtained in the form of a long, continuous filament from cocoons spun by a large variety of moth caterpillars, known as the silkworm. At the end of the 5th or the last stage in the growth and development of these caterpillars, silk is generally exuded from the silk glands

Previous page Left Kosa cocoon in the fields of Arjuna/ Saja at Baramkela, Chhattisgarh.

present inside their body through the spinneret to spin the cocoons. Silk filaments are then reeled out after proper treatment into raw silk, made up of usually 8-10 filaments. Tussar rearing is an outdoor activity that is carried out in the farms of the trees Arjuna (Termalia arjuna) and Saja (Termalia tomentosa). Arjuna is a hard wood tree that is found


near water resources while Saja is a soft wood tree. The

Right: From left to right Eggs of Tussar silk worm/ Antherea mylitta. Pupa. Male and female Tussar silk moths in the grainage.

leaves of these trees are the primary food source of the Tussar From top to bottom a Shri S.D. Garde, talking to us in his office. b Antherea mylitta, preparing to spin its cocoon for hibernation. c Antherea mylitta, spinning its cocoon for hibernation.

larvae. There are four varieties of Tussar cocoons namely Daba, Sukinda, Raillie and Lariya. Daba and Raillie are found in the State of Chhattisgarh while Sukinda is found in Odhisha. Raillie is the variety that is exclusive to the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. Lariya is a local variety that grows on the trees like Bair. It is also known as Barf Kosa in Chhattisgarhi. Raillie cocoon is the hardest, maximum yarn producing and good quality cocoon. It is blackish grey in colour while Daba is brown in colour. c


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Kosa sericulture

Diagrammatic representation of Kosa Rearing SERICULTURE

ROP 2nd C



1st C RO P

JULY ---

3rd CROP





1st CROP




2nd C ROP





Bivoltine Crops

There are two types of crops namely Bivoltine and Trivoltine. The former gives 2 crops in a year while the later gives 3 crops in a year. The Bivoltine crops are stronger and bigger in size while the trivoltine is smaller and weaker as compared to the Bivoltine cocoons. Bivoltine crops are efficient because the

Trivoltine Crops

The rearing of silkworms for the production of raw silk is known as sericulture. It is an agro-based industry that involves the rearing of silkworms for the production of raw silk, which is the yarn obtained out of cocoons spun by certain species of insects. The major activities of sericulture comprises of food-plant cultivation to feed the silkworms which spin cocoons and reeling the cocoons for unwinding the silk filament for value added benefits such as processing and weaving. Cultivation of trees whose leaves silkworms feed on. Arrangement for production and supply of eggs. Rearing of worms until they spin cocoons. Treatment and distribution of cocoons spun by worms. It primarily depends on a temperate climate, density of population, soil condition, agrarian economy, and cash returns from other agricultural and industrial pursuits and finally the social and religious customs of the people.

production is twice a year. A change in temperature causes a destruction of these crops.

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Kosa Traditions




d Clockwise from top to bottom a Daba cocoon. b Raillie cocoon. c1 Kosa yarn. c2 Gheencha yarn. d Sukinda. Facing page clockwise from top to bottom. a Plants of Arjuna in the nursery at District Sericulture OfďŹ ce, Seoni. b A view of the ďŹ eld of Arjuna trees at Baramkela. c A close up view of Arjuna plant.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh


Kosa sericulture

The Host Plants: Arjuna & Saja While we were talking to Shri S.D. Garde at the District Sericulture Office, we came across a small garden, which was planted with the plants of Arjuna and Saja. Shri S.D. Garde told us that the Arjuna and Saja is grown in these gardens before they are transferred to the fields. Kau beej or seeds of Arjuna are fastened in a muslin cloth. When the ankur/sprouts emerge from the seed, they are sown in the mixture of biomass (soil, mud and gobar khad/ cow dung) in small plastic tubes. Locally this process is known as dabdena. These tubes are kept under shade of hay. After 15 days the plants are taken out and placed in the fields at a distance of 4 by 4 ft, this process is known as roopan karna.




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Kosa Traditions





c Clockwise from top to bottom a Eggs of Tussar silk moth. b Tussar silk larvae in 1st stage i.e. just came out of the eggs. c Pupa in hibernation stage. d Female moths clinched to the cocoons.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Kosa sericulture

1. Egg

4. Moth t

Calcium Carbonate


Total number of Eggs layed at a time is 200-250 eggs.


There are two types of eggs– Bivoltine and Trivoltine.


These eggs are categorized into DFL– Disease free laying


Time required for laying eggs is 3-4 days.


Moth is a nocturnal insect.


Size of each egg is approximately 0.1 cm.


After coming out of the cocoon the male and the female


Time required for hatching is 9-10 days. t

The mating takes place for approximately 4 hours.


The male moth has a small and dense antenna unlike


After mating the female moth lay eggs which is again

The pupa turns into moth and breaks the cocoon to come out.


and DL– Diseased laying.

The moth secretes acid inside the cocoon to break the cocoon.

moth mate or are paired.

2. Larva

the female moth, which has big and less dense antenna.


Size of larva after hatching is approximately 0.5-1 cm.


There are total five stages of larva before it turns into pupa. t

Microscopic test is done for female moth to detect


The larva undergoes kechul chodna/moulting process

diseased female moths.

collected for seed or next crop.

The larva after the making of the cocoon vomits out calcium carbonate which keeps the cocoon moistened for few hours and after that it hardens the outer surface of the cocoon. The calcium carbonate layer protects the cocoon from breakage and the hibernating larva from the predators.

in its 1st, 2nd,3rd and 4th stages. Moulting is a process in which the larvae shed the older outer skin just like a snake does. t

The larvae eats till the fourth stage, after that it empties


A larva can eat up to 32kg of leaves in its lifetime.


The salivary glands of the larvae change into silk glands in

its alimentary canal for spinning followed by hibernation.

the 5th stage and the saliva consists of sericin(which is a gummy substance) and fibrin(the chain of proteins). t

The larvae starts spinning the cocoon in the 5th stage and the spinning path is in the shape of 8 i.e. the larvae moves in the 8 shaped path to spin the cocoon.


The spinning of the cocoon takes around 3-4 days.

3. Pupa t

The larvae shrink into pupae when it enters its hibernation


During its hibernation the pupa only respires.


The hibernation period depends up on the temperature


and humidity.

Solidified Calcium Carbonate drops on the cocoon

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Kosa Traditions

Larva – 1st stage 4-5 days.

Egg Laying/Andsechan Usually after 10-12 hours of yugman/coupling the female

2nd stage 3-4 days. Egg hatching 3 days.

moths are placed individually in the muniya. And these female moths lay eggs. The temperature is maintained at 2628 degree Celsius. The number of eggs laid are 300-400.

3rd stage 3-9 days.

After the female moth lays all the eggs it dies. For rearing eggs laid within 72 hours is considered. In natural condition eggs hatch in about 10 days and under incubation it takes 7 days. The eggs are dark brown in colour due to the layer of meconium.

Pupating Female moth laying eggs.

In this phase the larva selects a group of leaves to start forming

4th stage 4-5 days.

the cocoon. It throws out a silk thread through its spinneret and binds the leaves. Then it pulls the leaves together to give it a shape of a small nest. The larva then goes inside it to spin a hammock. Around 6 hours are taken by the larva to make this hammock. The larva comes out of the hammock and

5th stage 7-10 days, starts preparation for building the cocoon.

crawls out of the opening to the respective twig to form a ring. The process starts with the peeling of the bark around the twig and is completed in 30 minutes. Soon after this it starts throwing silk for ring formation and subsequently peduncle formation is done. While the ring is formed, a

Mating of male and female moth.

foundation is being laid by connecting the ring and top of the hammock by 2-3 strands, later is strengthened by adding more silk making a figure of eight movement some 300,000 times. The average time taken is 10 hours. The outer layer takes approximately 24 hours for the formation. The inner layer takes 2-3 days without breaking the continuity of the thread. The cocoon formation usually starts in 4-5 days and

Moth emergence- 9-18 days.

Hibernation period.

the larva pupate in another 3-6 days. This stage is known as “jog mein baitha hai” (has gone into hibernation).



Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Kosa sericulture


It is a process of putting first stage larvae/

3 Prevention t

Kosa kirmi that has hatched from the DFL


and other birds, the workers have to

eggs on the leaves of Arjuna. Also, to get

protect the larvae from these predators;

better variety larvae is transferred from

for this they use slings made up of coconut

Arjuna to Saja leaves.

rope to scare them away. Also, they place

The workers should have the skills to

scarecrows in the farms of Arjuna and

place the larvae properly on the leaves.

Saja trees for the same.

Handling of the larva involves a lot of t

Very often the larva has threat from crows


The workers should be able to handle the


sling properly and be alert. They should

They should have the knowledge of how

have a good aim.

to handle the larvae while putting it on


the leaves; also they should know which

They should have the knowledge of the kind of predators that attack these larvae.

tree is healthy.

4 Transferring larvae 2 Identification t


on to new trees of Arjuna/Saja with fresh

identify the larvae that are healthy and

leaves after they have finished eating the

crop can be raised. The larvae that do not t

leaves of previous tree. t

Workers should be able to separate larva

eat properly and are weak are separated.

from the older trees by holding their

Workers should be able to look after each

mouthpart firmly and pulling the whole

and every larvae or possibly on a certain


number of them. t

In this process the larvae is transferred

In this process the workers have to separate the unhealthy ones, so a healthy



They should have the knowledge about

They should have knowledge about the

how to separate the larvae carefully from

quantity of leaves a larva is eating, what

the tree, put them on fresh leaves.

size does it attain at a particular stage, also to know about the types of diseases of the larva as well as the tree leaves on which it is feeding.

b From top to bottom a A worker fleeing away crows with sling shots. b Workers transferring silkworms along with branches on new Arjuna trees.

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Kosa Traditions

5 Plucking & Sorting/Chatti t

The cocoons are plucked and taken to the grainage to sort it in different grades and for further processing.


The cocoons should be plucked in a way that it doesn’t affect the peduncle and the cocoons.


They should know the right time to pluck cocoons is important as well. After the cocoons are plucked, it is separated in two lots. One goes for reproduction and the other lot is sent to the godowns of the sericulture department or Mahajans for reeling. So the knowledge of separating these is also necessary.

6 Garland making/Jod lava t





Garlands of 100 cocoons each is made and are hung in a dark room for mating which leads to the production of eggs. In one garland 4-5 cocoons with peduncle are tired in each knot.


The distance between the garlands and the ground 2 feet. And between the two garlands it should be 6 inches. The cocoons should be tied in the garland in such a way that they do not overlap each other.


The workers should know how to tie the cocoons in the knot so that it is properly tied and it does not fall off.

Clockwise from top to bottom a & b Kosa fal on the Arjuna trees. c & d A worker making garlands of cocoons at the grainage.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Kosa sericulture

7 Cutting the wings of female moth t

After the mating is over the wings of the





8 Muniya placement t

female moth is cut to a certain length for



Muniya is an earthen vessel with holes on the surface. The female moth after the

the identiďŹ cation of the mated female

process of mating is kept into these to lay


eggs that take about 3-4 days.

The workers should have the skill of


The workers should have the skill of

placing the female moth in muniya with

placing the female moth into the muniya



They should know how to identify the mated female moth.


Clockwise from top to bottom a Female Tussar moth clinched on Kosa fal. b Female Tussar moth with cut wings, after coupling. c Female Tussar moth laying eggs in muniya. d Arrangement of muniya in the grainage.

They should know how to keep the muniya in darkness. Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

9 Collecting and washing eggs t

Eggs are collected in a big tray and then

10 Drying the eggs t

Eggs are dried in a tray in shade for


The workers should have the skill of

small bags of muslin are filled with these eggs Then these are washed with lifebuoy


soap later with formalin, finally it is rinsed with water. Washing is done to wash away the excreta of the moth and to disinfect it. t

The workers should have the skill to wash


They should know what amount of

handling the eggs properly. t

They should know how to place the trays in adequate amount of shade.

the eggs properly is an important task. formalin should be used for washing and washing should be done till the meconium layer is washed off.

Rates of cocoons: The rates are decided at the Raipur head office, in which a committee is formed who decides the rates. The rates depend on the shell weight (with pupa) A 1.5gm B 1.5 to 1.79gm C 1.2gm to 1.49gm D 0.9gm to 1.19gm Rates for garland per 1000 pieces of cocoons Govt. rate A 1250 B 1100 C 900 D 70 Commercial Rate A 950 B 850 C 700

Facing page, from top to bottom a Peduncle, holding the cocoon with the branch of the tree. b Cocoon garlands hung in the grainage. c Muniya.

A collection of eggs layed by female Tussar moth with the specifications


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Peduncle t

It is called danthal in local language. It is the part of the cocoon that holds the cocoon to the branch of the tree.


It is made up of the saliva of the larva.


Peduncle is used to make the katia yarn.


Cocoon t

It is an outer shell or covering for the larva.


The larva prevents itself from extreme conditions during


The cocoon is very strong and fibrous.


In the tribal belts of Chhattisgarh people eat cocoons.


The larva forms the cocoon in between the shed of 3-4

its hibernation period inside the cocoon.



Muniya t

It is a terracotta vessel with holes on the outer surface.


It is used to keep the mated female moths for laying eggs.


Holes help in ventilation in the muniya.


Treatment with bleaching powder, formalin and gum ame disinfects muniyas.


Kosa Traditions





Pebrin or pepper disease is caused by the protozoan parasite, Nosema bombycis Nageli. The pathogen comes from infected eggs laid by infected mother moths, it may exist in rearing facilities or mulberry gardens as spores or it comes from wild insects naturally infected with Nosema bombycis. These protozoans attack the alimentary tissues of the caterpillar, impairing digestion, secretion of digestive juices and absorption of food.

1 Diseases larvae show slow growth, undersized body and poor appetite. 2 Diseases larvae reveal pale and flaccid body. Tiny black spots appear on larvalintegument. 3 Dead larvae remain rubbery and do notundergo putrefaction shortly after death.

1 Disinfect the rearing room and appliances before the rearing starts 2 Purchase silkworm eggs certified as free of pebrine 3 If the hatching is poor and many dead eggs remain, diagnose hatched larvae 4 Reject the crop when spores of Nosema bombycis are detected from larvae 5 Destroy diseases silkworms by burning. 6 After the rejection disinfect completely rearing rooms and equipment. 7 Examine larvae before larvae cross preferable the 2nd moult 8 If the crop is diseases, stop further rearing, collect all the larvae and silkworm waste and burn them 9 Disinfect facilities and equipment completely. 10Disinfect the silkworm waste pit by dusting 5% bleaching powder with slaked lime 11Get new batch of larvae / egg.



Muscardine is a fungal disease fatal to silkworms. Yellow muscardine is caused by Isari farinose, green muscardine is caused by Spicaria pracina and white muscardine is caused by Beauvaria bassiana. The mature fungi produce minute globular spores which falling on the body of the caterpillar, germinates under humid conditions. The mycelia produced by these spores penetrate and ramify within the body of the caterpillar and draws nourishment from the tissues. White muscadine is caused by a fungus Beauveria bassiana. Aspergillosis is common in young age silkworms and the infected larvae will be lustrous and die. Dark green ( Aspergillus flavus) or rusty brown ( Aspergillus tamari) mycelial cluster are seen on the dead body.




Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

1 The diseases larvae prior to death will be lethargic and on death are flaccid. 2 Oil specks may be seen on the surface of larvae 3 They gradually become hard, dry and mummify into a white or green coloured structure. 4 The diseases pupae will be hard, lighter and mummifies.

1 Disinfect rearing house and appliances 2 Reduce silkworm bed humidity by disting dry slaked lime powder afer bed cleaning 3 Dust be disinfectants such as Vetcare Vijetha and Vijetha supplement as per schedule 4 Collect all the diseased larvae dispese into 5% bleaching powder in slaked lime and dispose off by burning 5 Practice rearing and personal hygienie during rearing 6 Practice pest control measure against mulberry pests such as leaf roller and Bihar hairy caterpillar 7 Adopt all anti-muscardine measures at village level.

Kosa sericulture

Diseases The Grasserie disease is caused by a virus – Nuclear polydedrosis. CSR breeds are as susceptible to the pathogen causing grasserie as any other Bivoltine race. The disease development in early instar rearing is faster as the early instar silkworms are reared at high temperature. As the larvae are also smaller in early instars than the later instars, the virus spread to all tissues in short period. If silkworm gets infected during the 4th or early 5th instar, the symptoms of the disease will be observed prior to spinning or pre-pupal stage. Inf silkworm is infected with the high dose of virus, the ecdysone hormone required for moulting and maturation will be destroyed. If the infection level is low, larva pupate but die in pre- pupal or pupal stage resulting in melting. Grasserie is common during summer. At high temperature, the rate of grasserie disease development is high. During summer, the silkworm develop sysmptoms of grasserie in 4-5 days because of high temperature.



1 The larvae will be sluggish with swollen intersegmantal region. 2 The integument of diseases larvae will be fragile and brakes easily. 3 On infury milky fluid containing many polyhedral inclusion bodies oozes out from the larval body. 4 The diseases larvae do not settle for moult and show shining integument. 5 The larvae appear to be restless. 6 The dead larvae hand by hind legs head downward.

1 Disinfect silkworm raring house, its surrounding and appliances before brushing. 2 Conduct additional disinfection with 0.3% slaked lime solution 3 Rear chawki silkworm as well as later instar silkworm under strict hygienic condition. 4 Avoid high ( 28-35C), low rearing temperature ( 10-20 C) and rearing humidity ( <70%). 5 Dust slaked lime uniformly when larvae settle for moult @ 3 g/sq.f for 1st and 2nd moult and 5g/sq.ft for 3rd and 4th moult. 6 Dust bed disinfectant like Vetcare Vijetha every time the larvae comes out of moult and on the 4th day of final instar as per the quantity cited above.


Flacherie is a type of dysentery in silkworms. It is caused by either Bacillus bombycis or Streptococcus bombycis. Fluctuating temperature and humidity and poor quality silk predispose the disease development. The diseased larvae will be stunted in growth, dill lethargic soft and appear flaccid. The cephalothoracic region may be translucent. The larvae vomit gut juice, develop dysentery and excrete chain type fecus. The larvae on death putrefy, develop different and emit foul smell. Thatte roga is a type of flacherie in silkworm It is cause by streptococcus sp. And or Staphylococcs sp of bacteria in association with infectious flacherie virus.

1 If the silkworm gets infected during the 3rd, 4th or early 5th instar, symptoms of the disease will be observed prior to spinning or pre-pupal stage. If the infection is in late 5th instar , the mortality will be in the pupal stage. 2 If the infection is in early instar silkworm i.e., 1st and 2nd instar. 3 The occurrence of the disease is also governed by the environmental and nutritional factors.

1 Disinfect the rearing tray by dipping in disinfectant for 10 minutes. 2 Do not smear the rearing tray with cow dung. 3 Rear silkworm on good quality mulberry. 4 Practice rearing and personal hygiene during the rearing. 5 Avoid accumulation and their fermentation of feces and uneaten leaves in the rearing bed. 6 Provide good cross ventilation in period of high humidity. Dust dry slaked lime. 7 Dust Vetcare Vijetha as per the recommended quantity and schedule.

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c Clockwise from top to bottom a A group of Tussar silkworms on a Arjuna tree. b Male and female moths clinched together on the cocoon garland. c A woman worker ready to transfer the Tussar silkworms on new trees. d Silhouette of Arjuna tree with the Tussar silkworms. e A woman worker taking the tray of Tussar silkworms for transferring. f Coupling of male and female moths. g A worker plucking the Tussar silkworms from old Arjuna tree.


Centre A yellow Tussar silkworm.




The Unforgettable Experience We reflect back to the day when our curiosity to witness the Tussar worms

were mesmerized to see these wonderful creatures as we had never thought

finally came to an end. This was one of the most interesting and happiest day

of them being of different colours. We tried to touch these silkworms and

of our field visits. Walking on the State highway in Baramkela with Shri J.P.

also transferred it on the new leafy branches of the trees. For few hours

Bariha in search of the fields of the Arjuna and Saja trees, a glow on our faces

these yellow and green worms were our models and we kept on clicking

could be clearly observed. This was because of the excitement of observing

pictures. Meanwhile we also interacted with the workers. They showed us the

these beautiful little silkworms that we had never seen before. We entered

silkworms in their different stages of growth. One of the workers was fleeing

one of the fields which was maintained by the District Sericulture Office

away the predators (crow, kites) with the help of a sling. Our day came to an

Raigarh and one of the workers took us on a tour of that field. We could see

end with a visit to the nearby grainage where we saw the garlands of cocoons

the silhouette of trees and some blob like structures moving lazily on the

hung in the rooms and many male-female moths clinging themselves to these

branches. On a close encounter we saw small green silkworms camouflaging

garlands. Also, the female moths that were placed inside the muniya for laying

itself with the environment. The worker showed us yellow silkworms as well.

eggs was one of the unknown facts that we came to know.

He told us that there are blue ones as well but we couldn't see them. We


Kosa Traditions


he loom or the kargha, (term popular in North and central

verify degrees of complexity of mechanism.

India) can be defined as any frame or mechanism for holding

–A system for holding warp threads parallel.

a set of yarns under tension in order to insert a bana/weft yarn

–A means of forming alternative shed.

when the tana/warp yarns are lifted by fingers or by baiey/

–A process for inserting the weft.

shafts by the weaver. And it was on the handloom also called

–A manner of creating pressure on the pedals to form shed.

hathkargha with a bundle of sticks and cords most magnificent

(Applies only to treadle pit and frame looms).

textiles were woven. Complemented by the skills of spinning and weaving,

Evolution of loom

the weavers developed the ability to create a wide range of

The loom as a mechanism to create flat cloth, with intersection

textiles, ranging from sheer fabrics preferred in hot humid

of linear elements at right angles, seems to have come to

regions to dense and compact ones suitable to the colder

being in the pre- historic times, to meet the basic needs of

climates. One of the quoted stories tells about the Mughal

protection of the body. Historians believe that the evolution

Emperor Aurangzeb who scolded his daughter for appearing

of looms occurred at different time periods within different

naked, when she was actually wearing seven layers of finely

cultures to suit the specific needs of these separate cultures.

spun and woven cloth. All handlooms no matter how primitive

It has undergone several transformations to speed up the

or sophisticated involve basic processes that are subjected to

operation through the ages. Development of looms to a large

Under the Yin- Shang dynasty in China (1523 – 1028 BC), a simple type of shaft loom was in use for weaving silk. In absence of shafts and treadles only plain tabby or a range of tapestry weaves must have been possible. During the Christian era multi pedalled loom was introduced for figured silks in China. During the Tang period (AD 618 – 907) drawloom was adopted in China for weaving complex patterns that exceeded the capabilities of a multi pedalled looms. The invention of the drawloom has been ascribed to China, Persia, Syria, and Egypt. But in the South East Asian cultures, it was the loin loom/back strap loom that seem to have been the predominant means to creating cloth. Previous page Left Close up of baiey/ shafts. Right: From left to right Pit loom at Champa. Handle. Nari/shuttle. A weaver weaving a Jala sari on the treadle pit loom, Chandrapur.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

The Loom

extent depends on what fibres were used for the warp. Earlier

varied from one culture to the next, but the horizontal ground

looms were probably much like a frame in which a cord was

loom was a direct outgrowth of basket and mat making. When

simply stretched between two upright poles from which the

flexible materials replaced stiff strands, the strands were held

warp threads were freely suspended and the fibres used for

tight between a tree or other fixed object and the body of

the warp were stiff enough to hang relatively parallel to each

the weaver. A strap was placed around the waist or hips and


the tension was controlled by body movements forward and

After the discovery of finer and more pliable fibres it was

backwards. The earliest back strap looms required weaving to

found out that some additional aid is required for holding the

be done with the fingers alone, but more advanced versions

warp parallel. Accordingly the horizontal cord was replaced

had heddle rods and separators to assist with shedding and a

by a wooden branch or beam and hung weights from the warp

sword beater to pack the weft yarns into position.

to keep the threads parallel to each other, this method worked well with flax and wool, as flax fibres were long and tough

Pit looms/Khadamaag– People eventually discovered that

and the wool fibres had tiny barbs or scales that tended to

they could stretch warp between two sets of paired stakes

lock the lengths together. But the delicate silk threads could

pounded into the ground. A rectangular framework was thus

not be woven on the warp–weighted loom, as they were very

created freeing the weaver, yet keeping the warps under

fine and got entangled when hung parallel also, because of

tension. This led to the designing of pit dugged looms– pit

weight hung from the warp, the warp ends used to break

looms. In this type of system the weaver sat on the ground

due to tension. So a more sophisticated and upgraded loom

level with the loom, with feet in the pit to operate the treadles.

was designed to accommodate fine weaving, by introducing

Each warp yarn was threaded in its own heddle. The heddles

heddles and treadles.

were separated into two groups and suspended from two

In India silk weaving traditions have been practised

shafts, which could be raised and lowered alternatively to

by many cultures, which depict high level of design skills

change the shed. A reed controls the horizontal spacing of

in weaving, and development of looms at different times at

the warp yarns. Pit looms are quiet primitive and common in

different places. For example the Jala loom of Banaras for

India for weaving cotton and silk where men have adopted the

brocades or the patterned silks, the Patola loom of Patan,

traditional role of weaving.

Gujarat for double ikat weaving, etc are very famous for their mechanization, perfection, and the inexplicable range of

Treadle Looms– Participation of feet became more active

textiles created.

because of the necessity for more ‘hands’ at the looms. The

From earlier times looms were either used in vertical or

addition of foot treadles for the purpose of changing sheds

horizontal position. Vertical looms are either warp–weighted

freed the hands for the more delicate work of inserting the

or upright. The major difference is that the weft is beaten up or

weft and beating it in. And this big shift took place after the

down. In a warp–weighted loom the weaver moved back and

development of cotton and silk. During our field visits, we

forth and beat up the weft as work progressed from the top

saw treadle frame looms and pit looms. We could relate to

towards the bottom. For such a system, weights were attached

these kinds of looms as we already had studied about various

to a portion of the warp, and was allowed to move as the

kinds of looms and their mechanism in some courses at NID.

work progressed, allowing the woven fabric to wound onto

A treadle operates on the mechanism that employs the foot to

the cloth roll. First introduced in Europe, was also found in

change sheds by a paddling action, regardless of whether the

Switzerland and Hungary. In an upright loom the weaver sits

foot actually depresses a pedal or pulls on a cord that is looped

and beats down the weft as the work progresses from bottom

over the ankle or toe. According to one of the officials at WSC,

to top. Used in the South–western part of United States. Looms

the treadle frame looms were introduced in the region very

The loin looms of north eastern regions of India are indigenously made looms using locally available material such as bamboo and wood which work on the principle of two different shed formations, allowing the weaver to weave a type of plain fabric. Weaving is done by the women and mainly for their own use. This type of loom is a regional phenomenon and with mild variations, is found to be practised across the 8 states of the North East IndiaNagaland, Mizoram, Tripura, Manipur, Assam. Local varieties of tussah and muga silk have been used to fashion out textiles on the humble versions of loin loom and narrow frame loom, since many centuries. In most of these regions, it was the cold climatic conditions and the warm properties of silk that perhaps led to its popularity, especially among people who could afford it.

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Kosa Traditions

recently by WSC, and that was twenty to twenty two years

the ratchet and roll the warp beam forward. The back beam– which maintains the horizontal

back approximately. Also, the treadle pit looms that we saw is

position of the warp threads and also acts as a support for the weaver. Cloth beam or the thun

a modified version of the treadle pit loom with the addition of

which stores the fabric after it has been woven. The ratchet maintains the tension of the warp

a frame like structure known as sley.

when a part of completed textile is to be taken on the cloth beam.

Treadle pit loom

Other loom parts and accessories

The treadle pit loom is the earliest known treadle loom to

Nari or the fly shuttle are the most common shuttles used in the region. We don’t really know

be used in India. In this region, it is locally referred to as

about when these fly shuttles came in this region, but we assume that it came into use when

khadamaag. In a treadle pit loom the pedals used for the lifting

the weavers of this place started using the modified pit looms which has the frame that supports

of the baiey/shafts and changing of sheds are foot operated and are located in a depression in the ground. The weaver sits with his feet resting on the pedals/treadle and operates them as required. The treadles consist of a loop tied at the bottom of a string attached to each harness into which the weaver inserts his toes for changing the sheds. The warp is stretched out to its full length or according to space a weaver can afford to spare for the loom in his house. These looms also have overhead beams to accommodate extra warp. A pit treadle loom has similar parts as that of a frame treadle loom and follows the same mechanism as well. In all the looms that we saw in the region, the number of treadles used ranged from two to four and the numbers of shafts were two. Also a common feature that we noticed at most of the weaver's places was that the weaver sat near

Treadle pit loom

the door of the house or near a window. This was to allow a strong beam of natural light to fall on their work, facilitating clarity of vision.

Treadle frame loom A treadle frame loom is compact and efficient structure. The frame supports the warp and thun /cloth beams, kanghi /reed, hatha /reed cap, treadle, lams, pulleys or jacks that connect them. It also provides support to the levers and the brakes that control the advancing of the warp and also to the footrest or even the bench for the weaver at some occasions. A frame loom can be explained by its different parts. The warp beam or the belan– to which the warp is winded. It is equipped with a ratchet wheel (a braking mechanism for creating tension on warps threads to hold them at one place). The warp can be released when required by releasing 74

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Treadle frame loom

The Loom

the reed cap, reed, and the shuttle box (meant to stop the

According to the mythology Parmeshwari Devi called Vishwakarma and asked him to make instruments from the bones of Maikasur Danav that will be used for weaving. Thus from the Buffalo horns was made the first shuttle. From his hair was made the brush used for sizing the yarn, from his ribs the parallel bars that holds the warp apart and so on, till every bone was put to good use. Thus the making of the Devi’s sari could now begin.

shuttle from flying off from the loom, as the shuttle moves from left to right and vice versa while weaving). The shape of this shuttle is like of a boat which contains a gadda/bobbin used for fine weft yarns. A metal tip at both the end of the shuttle protects the ends of the shuttle from being abraded due to the continuous and fast movement of the shuttle while weaving. Kanna or the pirn is a rod onto which weft thread is wound for use in weaving. It is fixed in place, and the thread is delivered off the end of the pirn rather than from the centre. It is made of wood and is slightly tapered for most of its length, flaring out more sharply at the base, which fits over a kanta or the pin in the shuttle. Heddles are an integral part of a loom. Each thread in the warp passes through a heddle, which is used to separate the warp threads for the passage of the weft. The typical heddle is made of cord or wire, and is suspended on a shaft of a loom. In case of silk yarn nylon heddles are preferred over the metal

From top to bottom

heddles because silk is a fine yarn and if it is drafted in metal

a Kanna/Pirn.

heddle there are more chances of breakage due to friction

b Nari/Shuttle.

while this is negligible in case of nylon. We asked the weavers about the material used for heddle prior to nylon and metal,


but even they did not know much about it. Kami or the Lease rods are used to separate the warp yarns, forming a shed and keeping the yarns separate and in order, during the process of weaving. Kanghi or reed is a part of a loom, the term Kanghi, in Hindi, means a comb. It is used to push the weft yarn securely into place as it is woven. It separates the threads and keeps them in their positions, keeping them untangled, and guides the shuttle as it moves across the loom. Manga/khatkhata or the sley is the skeleton frame of a loom. It holds the entire structure of a loom including the cloth beam, shafts, reed, warp beam and the weaver’s bench according to the type of loom. Kanpat or the shuttle box is the box like structure at both the ends of a sley that stops the shuttle from flying off hen its is thrown from one end to the other while weaving, thus creating a continuous sound khatkhat.


Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008






Clockwise from top to bottom a Kami/Lease rods. b Kanpat/Shuttle box. c Kudari/Nakiya. d Temple. e Kanghi/Reed. f Manga/Sley. g Baiey/Shaft with heddles. b


d c




Kosa Traditions



n the process of making fabric one of the most important

While we were interacting with him, he told us about

things is the Loom. We were curious to know from where

the rich forests of Chhattisgarh which tells us that the raw

do these weavers sourced the loom parts. Do they make it

material is locally available in olden days as well. The forests

themselves or do they hire someone for this? There were such

of Chhattisgarh are famous for Sagaun trees. Bastar is termed

questions that we tried to find out answers for. We met Shri.

as the 'Island of Saal'. Now-a-days the teak which is auctioned

Pramod Kumar at Indian Institute of Handloom Technology,

in India, comes from Africa, which is good in appearance but

Champa who is a carpenter by profession. He is a Diploma

has low strength. “What are the parameters to decide the

holder from ITI, Bhilai in carpentry in the year 1998. After this

quality of wood”? He says “the quality depends on the colour

he did his PGDC from Bilaspur.

and rings in the wood, if the wood is palsa and gatha/ganth,

He has been making loom parts from last 11 years for the weavers of Champa and other districts as well. He takes

There is a metal tip on the shuttle end (local term Kumbhi) which he purchases from Nagpur and attach it on the shuttle.

that wood is of inferior quality. Using such a wood creates a problem for carpenters and the product is not good”.

orders for making the loom parts and works in his workshop which is in the house. He says “I learnt carpentry from my father.” This profession of his is a family profession. His father, grandfather were making looms too at their times. He has his own workshop in the front of his house and a godown nearby. When he started this profession he used to make looms and other small furniture. But now he is not only making the looms but has started making furniture for export purpose. “I have been supplying looms from last 2-3 years. I like doing my job, it is my choice.” He also explained us the whole process of making the handloom. He sources his raw material from Janjgir-Naila. Every year, time to time the District Forest Office holds auctions of wood for the buyers. Here the buyers buy the raw material at one go. A proper documentation of this is done on papers and the papers are kept for records. Pramod Ji explained us the whole procedure of this auction. Sometimes he also purchases the raw materials from Singhania, Saw mills in Naila. He informed us about the raw materials which are used for different parts of looms. The Manga/Khatpata is made up of Sagaun (Teak wood). Manga is the backbone of any loom, so the material used in its making should be very strong and sustainable. The reason Sagaun is used is that it is a strong wood (Indian Sagaun is export quality wood). It is oily which prevents it from bending. The moisture content is only 7% due to which it lasts long and Manga is strong as well as well shaped).


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Shri Pramod Kumar

The Loom








Clockwise from top to bottom a Goniya/right angle. b Randa/planner. c Muttha/Chisel. d Different types of tools at Pramod ji's workshop. e Pramod ji sharpening the Kumbhi. f Pramod ji ďŹ nishing the shuttle. g Binha.

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Kosa Traditions


andicrafts are rightly described as the craft of the

people. In India it is not an industry as the word is commonly

marriages. A similar kind of story one can read in Saris of India Madhya Pradesh, where the author writes about the story in details.

understood; for the produce is also a creation symbolising the inner desire and fulfilment of the community. The craftsman’s position in the predominantly agricultural society was pivotal, for it made the village society self-contained. The social functioning was based on a bond of personal relations and duties handed down from generation to generation instead of contracts and competition, with services being paid for in kind rather than cash. A rigid attachment to this bond provided the stability to this vast but well ordered system and ensured a high degree of perfection to the arts and crafts. The execution of the craft was not just an economic compulsion but a sacred duty. This largely explains the very attentiveness and devotion with which the finest work was performed. The artisan was a important personality of Indian society and culture. He worked for those whom he knew and this gave a touch of personal intimacy to the work. He made things mainly for the use of the people around him and not so much for sale in a distant market place. He was not at the mercy of the middle man or a changing clientele. He was an heir to the people’s traditions and he wove them into his craft making it into an art. Every community has a story/history of its origin, so do Dewangans. At Chandrapur while we were interacting with Shri Virkishor Dewangan, he informed us that their community worships Mata Parmeshwari who is their Kuldevi. She is the cause of the origin of the Dewangans. As this conversation went on his mother started narrating the story of their being. She elaborated the story and also gave us a masik patrika of their community to read in which the story of the origin of Dewangans was briefly written. A similar story we came across in Champa while we were talking to Gopala Dewangan's aunt. His aunt also told us the rituals of the puja that they observe when the first son is born in the Dewangan families.

We could see some of the old photographs of this puja in the albums and the videos that she shared with us. Apart from the story of the origin and the puja rituals she told us the style of marriage and the ceremonies that they observe during the


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Rao asking for the son from the mother, a ritual performed during Parmeshwari Devi's puja

Previous page Left A weaver with his daughter weaving a jala sari. Right: From left to right Photo of Parmeshwari Devi Puja sthal/ place for worship. A woman winding kosa yarn on asari.



Clockwise from top to bottom a Gopala Dewangan. b The sacred pujasthal at Gopala Dewangan's aunt's house. c Rambandh talab, where the puja is done.


Kosa Traditions

ORIGIN of DEWANGANS In the beginning there was nothing, neither the sun nor the moon or any of the Gods. There was only mother Durga. It was she who later gave birth to Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. She was naked and the Gods born of her spoke thus, “As you are our mother, it is not becoming for us to see you uncovered.” She listened to them and acknowledged their concern.

A few days later when she went for a bath in the great pond, from the dirt of her body, she made the first man, named Deep Chand Dewangan and brought him to life. With that done, she returned to create the rest of the Devas-Chandra, Suraj Indra, Kuber and the others, and also one Maikasur Danav. With the blessings of Brahma he grew to be strong and fearless. There came a stage where he lost the fear of powerful Vishnu, the great Shankar and even of Brahma himself. All the Gods went to Durga and fell at her feet saying, “Mother, amidst your creation a Danav has been born, he troubles us so, we cannot bear it any longer. He has snatched away our kingdoms, our power and our position. There is no place for us left. How far can we go on living in hiding?” When Devi heard their plea she became angry and said, “ Now I will kill Maikasur”. b

With the protection of Brahma’s Boon no one could kill Maikasur. He went to Brahma and asked about his death. He was told, “ If any women who is naked comes to kill you, she will succeed.” The Devi fought with him for days until the sudden realization that only if she were totally naked she would be able to kill him. She mounted her tiger and put away what little cover she had and went for him. He was killed. Then she called Vedram Dewangan and told him, “Prepare yourself to cloth me” With hands joined in prayer he answered, “ Mother, you have created and named me Dewangan. How shall I clothe you? What instruments do I have?” Then she taught her how to draw the fiber from the blue lotus (Neel Kamal) stalk growing in the pond and with this he wove the garment for her. The first man she created was half man and half woman. The woman was therefore called Dewangan. While he removed the fibers from the stem she spun it into yarn. Meanwhile the Devi called Vishvakarma and asked him to make instruments from the bones of Maikasur Danav that will be used for weaving. Thus the first shuttle was made from the buffalo horns. From his hair was made the brush used for sizing the yarn, from his ribs the parallel bars that holds the warp apart and so on, till every bone was put to good use. Thus the making of the Devi’s sari could now begin. It had no borders or pallav. It was a very simple garment when it was ready; Vedram Dewangan took it to Hingolaj to present it to the Devi. There he was offered a seat of gold whereupon he sat.


c. c

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

On receiving the garment the Devi bid her maids to send for the Dakshina, which was his due, on a platter of gold. While the maids were making preparations for this, Vishnu came to know of the priceless gift the Dewangan was to receive and thought, “This Dewangan has woven a sari for Devi, if he receives so much at one time, why will they continue to weave? They will not need to do so as they can live and eat off this gift alone.” And when he heard her say to the Dewangan as she left, “Go may this be enough for you Dewangan, for generations to come,” he could bear it no longer. He disguised himself as a Brahmin and went into the Devi’s courtyard where the Dewangan was awaiting his due. On seeing the Brahmin enter, he rose and graciously offered his golden seat to him. Meanwhile the maids entered the courtyard and as per the instructions from Devi they gave the platter of gold to the man sitting on the golden seat. The Brahmin received the Dakshina while he kept waiting till the midday. Then he went to the Devi and said, “Mother what about my wages?” She said, “Oh, I have already given them,” to which he, replied that the Brahmin has taken what you sent.” Then she was angry. Admonishing the Brahmin she said, “You have acted very wrongly. That is the way you are. No matter how much wealth you receive, you will remain thus.” And then she turned to the weaver and said, “Whatever happens, you will always be able to sell the cloth you make. Now I have this Parasmani gem, take it and whatever it touches will turn gold.” She gave it to him and he brought it home, but the ‘she’ of Dewangan was angry. “We need rice and lentils and you bring this piece of stone!” She shouted. She picked up the stone and threw it with so much of anger on the wall that it created a second doorway in the wall. Since, then the homes of the Dewangan community always have two doorways. STORY of KOSA By the time the Dewangan had made enough saris for all Gods, the Devas and the Devis, with the lotus stem fiber, the Devi said to him, “How much more will you make from only this fiber now you should have something else to work with.” She thought about it and made the Phal or fruit that later became Kosa cocoon into which she breathed life. It multiplied in number and when there were many, she asked the Dewangan to take it and make new kind of fabric with it.. Since then those of the Dewangans who have worked with Kosa have come to be known as Koshtas. As the Koshtas community got bigger, they called a large gathering to choose a Mukhiya or spokesperson from them who can speak on their behalf. The elected spokesmen were called Mehers. In early stages they made saris for all the Gods and Goddesses called the Deva Vastras. This is the purest form of worship.


the Rao’s request and the weaver’s offering. STORY of NEELAHA SARI There was once a woman called Badju, a great Devotee of Devi. When she got married and went to her in-laws, she found that no one wanted her, neither her mother-in-law nor her husband. So she devoted herself into Devi’s prayers. The Devi was in Indralok and she heard her prayers. So, she appeared in front of her and asked her about the cause of her sadness. Badju said, “No one wants me in my family because I don’t have a son.” The Devi blessed her and said, “You will have a son but you shall have to offer prayers in appropriate way.” “That I will certainly do” replied Badju. Now when the son was twelve years old, they arranged a special prayer offering ritual (Puja) for the Devi. But the Goddess was still not satisfied. She told her to go to Kashi and find out a particular pandit there who will tell her the appropriate way of the prayer. She did so and went to Kashipur. There she found one Sahdev Pandit who told her to offer a Neelaha sari to Devi (blue sari).

That is why women of the weaver community have been practicing to wear Neelaha lugda when they go for the Devi Puja. The Neelaha symbolizes the sacred nature of cloth. Since then the weaving community has had two more Gotras, one is known as the Galkattas- the beheaded ones, and those who share the Rao’s lineage are known as Nimje. They, like him, can save their skins with the gift of double talk. This Puja is the most important ritual for every member of the community at least once in a lifetime. It is held in the first half of Phagun, Krishna Paksh (first Tuesday of March). The women of the family wear Neelaha lugda and go to the Shaguni talab or Virgin pond to fetch water for Devi’s Puja.

This was the first garment that the Devi had worn and without it their prayers would never complete. It was a white sari with a blue (Neela) border and Pallav- Neel being the color of Devi. It is believed that the color blue is because the Devi is worshipped as Jyotirmaya Mata, in the form of blue flame that is pure and intense. In fact, the aspect of purity is observed during the making of the sari. The weavers are supposed to observe a fast when Neelaha has to be woven.

THE DEVI’S PUJA Whenever a son is born in a Dewangan family the Rao comes and asks for offering such as alms or Daan. There is a story associated with this ritual. Long ago, there was a Dewangan who was very poor and he had nothing to give as offering (Daan) to the Rao. But the Rao was insistent; “ You must give something, only then I will leave.” The Dewangan decided that there was only one thing that he could give . He went inside and after giving gave instructions to his wife beheaded himself in front of the idol of the Goddess- Devi. His wife, going by his instructions took his head in a platter and offered it to the Rao. Rao was apologetic of this. Placing the head and body together and covering it over with a sacred cloth he replied, “I asked for alms and not for his head, may the Devi be our only judge. If my desire was sincere and I have truly received my due, may she return his head to his body.” The miracle actually happened, for the Devi was moved by the honesty of

Parmeshwari Devi

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Kosa Traditions

WEAVER'S INSIGHTS Name: Pati Ram Dewangan Age: 40 years Occupation: Weaving Awards: Shri Bisahu Das Mahant Award (2007-2008) Kabir Das Award (sent his design for the award) At the age of 10 Pati Ram started weaving for some other weaver where he learnt phera sari weaving. He worked there for 10 years and then decided to start working at home. From last 20 years he is been working on his own looms. He says,”bunkari toh pitaji ne sikhai”(weaving was taught by my father). A joint family of twenty members which includes his five brothers helps him in one or the other way in weaving. “Hamarey dada pardada shirting ka kaam kartey the, par main aur mere bhai sariyan buntey hai”(my ancestors used to weave shirting fabrics but me and my brothers weave saris). The dyeing is done at home by the ladies and the gents collectively. He also mentioned that he had also tried natural dyes but it did not match the market requirements as the colours were very dull. He used baans ki chaal and parsa ka phool. He sold his product in Bhopal market after facing lot of difficulties. 15 years ago his house was of mud but now he is earning well and has constructed a 'paaka makkan'. He also introduced Bastar art in his weaving five years ago and the traditional designs he used to practise 10 years back using dobby. He adds that good pallu design, thoughtful colour combination, good material quality and finishing in weaving are the attributes which one should practise to be called as a master of the craft. Good work according to him depends on the mood and situation of the weaver. He never took any help from WSC (Weavers Service Centre) and always made his designs himself on the graph paper. He informed us that 10 years ago the warp and the weft both were of Tussar but the introduction of China and Korea silk (35 denier) has changed the whole market scenario. When he learnt weaving and started practising it, he used to make small 'temples' in the border which were coordinated by Ikkat yarns, but now the market has evolved and the small temples are elongated, “market main jo chalta hai wahi banatey hain hum log”(we weave what the market demands).

He got to know about the 'Sri Bisahu Das Mahant Award' through newspapers and immediately he decided that he would send his designed and woven sari for it. He says, "do teen baar mainey sariyan bheji puraskar ke liye, sab main jyadatar phool pattey wale design thay, par safalta nahi mili”(I sent my saris for the competition but didn't suceed). But the fourth time he succeeded in getting the award as the sari was inspired by Chhattisgarh’s agriculture 'khet khalihan'. For that sari he had used 8x8 kosa in warp and weft. He received a cash prize of rupees one lakh and a seal with which he got new looms made, as few years back he was working under the Mahajans/middlemen but now he has started his own wholesale business. At present he has in total 14 looms out of which 4 are of his own and remaining 10 he has tied up with other weavers. He said that on an average he is able to get 20 saris woven per week. 86

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Shri Pati Ram Dewangan


Important Facts t

His looms have both jala and phera weaving possibilities. Also, he said by using jala system khapa can be woven.


He sells his saris to the Mahajans of Champa. The prices of each sari differ according to the material used and the designs. Usually he charges 2200 rupees for saris which have jala and phera designs both, 1900 for phera design and 1600 – 5000 rupees for Jala designs.


About the colour trend in the market he says, "pehle log Jhatak rang (bright colour)


When he started his work he used to get rupees 55-/ month and then later it increased

pehentey thay, par ab log zyada sober rang pehentey hain". upto rupees 125-/ month. t

Again when he started working on his own he did not get any profit initially but later on he made it to rupees 300 -/month.


He says, “mainey jala banana kudh hi se seekh liya, bas ek bar Raigarh main dekha tha”(I learnt jala making by myself). It costed rupees 1200 to him for jala preparation.


He had interest in drawing and painting so it was easy for him to transfer the designs on graph paper. Also at times he copies designs from printed saris, rangoli books etc.


There was no graph paper in the earlier times so they used to make their own grids on copy and do it.


He gave his award winning graph design to someone who had come to visit him. On asking why did he do that he said the design I made is registered in my mindd and I can reproduce it so I gave away the graph.

Border of sari

Design on the graph paper

Award winning Sari

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Kosa Traditions

NATIONAL AWARD WINNER Name: Pradyuman Dewangan Age: 55 years Award: President Award, 2003 received on 12th December 2005. Award for good sale at Mamatwa Mela in 2000. He started weaving at the age of 8, never been to school but still is thorough with the vocabulary of weaving. Shri Pradyuman Dewangan won the President Award in the year 2003 for the kosa silk sari where he got a cash of rupees 50,000 and seal of excellence. He told us that he came to know about the award through WSC and they helped him in the design development for the sari. Originally he is from Bhikanpali (Jhasuguda, Odisha). “Barah din main sari puri ki mainey”(I wove the sari in 12 days), says Pradyuman Ji. He learnt weaving from his neighbours and took training under WSC for Jala preparation and dyeing. WSC also helped him in making the graphs. He informed us that in olden day his father and he used to make dhoti and from last 20–25 years he started weaving sari. He prepared the Jala himself. The border of the sari was made by dobby mechanism while the body was done using Jala. Total capital that was required was rupees 700–800. The raw materials used for the award winning sari were 35 denier Korea and 50–70 denier

Shri Pradyuman Dewangan with his wife

China silk for the warp while ketki yarn for Jala design formation. Although he has stopped weaving since 2006 still he teaches other weavers. He says that the saris made earlier were heavy and thick. For phera border very thin Tussar yarn was used and at times ‘tie–dyed’ yarn, was used in combination with phera which he used to buy from vendors who came from Odhisha, at a rate of rupees 25 for a sari. He also knows the process of drafting and denting. He explains about the skills and the attributes of a good crafts person. He says that a good designing of border and pallu, sensible colour combination, no floats (tag–fag) and no broken threads are the signs of a good crafts person. After 1970 he started earning well. He also started participating in exhibitions organised by Handloom Department and WSC. He was a member of weaver’s society. In olden days the saris were sold in the haats, the market was limited but now there is a huge market for these saris. “Pehley log shaadi ke liye sariyan banwatey thay”(In olden days people used to get the saris woven for marriage purpose), these saris had yellow body with blue or red border or the whole sari used to be red. Thakur and Patel women used to wear these saris. The work rhythm was for two months only in those times during the marriages. Now the tourists who come to Chandrahsisni Devi emple buy these saris.

National Award winning Sari


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh


KHAPA WEAVER Name: Deepak Kumar Dewangan Speciality: Master in Khapa weaving. Deepak Kumar Dewangan is a weaver in Champa who exclusively weaves khapa saris. He is working since the age of 18. There are 5 members in his family; wife Bhagwati Dewangan, elder son Ram Naresh Dewangan, younger son Umesh Kumar Dewangan and daughter Ritu Dewangan. In late 80’s he went to Nagpur with his family and started weaving there. He wove cotton saris on handlooms. But, when power loom came to Nagpur in 90’s, handloom sector freezed, this pushed him back to Champa. Since then he is weaving for the Mahajans of Champa. "Nagpur main sirf bunai nahi ki, samaann becha, thela lagaya. Pet ke liye to sab karna parta hai" (Apart from weaving I did all sorts of work in Nagpur for survival), he expresses while weaving a new Khapa sari. He says, "Mahajan humey kam rojgar deta hai, par society ka president to vo bhi nahi deta, sab kha jata hai"(Mahajan gives us less wages but the society president doesn't give any), he gets rupees 400 for one sari. He manages to weave one sari in two and a half days time. He earns rupees 3500 in a month. His ancestors wove mulmul safa. He told us that he learnt weaving from his father Nohar Lal Dewangan. And his elder son had learnt from him but the younger son does not know how to weave. “Main nahi chahta mere bete ye kaam karein”(I

Shri Deepak Dewangan

don't want my sons to weave). According to him a sari which weighs 4oo gm is the best Kosa Pooja Area

more designs have come into weaving and designs have a cycle which moves according to the


sari. He also knows about the importance of designing in these saris. To this he says that now



House Construction He made his house himself. He owns this house and the land only. The foundation is of 1 ft.

Sitting area

The soil used is the soil from fields and Laal mitti, which is not so strong. To paint his house he bought choona for rupees 8/kg and mixed neela rang for rupees 15,200 gm. “Neela rang hum islie istemal kartey hain kyunki yeh rang sasta parta hai, saaf aur sundar lagta hai”(Blue colour is

Loom Area

cheap and it looks beautiful). He has a ration card, so he purchases the grocery from this card. Once he had a cow also for his personal benefits but it died. He informed us that he managed to get single phase electricity in 1987. He is a member of cooperative society but he is working with Mahajans. They secure water from boring or tap which has a fixed time at 8:30–11am. They also get water from Hasdeo river.


Main door

Utensils and other household items used at Deepak ji’s house: Deyaki (for rice), mugha (for tea), karhaiya (for cooking veg), haula (for storing water), dabba (for flour), tava (for cooking roti), belna, chauki, channi, chai, katori, sufa ( for cleaning), bilha, laurha, bahri, thali,chara.

Plan view of DeepakJi's house Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008





Clockwise from top to bottom a Kedarnath Dewangan's house Chandrapur, Chhattisgarh. b Asaris hanging on the wall with colourful Kosa silk yarns. c Inside Deepak Dewangan's house. d Uple, kept for drying outside the house, used as fuel for cooking. e Aangan, Pati Ram Dewangan's house. f An exterior view of Deepak Dewangan's house.





Winding process

Thigh reeling process

Journey of Kosa..................

Seperation and sizing process Piecing process

Warping process

Dyeing process

Sari folding process

On loom finishing


Kosa Traditions


uring our visits to Champa and Chandrapur we were

able to see all the processes that are involved in the making of Kosa fabric. These are categorised into pre-loom processes, weaving and post-loom processes. These processes together gave us a clear understanding of the making of Kosa pat. From a golden yarn into a golden fabric, the journey seems incredible.

PRE –LOOM PROCESSES Sun Drying In this process the harvested cocoons are put in trays in an open space of the grainage and is dried in the Sun for few days. This helps in reducing the moisture of the cocoons and killing the pupa, so that they can be stored for longer time period.

Stifling/Shwasrodhan This is a process that is carried out before the process of reeling. The cocoons that are separated from the total harvested lot are put into large trays and passed through steam or hot air, which kills the chrysalis within it. Then it is kept in front of dryers to get dry for storage purpose.

Reeling/Kosa katai After the process of stifling the yarn is reeled out from the cocoons. Traditionally, women of the family have been known to do the thigh reeling. 68 years old Punai Dai told us that in older times women used to sit together in the verandah of the houses and reeled the cocoons to obtain the yarn. She explained us the process of thigh reeling while she reeled the Kosa. She took the cocoons, which she boiled in water and caustic soda. Caustic soda helps in softening the yarn of the cocoon which is later easy to reel. In older times probably the cocoons was boiled with a particular plant's special lye(a gummy extraction from the plant) to dissolve the mucilage and allow easier reeling. She told us that while boiling the cocoons, Kosa filaments are winded over each dry cocoon in the direction opposite to the direction of dry cocoon filaments to secure it from entanglement. 96

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Punai Dai performing the process of thigh reeling


Then she kept 8 to 10 cocoons on an earthen utensil called Parain/Parai which is specially made for carrying out the process of thigh reeling. Taking each filament from all the eight cocoons together she first twisted the ends with the already reeled yarn on the natva. Later she started rotating the natva with one hand and in synchronization to it she twisted the filaments on her thighs with the other hand, so that all of it joins together and becomes one strand. While she was doing this she applied water in her hands to moisten the filament which was being reeled out. The use of wet kosa yarn as picks in weaving helps in increasing the ppi(picks per inch) of the woven fabric. It helps in maintaining the lustre and shine of the fabric. This yarn is usually obtained for the weft only. Gopala Dewangan says, “This yarn can be directly wound over Kamsar/pirn since the yarn is properly packaged on the natva. This yarn is also made into a hank at times when it has to be sold in the market. But it has a lesser diameter i.e. of 4-5 inches. The formation of hank is done with the help of preventiculum”. According to Dai’s experience, moistened filaments produce good quality yarn. While reeling she told us that she learnt reeling when she was a child. In early days of her work she used to get blisters on her thighs and cuts on her palm. She is paid 40 rupees per 100 cocoons. The

Cocoons on parai

reeling pace has to be such that the boiled cocoons should be reeled completely within two days or else the caustic can cause damage to the filaments. We also saw the reeling of Gheencha yarn on our way. A girl was also doing thigh reeling. There was a visible difference, instead of natva, a wet jute piece was taken in use. The twisted yarn was being wound onto that jute piece. This was done to ensure the presence of moisture in the yarn and also to make sure that the yarn doesn’t get entangled. After all the yarn is obtained another wet jute rug is placed on top of it and one person presses it with his/her feet so that the moisture remains and the yarn is untangled. These days women do practice thigh reeling but the number has gone down considerably. This is because of two main reasons, the introduction of reeling machines and availability of yarns like China silk and Korea silk that are being used in warp and weft as well instead of Kosa silk.

Golden threads of Kosa wound on natva Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

Winding/Ukalna While we were introduced to different pre-loom processes we came across a circular wooden swift known as gauriya/ charkha. In the process of winding for weft yarns, usually the women of the family winds the Kosa yarn from the natva on the kaana/pirn for using it as weft yarn. Or the purchased Kosa hank is ďŹ rst placed on the asari and then it is wound over the pirn. This is done because the yarn in hank form is packed tightly which is hard to wind on the pirn while once put on the asari it loosens up. For Kosa/Tussar asari, made up of six bamboo sticks is used and for Gheencha it is made up of four bamboo sticks. Since Kosa silk has a very ďŹ ne count, when it is wound on the asari, the bamboo sticks tend to bend and further with more pressure due to the yarn it can break, that is why asari made up of 6 or 8 bamboo sticks is used. While in case of Gheencha, the yarn is rough and thick, so it does not exert much pressure on the asari. So, asari made up of 4 sticks is used. For warp yarns, hanks of China silk or Korea silk are placed on the swifts of the winding machine and on the lower side bobbins are placed. The ends of the hanks are tied on these bobbins and the machine is run. With the help of the winding machine the hank yarn is ďŹ lled onto the bobbins. Later these bobbins are used for the process of warping. One can see many such winding machines in many houses of Champa.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

c Pg 88 Close up view of piecing process Pg 89 From left to right Workers dyeing tussar fabric at a dyeing unit, Seoni, Champa. A woman winding yarn on pirn. Deepak Dewangan weaving a Khapa sari. From left to right a A woman winding kosa yarn on asari. b Asari made of 6 sticks used for winding gheencha. c Asari made of 4 sticks used for winding kosa yarn.



Warping/Tana purai After we saw the process of winding we moved ahead and went to see another process called warping at Shri Rameshwar Dewangans home cum workshop. There we saw a horizontal warping drum of 5 meter diameter and two spools on which several bobbins were placed filled with China silk. He told us that he has been doing the job of warping since last ten years and he bought the warping drum from Nagpur. He showed us how the warping is done. In this process 120 silk threads from 120 bobbins that are kept on the spool are taken and it is passed through beniya/paddle. The threads from first two bobbin racks on the creel are passed through the heald eye of the paddle and the remaining through the space between the heald eyes. This set of threads is passed through the heald eye is taken together and tied on the hook on the horizontal warping drum and the drum is rotated. As the drum rotates the person standing with the beniya moves it in up and down motion to form the shed. This formation of the shed separates the threads into two sets and at the same time it is fixed on the metal loop on the warping drum. This rotation goes on till the required length of the warp is obtained. Once the warping is done the warp is packaged into ball form which is easy to carry and store. a




Clockwise from top to bottom a Creel with 120 bobbins. b Worker doing warping. c Warp tied to the hook to start the warping. d Creating lease while warping. e Warp threads passing through paddle. f Metal hooks to separate warp threads while warping.



Kosa Traditions

Degumming The Kosa yarn contains Sericin gum, which does not allow dyes to penetrate into the yarn. So, it is necessary perform the process of degumming before it is sent for the process of dyeing. The ball warp prepared is put into a 10-20% soap solution and 5% soda ash for 2-3 hours so that the gum is removed.

For degumming gheencha, it is put into a solution of water, acetic acid, caustic and sodium silicate for half an hour.

Dyeing In earlier times natural dyes were used for dyeing the Tussar yarn. These were Palaas and Kusum flowers for yellow, Rora flower gives red, Lac gives deep rose red. Lac combined with Hirakasi gives black colour etc. Now–a–days naturals dyes is used only when a client gives the order, because it doesn’t give a bright colour. Acid dyes is very popular these days. At times weavers themselves dye the yarns according to the requirement. They also give it


to the dyeing units in Champa and Chandrapur when there is a bulk order. Shree Kedarnath Dewangan from Chandrapur does the dyeing himself and after dyeing he treats the warp with a solution of rice water, kerosene and water. He says, “Kerosene helps to maintain the non–stickiness of the warp, thus the warp doesn’t get entangled.” At Seoni in Janjgir-Champa District we were able to see the dyeing unit where fabrics and yarns were being dyed into different colours in bulk. This unit was owned by a Mahajan of Seoni. The process of de–starching the fabric is also carried out in this unit. The workers in this unit work on daily wages. And chemical dyes is more in use. They first prepare the dye bath in a big tub and then dip the fabrics/yarn into it. After the dying is done the fabric is spread on wires in the backyard of the unit to dry.



Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh



Piecing/Phani Jorna This process is very unique to this region. Piecing is a process of joining each new warp end with the older warp ends by twisting both of them together. In the local term it is called Phani Jorna. The weaver does this process himself or he gives it to those who do this job specially. The person who does this belongs to the Dewangan community but he/she specializes in the technique. Once the older warp is ďŹ nished it is not removed from the reed but cut till the heald shafts. The left over warp along with the reed and the heald shafts is demounted from the loom. Then the weaver starts joining each end of the new warp with that of the older one. He takes both the ends and applies raakh/ash and water and twists it together between his ďŹ ngers. The water and ash helps to keep the ends intact. A cheerfooli is placed between the lease rod and the reed to separate the warps while piecing. It keeps the lease


rods stretched and due to this the warp is also stretched which further helps in pulling out the threads easily for joining. After this the warp is rolled along with the reed and the pachaida/ warp beam is taken for separation and sizing, to be done the next morning.

b Facing page clockwise top to bottom a Workers dyeing fabric at Dyeing unit. b Dyed warp hung for drying. c Shree Kedarnath Dewangan dying the warp. Clockwise top to bottom a Water, Ash and old warp kept for piecing. b Chirfooli, separating the lease sticks c Piecing process.


Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

Seperation and Sizing Once the warp undergoes piecing (at times undyed warp is also taken) it is taken for the process of separation and sizing. We went to see this process besides the main railway line of Champa in an open field near the railway line. The space required to carry out this process depends on the length of the warp. There, Shri Krishna Kumar Dewangan and Shri Nand Kishore Dewangan who do the job of sizing for many Mahajans and other weavers were doing the process of sizing. This process is carried out early in the morning or at times in evenings as well. In the morning the broken threads can be seen and knotted and the maar applied for sizing also dries off fast. It takes three hours for a warp of 70 meters to undergo this process. They have already set up the apparatus to place the warp. On this they first pass one end of the warp into a thick rod and place it horizontally on the vertical pegged bars. Then they stretch and place the warp beam on the other


end. The next step is to separate the warp ends from each other up to the width of the fabric to be woven. After this the lease threads are replaced with kami/lease rods made up of bamboo. A kucchi/brush made up of coconut fibres is dipped into maar/rice starch and applied on the warp. This maar is prepared by him. This application is done in parts. Once the first part is sized it is winded over the warp beam and so on. At times instead of rice starch a solution of tamarind seeds powder in hot water was used. The sizing has to be done seven to eight times to strengthen the warp since silk is thin and fragile so extra care is taken to ensure that the warp remains strong. Once sizing is done the warp is left to dry which further is rolled up and given back to the weaver. Shri Nand Kishore Dewangan told us that in a day they can do 4 to 5 warps and they get a wage of rupees 150 per warp. b Clockwise top to bottom a Separation of warp. b Kucchi. c Sizing the separated warp.



Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Facing page Winding the sized warp.

The Loom

Winding sized warp The sizing is done in parts, the warp is re-winded once each part is sized and dried. For this one person takes out the rod from the stand and stretches it. While two people handle the warp beam and with each turn they put newspapers in between the layers of the warp. This is to maintain an equal pressure throughout the warp and also to avoid the depression of one layer of the warp into the other. Once the entire warp is winded till the reed, it is then taken for mounting on the loom.

Mounting on loom After winding, the warp along with reed and heald shafts are re-mounted on the loom for weaving.

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WEAVING At Champa and Chandrapur we went to many weaver's houses where we were able to witness them weaving saris. We interacted with these weavers and we could relate to the detailed mechanism of weaving that we have studied at NID. The primary and secondary motions of a loom plays the major role in weaving a fabric on the loom. The primary motions involves shedding, picking and beat up motions. The weaver presses the treadle in the Shedding mechanism which helps to create a pel/shed (the opening made between spread warps) through which the weft is passed. The picking causes the shuttle carrying weft to be propelled from one end of the loom to another thus creating the fabric. The beating mechanism orders the warp yarns, controls their density and packs the weft yarns into position. The appearance of the ďŹ nished weaving is greatly affected by the force of the beating and the point at which the beater is pulled forward. In local language of Chhattisgarh shedding, picking and beating are termed as pel banana, bharni karna and thokana respectively. The secondary motion comprises of take up and let off motions. In Jala weaving as well these three motions remain the same. Champa and Chandrapur are known for its sari weaving tradition since ages. One can see a transition in the techniques with which new designs have come into the market. The Phera saris are the saris woven by the Dewangans since ages. The introduction of Jala looms took place in the 90's. Due to this the Jala saris came into the market. Some of the weavers at Champa started weaving Khapa saris which is a weft rib structure. At times the weavers weave a combination of these, i.e Phera with Khapa, Khapa with Jala, Jala with Phera or all three together.




a Three shuttle pit loom. b Treadles. c Weaver weaving a sari.

Kosa Traditions



he saris woven by the Dewangans in Champa and

Chandrapur are of three kinds. The Phera, Jala and Khapa. All these saris includes extra weft as the major weaving technique for the ornamentations and plain weave for the Deh/Body. Extra weft is a surface ornamentation where the pick

floats on the fabric and is bound down to the cloth at intervals. In the areas where it is not required to be seen, it floats similarly on the reverse side of the fabric.

Phera Saris It is an extra weft fabric structure in which the design created is in the form of temple that generally run along the borders of the sari. The creation of the design is done by picking up the required number of warp ends and passing the pick from it and then binding it with a plain weave. It uses the three


shuttle weaving technique. In phera saris temple is the soul motif created. "kana ko pher pher k design banate hain islie isko phera kehte hain", says one of the weavers. The temple is also known as kumbha, that rises from the border into the body of sari. A typical phera sari has a plain body with temple borders and a plain pallav or a striped pallav.

Materials In the body of phera sari China silk/Korea silk is used. For the temple motif gheencha is used and sometimes Kosa yarn is also used to give a subtle effect.

Motif Vocabulary In phera saris kumbha/temple is the main motif created. Since a long time this motif has evolved into different sizes ,weights and forms. In earlier times it was very symmetrical and it used to be woven on the borders. Later, when dobby was introduced then in the pallav new designs were woven along with plain weave. These motifs are derived from the flora and

Top to bottom a Phera sari being woven on loom. b Finished phera sari.

fauna found in the region like tortoise, fish, flowers etc.



Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Facing page Shri Kedarnath Dewangan's brother weaving a sari.

Kosa Traditions

Jala Saris The jala is an attachment atop a loom consisting of threads which contain the complete series of lifting orders for an intricate design. These threads are attached to their corresponding ends on the warp below. When each of the jala threads is raised, its corresponding combination of warp ends also gets raised, forming a shed through which a weft is passed. Ornamentation of fabrics woven using jala technique is always in extra weft.

Materials In the body of Jala sari China silk/Korea silk is used. In the pallav gheencha, zari, ketki (fancy yarns) are used.

Motif Vocabulary Jala technique gives a ďŹ&#x201A;exibility to the weavers to imagine and weave very intricate designs. At Chandrapur we saw designs in which the weaver has depicted a scene of harvesting in the sari inspired by the harvesting season of Chhattisgarh. This example itself shows how different and intricate patterns can a

be woven with this technique.

From top to bottom a Jala sari at a showroom. b Jala sari being woven.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh



JALA LOOM A drawing is made of the required design and it is converted into a graph. Using this graph the naksha is made. The nasha-bandh works on his naksha by referring to the graph. The original paper drawing is enlarged and this enlarged drawing is placed under the machan. The naksha-bandh picks up the design directly from the drawing placed under. This is called the fanni jala.


b Clockwise from top to bottom a A weaver and his daughters weaving a Jala sari. b Nakka (Naksha). c Jala loom.

Once the naksha is made it is set on the loom. Jala can be attached to any loom which has an overhead beam from which the jala can be suspended, and the facility for the paggia attachment is their. Each of the Jala end is attatched to a corresponding paggia thread. Paggia is a set of horizontal threads stretched tight across the warp. It is placed behind the shafts and acts as the link between the ends of the jala and the warp on the loom. A heald-like attachment called a naka, links the paggia to the warp. The paggia is attached to its corresponding end on the warp in a straight drafting order. This is repeated as many times as there are repeats in the design. The person who lifts the jala sits behind the loom, on a bench above the warp. The mandha is used by the person to keep the required threads up and also to maintain a clear shed. The shafts of the loom are pedal-operated. The ground weave is controlled by the lifting of the shafts and the extra-weft ornamentation is controlled by the jala. The warp passes through the reed and then through the healds. The healds constitute two looped threads which are attached on he frame of the shafts at either end. The warp does not pass through the eye of the heald but through the upper half of the heald itself. This enables the end to move independently in two movements i.e. the ground cloth being woven by lifting the shafts and the ornamentation on the fabric being woven by the lifting of the paggia. A ground pick is inserted, followed by the insertion of the extraweft picks.


Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

Khapa Saris Khapa saris have supplementary weft strips at the end of pallav. This is usually woven as either weft-faced ribbed bands or thin lines of dashes which is locally known as jeera. Four long wooden rods are placed according to the 4/4 weft rib or 2/2 weft rib patterns at the back of the warp in between the threads. These sticks are known as the khapa and this is how these saris are called khapa saris. First the khapa is pulled forward and then the treadle is pressed to create the shed. The weaving is done such that the front becomes the back when it is worn. So, actually the design is woven in reverse side. There are four treadles used for the weaving, treadle 1 and 2 governs the plain weave/ ground fabric while treadles 3 and 4 help in weaving the khapa design.

Materials In the body China silk/Korea Silk is used. While in pallav gheencha is used. a

Motif Vocabulary The extra weft stripes constitute the motif vocabulary of these saris. The weft faced ribbed bands and the dashes called jeera come into this category.

2/2 weft rib 1


Top to bottom a Khapa sari. b Khapa sticks attached to the loom. Facing page Shri Deepak Dewangan weaving the Khapa sari.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

b. b

The Loom

Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

UniďŹ ed language of tradition When we went to WSC we saw some of the old sari samples which had these motifs and designs. These motifs/design also relate to the motifs that are woven in the bordering areas of Chhattisgarh, Odhisha, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. This also suggests that since they share the motif vocabulary there might be a possibility of trade or exchange of materials and ideas among the weavers. Also, the migration of weavers from one State to the other is possible. In Chandrapur, Virkishor Dewangan's mother told us that there was a trade of the pattern dyed yarns from Odhisha. Also, we observed that the devotees of Chandrahasini Devi are from the neighbouring States who wear Ikat saris and dhotis from those regions. All these observations explains that there is deďŹ nitely a shared language of motifs and materials among these neighbouring weavers and regions.


Clockwise from top to bottom a Maachhi kinar. b Maachhi jin kinar. c Rudrakhsha kinar. Facing page clockwise top to bottom a Rui phool kinar. b Khapa/Oncha kinar. c Crown phool kinar.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh




Colours Dhaniya—Light green Mas—Deep blue Sevadi—Deep green Kariya—Black Anchi—Deep purple Jaam/Jaamla—Purple Darra—Deep rose red Kattha—Maroon Took lal—Bright red Narangi—Orange a

Piura—Yellow Rani—Deep Indian pink Malti—Mauve pink Phiroza—Turquoise



Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions



13 14




6 3 Teen Phulia Basanti Kinar Sari


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh



Elements and symbols Thikri/jeera– Dotted pattern Teen phulia/chipri phool– three flower motif Chicholi phool– Tamarind seed motif Crown phool– Crown flower motif Sari Language 1 Body Deh/Peta/poot

Karan phool– Karan phool motif

2 Border Dheek

Chitpat– Motif in positive and negative

2aDivided Border Basanti kinaar 3 End- piece Anchra/Pallav 1

Sankari/Selari– Patterned chain/stripe

5 Dotted pattern Thikri/Jeera

Janjeer– Chain pattern

7 Flower pattern in extra warp Phool

Oncha/Khapa– Extra weft

8 Unit of resonant lines Aamachamee/Potiya

Danda– Self stripe

Tood 10 Bands between fine lines Putiya/Patti 11 Fine line in warp Kakhni 12 Fine line in weft Philki



Motim chowk choor– Pearl self check Singhaulia– Auspicious motif Bhaonrai– Mat pattern for marriage

13 Band with fine lines Kakhni patti

Chatai– Mat pattern

14 Space after end piece Palo

Chowkda– Checks

15 Parting Chir/Chhirri/Cheera 7,7a

Mandir/Ghunghroo- Temple/Anklet bell pattern

7aThree flower pattern Teen phulia 9 Coloured space between main band and resonant lines


Kangoora/Karvat– Saw edged pattern

4 Selvedge Korna/Dohra patti 6 Ground for main extra warp pattern Bhuin


Rui phool– Cotton flower motif

16 Fringe Poonchra/Pasa

Jin– Twill

4 Courtesy: Rta Kapur Chishti, Amba Sanyal, Saris of India, Madhya Pradesh, Pg 117.

Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

The Ten Drapes As one can observe the three common styles of wearing a sari in India in the chapter 1 Sari the epitome of traditions, here these styles branch out and form their individual identity as per the region, tradition and customs. There are distinct points of anchorage and free play in each wearing style which provides comfort, functionality and a basic ďŹ&#x201A;owing grace. This is somewhat more evident in the rural styles of wearing the sari which allows greater freedom of movement while the outer end piece are kept long and adjustable. This makes the

Chhattisgarh style

end piece to be opened out to use as a bag, a tie over, a warp or just a draped covering as per the requirement. Chhattisgarh style

Bastar Style

Lodhi Community

Bastar Style


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Sarguja, Oraon Dance Turra



Marar community, Balaghat Sarguja, Oraon Community Style

At times the moth emerges out from the Kosa fal and ideally this kind of a cocoon is not suitable for the extraction of fine Kosa filaments. So, this is used to produce the Gheencha yarn. The filaments are forcefully pulled off the surface of the broken Kosa fal. " Kosa ko gheench gheench k lie nikalte hain islie ise Gheencha bolte hain", says Gopala Dewangan. This is a by product of Kosa fal generally used in Phera and Khapa saris. Katia The yarn produced from the peduncle of the cocoon is known as katia. Used in furnishing fabrics.

Chhattisgarh style

China Silk This is the Chinese silk imported in India from China. It is a good quality 35 denier silk. Used mainly for warp since it has a better strength than Kosa. Lodhi Community

Jhabua, Bhil Community Style

Korea Silk This is the Korean silk imported from Korea. Again used in warp.

Courtesy: Rta Kapur Chishti, Amba Sanyal, Saris of India, Madhya Pradesh

Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

MOTIFS The decorative motifs in the Indian Craft go deep into the earliest




have pattern of their own which, within a rigid circumference is laid down by an ancient tradition, Thikri/jeera/dotted pattern

has attained perfection. These crafts show a long and continued development and manifest their


powerful impact on the basic trends of Indian artistic crafts. These forms have crept into the new emergent creations so inexplicably that in fact in many cases the dividing line between the two is either thin or almost nonexistent. Every motif has a meaning and a symbolic significance. Much of it



is ritualistic and religious. At Champa and Chandrapur we saw the motifs that were being woven since a long time. There has been a change over the years but the parent motif remains the same, that is authentic in nature. Also due to the influence of the neighbouring states like Odhisha these motifs have developed over the years. There has always been a shared language between these States in terms of motif vocabulary.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh


Chitpat/teen phulia/chipri phool/threeflower pattern


Rudraksha motif

Crown phool motif

Chicholi phool/ tamarind seed motif


Rui phool/cotton ďŹ&#x201A;ower motif

Jin/janjeer/chain pattern

Kacchua/tortoise motif

Macchli/ďŹ sh motif

Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

All these motifs and designs are prepared by the master weavers on the graph




According to these weavers the introduction of these graph papers has

papers. They told us that when these graph papers were not introduced one

turned out to be fruitful. It is much easier to imagine the design and translate

of the weavers amongst them used to in act the motifs to be woven and the

it onto these graphs. The graph paper gives the liberty to translate large

weaver used to weave it accordingly. " Pehle jamane me haath chal chal k design

designs for weaving Jala designs.

banate the." With the setup of WSC at Raigarh the introduction of graph paper happened and these weavers especially attended workshops conducted by the WSC and learnt to use these graph papers.



Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh


a Facing Page clockwise top to bottom a Dhaan design. b Radha Krishana. c Flower design. d Dhaan katai scene.


Left to right a Mayur motif. b Macchali design.

Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

Post–Loom Processes On loom Sizing In this process the weaver after weaving a certain length of fabric applies maar with the help of a cotton cloth to keep the woven fabric stretched on the loom. This later helps in the folding of the fabric.

Calendaring The fabric is passed through a calendaring machine. This machine has two rollers that apply high pressure onto the fabric and thus the fabric gets straighten and flat. This gives a shine and finish to the fabric.

Folding of sari In this belt of Kosa sari weaving weavers have a particular way of folding the sari. This includes eight steps.


1. The sari is unwound from the cloth beam. 2. Then it is folded into half horizontally with a vertical fold and placed flat on the ground. 3. From one side the first half is further vertically folded into half towards the inner side. 4. Above process in done with the second half as well. 5. Then one side is placed over the other folded section and put flat on the ground. 6. Then from both sides 1/3rd section is vertically folded on the horizontal line towards the centre. 7. Again one folded section is placed on the other as done in step 5. 8. A longer length of left over synthetic yarn is winded over the folded sari vertically and is tied. (Refer sketches/pictures).

b Top to bottom a On loom sizing done by weaver. b Calendering machine.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh














Horizontal Fold




Vertical Fold



Kosa Traditions


he main market of Kosa saris and other Kosa products is

Champa. All the Mahajans/middlemen get their work done from the weavers of Champa, Chandrapur and Sarangarh. The

Mahajans/middlemen take part in the auctions of Kosa cocoons which is organised by the District Sericulture OfďŹ ces. They buy these cocoons and give it to the weaverâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s family for thigh reeling or machine reeling, who are working for him. He also provides China and Korea silk yarns to these weavers for weaving and pays the wages for each sari/per meter yardage. The Mahajans/ middlemen have formed a society which includes minimum of 30 weavers as a part of that society. All the work is done through the society headed by the Mahajans/middlemen. These middlemen at times provide the weavers with designs to be made or they collaborate with some designers.

The wages depends on the current market prices of the Kosa (which changes every day). Usually the wages vary from rupees 400-800 per sari. In Champa these days the weavers are concentrating into weaving yardages for furnishing and

Weavers and other clients waiting outside to meet the Mahajan at his house

suiting shirting rather than saris. The reason is that they get less wages on weaving a sari and more on the yardages. While we were interacting with one of the weavers who at one point of time used to weave saris said that weaving yardages takes less time and pays more. So, he usually weaves yardages. But in Chandrapur the age old sari weaving tradition is not taken over by the new products. The furnishing, suiting shirting fabric is woven less in quantity at Chandrapur. We could clearly observe the difference at these two places. At Champa and Chandrapur we came across the leading wholesalers. Motilala Dewangan (Sari, Furnishing) Krishna Kumar Dewangan (Sari) Suresh Chandra Dewangan (Sari, Furnishing) Nandkumar Dewangan (Sari, Furnishing) Sitaram Hathkargha (Sari, Furnishing)

Natural dyed yarns at Yogita Kosa Handloom, Chandrapur


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh


KOSA SILK EMPORIUM Ajay Kumar Dewangan and his 3 brothers Jitendra Dewangan, Rajkumar Dewangan and Satyendra Dewangan own this retail store from last eight years. Ajay Kumar Dewangan is a DHT holder from IIHT, Varanasi. He says that before opening this retail store they only had their wholesale shop at their home at Champa. The wholesale work is still going on. He has 20-25 weavers working for him who are permanent. For extra work he hires more weavers on extra wages. He informed us that his father used to do the finishing of fabrics on daily wages. Now, after he joined the business he hired some of the weavers who work for him, they are from Chandrapur. All the designs are provided by him to the weavers. He prepares the graph papers and gives it to them. He also told us that he has his own setup of the processing units like dyeing and finishing units, at his home. This he has done to maintain the quality of the products. The products which one can find in his store are dress materials, furnishing, saris, suiting and shirting, stoles, shawls etc. He caters to the Indian market only. Also at times when there are some visits of higher authorities in Champa or nearby the gifts of saris and other Kosa products are ordered from his shop. He is trying to go beyond weaving the motifs only. He is trying block prints, embroidery etc. on the Kosa saris in combination with jala and phera motifs in aanchal. He used to participate in exhibitions before he and his brothers opened the shop. But now due to work pressure he is not able to do it. His retail store is single stored with his office in the basement. The upper section of his store has a good and varied collection of saris, stoles, shawls and dress materials from Champa, Chandrapur, Bastar and Odhisha as well. The ground floor has all the furnishing and suiting shirting fabrics of different qualities and materials viz. Kosa, gheencha etc.

Suiting/Shirting Kosa fabrics on display, Kosa Silk Emporium

Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


SITARAM HAATH KARGHA While we were visiting different retail stores and wholesalers we came across this retail cum wholesale store in Champa owned by Chandrashekhar Dewangan and his four brothersMurli Dewangan, Chandresh Dewangan, Sitaram Dewangan and Premprakash Dewangan. He told us that they started the wholesale business 25 years ago. At that time they did not have any shop so they started from their home. His father Gareebram Dewangan started this business. They are associated with ‘Kosa Vyapari Sangh’ from last 15-20 years. They also have a registration for the Handloom and Silk mark. Around 30 weavers are working for him. He informed us that the yarns are given to the weavers on weight basis and the cocoons are sold on the basis of numbers. For a jala sari average yarn weight should be 80-90 g/m and for phera it should be 100-120 gm. We could see a good range of products in his shop. Waist coat made out of gheencha fabric, suiting and shirting fabrics, shawls, stoles, saris, bags, pouches, cushion covers. “Raw material ka rate har ghante badalta hai” (the raw material rate changes every hour) which affects the rate of the products. Champa is a huge market due to the availability of a wide range of products and fabrics and due to this many Mahajans are keenly involved in this business.



YOGITA KOSA HANDLOOM It was established in 1983 by Balkrishna Dewangan and his brothers. It is the most renowned establishment of Kosa and its products in the State. He told us that his father and his brothers received President Award in the years 1984, 1988, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007. Due to this Yogita Kosa Handloom got benefits and they grew in business. His father Shri Sukhram Dewangan got the award for his Phooljhari Mayuri Jali Duapatta. From 2001 the development is very rapid. There are 120 weaver families associated to Yogita Kosa Handloom.

Shri Balkrishna Dewangan did one year training in vegetable dying from Delhi. He does not add any mordents to the dyed yarns. He has a special method of making the dye permanent in which he keeps the dyes for 21 days in water to decay and later sieve the coloured water and dye the yarns. He says, "jahan par mordent use hoga vo to vegetable dye kehlaega hi nahi"(if mordent is used then that dye is not a natural dye) and he kept on focussing on the fact that he does not use mordents and it is not wise to use it in along with vegetable dyes. He is the first person to start vegetable dying in the nearby region. At present, his 20 looms are using vegetable dyed yarns for weaving Kosa saris. He caters to the markets of Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Germany, Malaysia and America. His total turnover is approximately rupees 1.5 – 2 cores per annum. Yogita Kosa Handloom provides yarns, chemical dyes, vegetable dyed yarns to his weavers and to other weavers

Pg 118 Collection of saris at Silk Emporium, Champa. Pg 119 From left to right Shri Balkrishna Dewangan with his client. Sitaram Hath Kargha, Champa Logo of silk mark This page Shri Balkrishna Dewangan clearing the accounts of one of the weaver's working with Yogita Kosa Handloom. Facing page Shri Shekhar Dewangan talking to us in his shop.

of Chandrapur. There is a swasthya beema yojana provided by the sangathan. They also provide funds for education of students who are from weaver’s family.

Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

Flow of Capital– Loan



During our stay at Champa and Chandrapur, Shri Ayaz Khan, Director IIHT Champa guided us throughout the field visits. Apart from the places that we visited he also shared a lot of

Co-operative Society

insights about IIHT, the handloom industry at Champa etc. At the same time he provided us with some useful information on different kinds of topics related to sericulture, Champa, Chandrapur, Mahajans etc. During one of our talks with him at his office he told us about the arrangement of the societies

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)

and the government interventions, their schemes and policies.

Weaver's Cooperative Society

State Apex co-operative Bank

The rural industry was established in the 1976 in Madhya Pradesh and after the formation of the State of Chhattisgarh, the Government of Chhattisgarh adopted the same policy by

District co-operative Bank

the permission of the Governor. The Madhya Pradesh society registration Act was passed in 1961 which was again adopted by the Chhattisgarh Government which is now known as the

For the cooperative societies the government doesn't give any working capital, they are

Chhattisgarh Society Registration Act. According to this act

financed by co-operative banks, which decides on the amount of loan to be given. The Societies

a minimum of 20 members from different families can come

open accounts for these weavers who are associated with them in these co-operative banks.

together to form a society. Once the decision is made the

For buying the looms 50% is paid by the weavers and the rest is recognised under government

auditing is done by the Deputy registrar of the society and

subsidies. In Chhattisgarh there is no tax on the production of these handloom products. The

the registration is done, followed by an election where the

cash credit limit is a funding limit sanctioned by the bank. The rate of interest is 11%.

Chairperson is elected. The whole administrative control is under the District Handloom Office. The shares are decided and the Bilouge of the society is approved. The elected

Primary Society

members of the society are 9 out of which 7 forms the

(Has no workshop,no storage godowns, has

working committee and the other two are the Chairman and

a society officer.)

Vice Chairman. The meeting of such societies are held once in a month. The weavers are associated with such societies and

Secondary Society (Has a godown and a workshop, weavers are associated)

they work under them. The society provides the weavers with the yarns and cocoons. These societies get these yarns and cocoons from the open market where it is auctioned or bought through NHDC. Shri Ayaz told us that there is a major problem with the Tussar belt, approximately 6000 cocoons are required by one weaver to weave for 20 days which cannot be fulfilled by these societies.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Apex Society Has its own designer, It provides all the office goods from the handloom Raipur is the headquarter.


Small Scale Handloom Industry/ Laghu Hathkargha Ikai The British period in India is characterized as a period of indifference or destruction, wherein the craftsmen were left to the mercy of market forces and colonial interests. After the Independence the Government of India attempted to identify these problems and tried to rectify it. The revival, development and promotion of handicrafts came to be pursued as a National policy. Recognizing the importance of the contribution of these traditional crafts could make the development of the economy. The Five Year Plans emphasized on the need to protect these cottage and small scale industries. The formation of the small scale industry is done on the district level by the State Government. A minimum of 5 looms and a maximum of 20 looms is registered under this scheme. Trained weaver's are employed and a subsidy of 3% is given to them by the government. Also, the margin money is given as loan to them. Shri. A. Ayaz Khan, Director IIHT Champa

Exhibitions In the early eighties international expositions such as Festivals of India and exhibitions like Vishvakarma and Aditi, designed and displayed a highly aesthetic and popular range of crafts

Hierarchy of Relationships

and textiles. Following the history at present the State Governments organise such exhibitions to promote the crafts of the their respective States in different regions. They publish


a calendar of exhibitions in the district headquarters, metro

Sells/ delivers goods.

cities and the capitals of other States. Place orders, specifies designs.

Buyer (wholesalers, retailers, businessmen)

Space, loom, raw materials

Finished Products.

and wages.

Weaver (self employed, associated with societies.)

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Kosa Traditions

HANDLOOM MARK The OfďŹ ce of the Development Commissioner for Handlooms, Government of India has been implementing a number of developmental schemes and programmes to protect the interest and welfare of the weavers. It is proposed to introduce the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Handloom Markâ&#x20AC;? which will provide a collective identity to the handloom products and can be used not only for popularizing the hand woven products but can also serve as a guarantee for the buyer that the product being purchased is genuinely hand woven. Besides, this would provide a distinctive name in identifying the product or the manufacturer. The Handloom Mark would, therefore, be a hallmark of powerful creative work that deďŹ nes the product with clarity, distinguishing it from competition and connecting it with customers. The creation of handloom mark was entrusted to the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. The form of the logo has been derived from the interlocking of the warp and the weft. These threads stand for the collaborative institutes giving their inputs and the weavers giving their skills. The interaction between them is leading to a close network. The warp and weft have been moulded to form a three dimensional cube. The mark is in two forms. One for Domestic use: the word Handloom is written beneath the logo and the other for International marketing: same logo with the word Hand woven in India written beneath it. Policy measures supporting the scheme The annual supplement to Foreign Trade Policy 2004-2009 announced on 7th April 2006 states â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Scheme allows duty credit facility @ 2.5% of the FOB value of exports to 50% of the export turnover of notiďŹ ed products such as value added ďŹ sh & leather products, stationary items, ďŹ reworks, sports goods, Handloom product bearing Handloom Mark and Handicraft items.â&#x20AC;? Description of Handloom Mark t"QQMJDBUJPOIBTCFFONBEFGPSUIFSFHJTUSBUJPOPG$FSUJmDBUJPO5SBEF Mark under the Trade Marks Act, 1999 as well as for Copyright under UIF$PQZSJHIU"DU t&BDIMBCFMJTDPEFEPOJUTCBDLTJEFGPSFBTZ identiďŹ cation/classiďŹ cation. E.g. DF followed by coded number for fabric for domestic sale, DM followed by coded number for made-ups and garments for domestic sale: EF followed by coded number for fabric for export and EM followed by coded number for made-ups and garments for export. Method of ďŹ xing labels


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

t 0OF MBCFM XJMM CF BGmYFE PO FBDI NBEFVQ JUFN BOE FBDI HBSNFOU produced from hand woven fabric. The user can have option of either BGmYJOHUIFMBCFMCZUBHHVOPSTUJUDIJOHt*ODBTFPGIBOEXPWFOGBCSJD POF MBCFM XJMM CF BGmYFE PO UIF JOOFS FOE PG UIF GBCSJD GPME 5IBO  t When the fabric is sold in retail to the consumer, the retailer will ďŹ x a label on the cut piece of the fabric. Scope t5IFTDIFNFDPWFSTBMMIBOEMPPNGBCSJDTBOEQSPEVDUTNBEFUIFSFPGt The Handloom Mark scheme will be operational throughout the country. Individual weavers, Apex and primary handloom weaversâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; co-operative societies, Master weavers, Handloom Development Corporations, Retailers, and Exporters are entitled to participate in the scheme and avail beneďŹ ts thereof. Objectives t 1SPNPUF IBOEMPPN QSPEVDUT JO %PNFTUJD BT XFMM BT *OUFSOBUJPOBM .BSLFU t 1SPWJEF BTTVSBODF UP UIF DPOTVNFST BCPVU UIF HFOVJOFOFTT PGUIFQSPEVDUPSJHJOt*NQSPWFJOUFSOBUJPOBMNBSLFUJOHMJOLBHFTUPUIF IBOEMPPNXFBWFSTt4USFOHUIFOTVQQMZDIBJOGPS)BOEMPPNQSPEVDUT t*NQSPWFQSJDFSFBMJ[BUJPOPGUIF)BOEMPPNQSPEVDUTJO%PNFTUJDBT XFMM BT *OUFSOBUJPOBM .BSLFU t *NQSPWF UIF FBSOJOHT PG UIF IBOEMPPN XFBWFSDPNNVOJUZt'BDJMJUBUFVOJOUFSSVQUFEXPSLnPXUISPVHIPVUUIF ZFBSUPUIFIBOEMPPNXFBWFSTt%FWFMPQEBUBCBTFPOUIFIBOEMPPN supplies and weavers that will help in supporting the weavers through the existing schemes being implemented by the Govt. of India and framing of the future plans. Implementation of the Scheme The Textiles Committee has been engaged as the Implementation Agency for the implementation of the Handloom Mark scheme across the country. Modalities for obtaining Handloom Mark t"QQMJDBUJPOGPSNTDBOCFPCUBJOFEGSPNUIFPGmDFTPG5FYUJMFT$PNNJUUFF IUUQUFYUJMFTDPNNJUUFFOJDJO t *O PSEFS UP QSFWFOU UIF NJTVTF PG the scheme, the applicants will be registered after onsite veriďŹ cation of individual weavers, master weavers, apex and primary handloom weaversâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; co- operative societies, handloom development corporations, IBOEMPPNSFUBJMFSTBOEFYQPSUFSTt(FOVJOFIBOEMPPNXFBWFST .BTUFS weavers, societies, retailers and exporters will be registered on payment PGSFRVJTJUFGFFBGUFSXIJDIBOBHSFFNFOUXJMMCFTJHOFEt-BCFMTXJMMCF


supplied on the basis of estimated annual production and sale except JOUIFDBTFPGFYQPSUFST PORVBSUFSMZCBTJT t*ODBTFPGFYQPSUFST UIF initial veriďŹ cation will be based on Chartered Accountantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s certiďŹ cate on QSFWJPVTZFBSTQFSGPSNBODFTt5IFSFHJTUFSFEVTFSTXJMMCFSFRVJSFEUP submit monthly returns. Price of the Label The Handloom mark labels are made on polyester taffeta material. The labels would be procured from the sources that are duly certiďŹ ed for OEKOTEX 100 standards, which take care of eco-friendly requirements of the international buyers. Each Label will be priced at Rs 1.25 each. The registered users will be entitled for purchasing of labels as per their assessed production /sale capacity.

also exercise the option of approaching the Consumer Courts. This will be given wide publicity through media. About Textiles Committee, Implementation Agency Textiles Committee is a statutory body constituted under an act of Parliament in 1963 with the mandate of promoting quality in Indian Textiles Industry. The services are provided through 31 ofďŹ ces located across the country with the help of 600 personnel, 400 of whom are technically qualiďŹ ed.

Enforcement measures t1FSJPEJDTVSWFJMMBODFBVEJUCZUFBNPGPGmDJBMTt3BOEPNWFSJmDBUJPOPG Handloom Mark products will also be carried out by sample purchase GSPN UIF NBSLFU t .BOVGBDUVSFST XIJMF TVQQMZJOH UIF IBOEMPPN products to the merchant exporters, retailers etc. will be required to enclose along with the other requisite commercial documents, a selfDFSUJmDBUF UIBU UIF QSPEVDU IBT CFFO NBOVGBDUVSFE PO IBOEMPPNT t Besides, there would be penalty clauses in the agreement entered between Textiles Committee and the registered user for misuse of the Handloom Mark. The ďŹ rst clause cancels the registration of the users, after preliminary investigation; that would also lead to immediate stopping further supplies of labels. The second clause would attract action against persons / entities as per the provisions given in Chapter XII of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 which includes imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to three years and with a ďŹ ne which shall not be less than ďŹ fty thousand rupees but which may extend to two lakh rupees and enhanced penalty on second and consequent conviction etc. The third clause would attract action against person/ entities as per the provisions given in Chapter XIII of the Copyright Act, 1957. The nature of punishment is same as that of Trade Marks Act, 1999. Consumer concern Any consumer having any doubt about the authenticity of product labeled with Handloom Mark can approach the Textiles Committee along with the copy of the bill and the code number. Based on the ďŹ ndings, Textiles Committee will initiate action according to the agreement entered into with the users and as per the Trade Marks Act, 1999. The consumer may

Craft Documentation Textile Design 2008


Kosa Traditions

SILK MARK Silk Mark Organisation of India is a Society which has brought out Silk Mark - a quality assurance label for Silk. It is a Society backed by Central Silk Board, an Apex body for development of silk and silk industry in India. Silk Mark Organisation of India has competent textile experts having expertise in silk testing and having industry experience behind them. It has ten centers across the country located in the major weaving clusters and cities having the silk tradition with adequate Test facilities. Silk Mark Organisation of India is Head Quartered at Bangalore. The Silk Mark is a quality assurance label for the assurance of pure silk and in addition serves as a brand for generic promotion of Pure silk. The Silk Mark is is a registered Trade Mark. The Silk Mark can be used in all silk products ranging from Yarn stage to the Finished stage like Dress Material, Made ups, Garments, Carpets and Sarees. Silk Mark Scheme is introduced by Silk Mark Organization of India(SMOI) , a registered society, sponsored by Central Silk Board, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India. The Honorable Union Minister of Textiles, Shri. Shankarsinh Vaghela, launched the Silk Mark on 17th June 2004 at Bangalore. This launch was followed by the launches in Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. Following labeling method is used for Silk Mark Label 1. A paper hang tag on which a high security hologram is afďŹ xed. The hologram contains a unique serial number which can be identiďŹ ed for its Authorised User and period of use. 2. Sew in label. A hang tag is mandatory for use on each piece in case of Sarees, Garments, Bed covers & Curtains. The hang tag is used on lot basis for silk yarn and small value items such as stoles, scarves and cushion covers. For Silk Fabric roll, a paper tag at one end is used. Sew in label is used on cushion covers, stoles and scarves and is optional on dress material, saree and garments. The paper hang tag with the hologram is priced at Rs. 2.00 and the sew in label is priced at Rs. 0.60 Goals 1. Silk Mark is a quality assurance label which is aimed at protection of the interests of the consumers, Traders and Manufacturers of pure Silk. 2. Silk Mark aims at the generic promotion of silk. 3. Silk Mark is aimed at building brand equity of Indian Silk. 4. Silk Mark aims at a cohesive campaign with all stakeholders in the Silk value chain to promote Silk.


Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh


Silk Consumers Silk Mark ensures 100% natural silk in all products under a Label. This means a Silk Mark product contains only pure silk in its base fabric allowing ornamental Zari thread work as extra warp and weft at loom stage or after loom. Tamperproof high security hologram is used for Silk Mark. Advantages of becoming Authorised User. SILK MARK gives a stamp of recognition that enhances business reputation. The Authorised Users can avail the beneďŹ t of efforts of generic promotion made by SMOI. Technical & Export consultancy provided to the Authorised Users.

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Kosa Traditions


he culture of making articles of daily use by hand is termed

use, no matter how mundane, the care and ability with which

as craftsmanship. The fact is that each article is created

it was made, the humility of its form and the ingenious use of

individually by the hands, receiving all the attention of the

material, the efficiency of its function, all of these aspects led

artisan at the time of creation, often lead to each article

it to a high level of being beautiful.

turning out to be one of its kinds and no two being exactly

Today people have an idea that beauty is the privilege

the same; a true mark of being handcrafted. And up until

for the rich alone, for it is believed that beautiful things are

the late 19th century, when Industrialisation took holds of

expensive and beyond the reach of ordinary man.

our country, it was ingenious skills and creative abilities of the various craftspeople, spread across towns and villages,

Setbacks in Indian Craft Industry

which provided for our needs of daily basic necessities and occasions of celebrations. And many of the indigenous skills

The bold local styles that the village artisans evolved operated

and knowledge systems that these craft traditions carry, have

as a lever in the evolution of Indian art enhancing the variety

not yet been matched in terms of efficiency of solutions by

and design of the craft vocabulary. But those crafts which

the industrial solutions countering them. While the crafts in

were exposed to international trade or came under courtly

many rural areas had flourished in a basic mode and a rustic

patronage were the most susceptible to change in pattern and

sensibility, many which received attention from the royalty

design. Because of the courtly patronage, trade and demand

and merchant class rose to heights of excellence.

for everyday utility by the rural population until the second

The Indian handicrafts flourished through the ages

half of the 17th century Indian crafts enjoyed a stabile native

nourished by a spirited folk tradition, a magnanimous/multi-

market and a worldwide recognition. This situation began

hued culture, and a lifetime when detail and precision were

to exhaust with the advent of the British in India, leading to

valued. The painstaking labours of India’s handicraftsmen

the decline in both artistic excellence and in the economic

found fulfilment in the unique art pieces they made. The

importance of India’s traditional industries. The extinction

handicrafts and artisans of India were prized for their efficient

of kingdoms, the arrival of foreign rule and competition of a

use of the materials, craftsmanship, sense of design, form and

more highly developed form of industry led to vital changes in

colour. From time immemorial the village and cottage crafts

the economic structure of India.

seemed to have played a vital role in the social and economic life of the Indian people. The cottage industries almost acted as

rule, not by making the same product cheaper but by making

a defensive economic wall against the ravages of time and man.

different or luxury products, or by tactfully adapting the

Indian handicrafts have been a brand by themselves.

structural system such as turning from selling at weekly haats

They express a great National heritage. Being aesthetically

to entering into contracts with large traders and producers.

brilliant, they were still essentially articles of utility. From a

Another aspect of these shifts was that, the artisans and

clay pot to the curved knife, from the cloth used to cover the

craftsmen increasingly became dependant on the merchants or

human body to the fabric flung on the bullock’s back, every

sahukars for the sale of their products in local or distant market.

piece was a work of dedicated efforts, enriched by beautiful/ vibrant motifs, vivid colours, and mesmeric designs. Nothing was created to be kept as a dead piece in a glass case to be simply looked at or to publicize the prosperity of the owner. Beauty/ aesthetic appeal was not an aim to be achieved for its own sake; it was an integral part of one’s life and all creations- `satyam shivam sundaram’. Whatever the article in 140

Crafts including handlooms managed to survive colonial

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh


Previous page Left Close up view of a Phera sari with leno in its end-piece. Right From left to right Embroideries and prints on the woven gheencha sari.


Clockwise from top to bottom a A close up of the motif of a suiting fabric. b A collection of Kosa dhoti. c Phera sari, Kosa silk Emporium Champa. d A check pattern sari with phera design. e A sari with Jala design.



Kosa Traditions


bears and the extraordinary fabrics, sculptures, carpets and jewellery– were presented to showcase the country. It was a series of Indian arts festival initiated by Mrs. Pupul Jayakar

Traditional Indian textiles

in 1980s for the revival of traditional and village arts, handlooms and handicrafts in post-

The traditional Indian textile industry has been going through

independent India and also to popularize Indian arts in the West.

changes, in terms of techniques, look and materials. With ever growing emphasis on production efficiency, cost minimization

In India handloom traditions have prevailed in all their meaning and values over the years,

weaving skills reducing them to mere labour and pushing

which are partly sustained by religion and rituals and undying efforts of persons like Kamaladevi

them to brink of extinction.


Cultural influences

and profit making often at the cost of the traditional hand

Chattopadhyay, Pupul Jaykar, Martand Singh many others as well as the Indian Government.

The gradual acceptance of stitched garments by larger

Even in present times the most cherished possession for a woman is a hand woven silk sari.

sections of society, suiting the producers of mill cloth rather

Social and religious customs honour the wearing of saris on significant occasions like weddings

than handloom weavers who provided finished pieces of

and festivals.

cloth like ‘the sari’ or ‘dhoti’ which were ready for draping.

However a woman’s ethnicity and class or caste background usually influence her choice

The first power looms and the shift from rural to urban centres

of fabrics, colour and pattern, and all of these are affected by the social conditions prevailing

contributed to the decline of handmade textiles.

in that particular region. For instance a widow is supposed to wear white as it’s the colour of

After facing challenges of the English and their exploitative practices, both economic and cultural for quite a long time,

mourning, also a young bride is expected in bright red as red is considered as the colour of joy, energy, bliss.

people of independent India were disinclined towards their traditional skills and craftsmanship. Big textile mills provided better opportunities both in terms of revenue and employment than any other industry in India did till the late 1980s. With the growth of rising India the potential of Indian handlooms and their relevance in the Indian context was totally lost not only on the educated class, but on those who were assigned the responsibility of its preservation and growth. The British period explains the indifference or destruction of craft sector when craftsmen were left to the mercy of market forces and colonial interests, after independence the Government of India attempted to identify the roots of the problems afflicting the village industries and the handloom sector and provided help for re-establishment. Many policies were introduced in the system along with the five year plans, which recognised the importance of traditional crafts in terms of economic and cultural growth of the country. The policies and plans not only allocated resources but also emphasised the need to protect cottage and small scale industries.

Festivals of India series The Festivals of India was another cultural project where the multifaceted image of India– from the maharajas to dancing 142

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Margaret Thatcher & Indira Gandhi during the Festival of India in Great Britain





e Clockwise from top to bottom a A combination of embroidery and hand painting on woven Phera sari. b Close up view of the embroidery and hand painted Phera sari. c Machine embroidery done on gheencha sari. d Block prints done on plain gheencha sari. e Sequins embroidery on Kosa sari pallav. f A combination of block prints and hand embroidery on Kosa sari. g Screen printed Kosa sari. Centre: A scenery of the village life, screen print on Kosa sari.



Kosa Traditions

The Design Language Today we find the design vocabulary of sari coming through a series of coded


In present scenario very few motifs from the older set of motifs are used. And most of them have transformed in terms of form and size; for example,

messages handed down generation after generation. The decoding is made

the temple motif which was used in the border only is now the main element

more difficult by years of neglect on the other hand, and the changes they

of the body of the sari as well. The form has changed over the ages, as one

have undergone through a series of cultural cross currents which have been

could see the variations. Also, because of the changing market values many

absorbed and altered. Living memory has lost touch with the sources in

new techniques are introduced in the design vocabulary of these Kosa saris.

most cases, as the direct relevance symbol and colour has lost its sense of

In new age the traditional Kosa saris are enhanced with embroidery, screen

immediate concern.

printing, and other weave structures like leno. Analysing these facts one can

Regional design vocabularies have been constantly transformed, even as they maintained a distinct homogeneity. Saris tend to belong to a region rather

explain the role played by market in design interventions, and changes in the design vocabulary of ant form of craft.

than a single community within it. The social signalling lays in the quality of raw materials and the intricacy and the range of the body/deh, end piece/ anchra combinations. And weavers have been known to migrate, move from one place to another, carrying design techniques and vocabulary to a new region. The migrations brought by political instability, war, famine or drought have historically served for such movements of artisan groups. Often weavers were also invited by royalty or new village, to come and settle and provide for. So while certain regional styles have been more fixed, many others have been recipients of such shifts and integrations. So the potpourri of culture has historically been active in certain areas and continues to be so. As mentioned earlier the Kosal kingdom was a very vast empire. And in


ancient times Chhattisgarh was known as Dakshin /southern Kosal, which was extended from Raigarh in northern region to bordering districts of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha in south. Because of this vast diversity in culture and traditions, one can see the same in the design vocabulary in terms of colour , forms and motifs in the native crafts. The auspicious ruiphool or cotton flower seen in Chhattisgarh in various proportions are in fact seen in one form or the other in other parts of India and it is know by different names like ruiphool, crownphool, paanch phulia. Also one type of motif commonly found in most of the Deccan tribal textiles is the “temple” motif; which varies in size from a row of small triangles to single, large stepped pyramids. Created through the same weaving technique that produces interlocked weft – woven borders using three shuttles, these e

motifs have many different names among weavers like – kumbha and Phera.

From our field research on Kosa saris we analysed is that they have undergone many transformation and intervention in terms of forms and their different permutations and combinations. The motifs from the older samples of saris that we saw at WSC, Raigarh were indigenous to the place like the ruiphool/ cotton seed, machli/fish, kachua/kachoo/tortoise, rudraksha inspired from the local flora and fauna. 144

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

A shawl made up of gheencha in weft and China silk in warp, at Kosa Silk Emporium



c Clockwise from top to bottom a Bandis/Waist coats made out of gheencha fabric, at SitaramHaath Kargha. b Gheencha Shawls with Jala borders. c Cushion covers made from Kosa yarns ornamented with Jala designs. d Kosa woven to create dress material. e A small handbag made out of Kosa yarns ornamented with Jala design.




Kosa Traditions


fter the British Raj when India got freedom, the

Government of India had a lot of issues and problems to solve and to make the country a developing Nation. One of the issues was definitely the re-establishment of the Handloom/ Handicraft sector of India. In the first five-year plan All India Handicrafts Board and All India Handloom Board were set up. Handicraft Design centres and Weavers Service Centres were set up to execute the new policies. The Central Cottage Industries Emporium became the main showcase of marketing the crafts; Handloom Houses across the country provided a platform to market the wide range of textiles from India including the silk saris. The Handicraft and Handloom Export Corporation was set up for centralized channelling of exports.

WEAVERS SERVICE CENTRE, RAIGARH During our visit to Champa and Chandrapur we were not able to see some of the old sari samples, Shri Ayaz Khan suggested us to visit the Weavers Service Centre at Raigarh, to see some of these samples. Weavers Service Centre Raigarh was established on November 1977. There we met Shri. O.P. Mishra who is the Superintendent Officer at WSC Raigarh. He informed us about the work that WSC does for the development of the Handloom and Handicraft sector. t

Design development is done by the art designer at the

Shri. O.P. Mishra talking to us at WSC, Raigarh

organisation. t t

It works for the weaver’s and master craftsmen for making

noticed a lot of art works done by the designers of Design Development Cell. Their design

the pattern graphs. They use 8x8 graph papers.

process involves the study of the collections by the Raigarh's King and the assets under

Designs are taken by the weavers as samples at a nominal

Archaeological Department. He showed us some of the old designs and patterns of Tussar saris.

rate of Rs. 200/- for their own production.

(Refer photos in Chapter 8).


Their designs have no copyright it is open to all.


Services are open to all especially handloom sector.

woven in Chhattisgarh. He gave us information about Mae saris which is woven in Ambikapur


Enhancement and development of handloom is the main

and Jagdalpur by the Oraons. The width of this sari is 90 cm; the count of cotton used is 10’s


or 20’s. Another sari made by the Oraons is called Panka which is cotton based 10’s count.


They keep workshops for weavers from time to time.

Weavers’ Service Centre, Raigarh targets the client group of decentralised and dispersed


Designing is done CAD and also manually

handloom sector of Chhattisgarh. It works as a friend and partner in progress of Handloom


They also do printing and develop blocks for the same.

sector through skill and technological up-gradation and product development. The motto of

At WSC we saw a range of blocks which were inspired by the Bastar art and bell metal craft of Chhattisgarh. Also, we 148

Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

We also looked at Bapta. He told us that apart from Tussar saris, cotton lugda is also

WSC is well defined as Excellence, Facilitation and Promotion of handloom sector.





f Previous page Left Main building IIHT, Champa Right: From left to right Main gate IIHT, Champa Logo of Handloom Mark Logo of Central Silk Board.

Clockwise from top to bottom a Technicians developing samples at WSC. b Artworks on display at WSC. c Inside view of WSC, Raigarh. d & e Samples of shawls from Bastar. f A collection of wooden blocks inspired by tribal crafts.


Kosa Traditions


Infrastructure The Collector, District Janjgir-Champa has allotted 22.00 acres

The Handloom Industry is the second largest industry next

of land for establishment of IIHT, Champa. The land is situated

to agriculture with reference providing employment in India.

at Village – Lachhanpur, Tehsil- Baloda, Distt. Janjgir- Champa.

The craftsmanship is world famous and Indian handloom has market all over the world. During our stay at Champa we had


a daily based interaction with Shri Ayaz Khan, Director IIHT,

On the basis of the staff appointed by the IIHT, Jodhpur, a

Champa and the other staff members of IIHT, Champa. During

proposal has been sent to the State Government to accord

our interactions with Shri Ayaz Khan he told us about the need

sanction for the proposed set-up of 70 staff members for IIHT

of establishing IIHT institutes in India. Institutes of Handloom


Technology were established by the Government of India with the prime objective providing technical personnel to the


Handloom Industry. IIHT, Champa, Chhattisgarh was established in 2006.

Shri Ayaz Khan also told us about the Cental Silk Board which

The Development Commissioner accorded his approval

governs the Silk industry in India. The Central Silk Board (CSB)

for setting up the IIHT, at Champa, accordingly the State

is a Statutory Body, established during 1948, by an Act of

Government decided to establish the IIHT at Champa and

Parliament. It functions under the administrative control of the

to start the Diploma in Handloom Technology Course in the

Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.

At present there are five Indian Institutes of Handloom Technology functioning in the Central Sector under the administrative control of the Development Commissioner for Handlooms, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India. They are IIHT, Varanasi, (started in 1956)


IIHT, Salem, (started in 1960)


IIHT, Guwahati, Assam (started in 1982) IIHT, Jodhpur, Rajasthan (started in 1993)

existing building of the “Old Government College, Champa”. The three years duration course of Diploma in Handloom Technology is started from the academic year 2006-07.

IIHT, Bargarh, Odisha (started in 2008)

Courses offered & Intake

In addition to the above there are two institutes functioning in the state sector.

Diploma in Handloom Technology is conducted by all the above institutes. Post diploma in Textile Chemistry is conducted by IIHT, Salem and Varanasi. 30 students are admitted every year in IIHT, Champa. Seats reserved for different categories are as follows:

SPKM IIHT, Venkatgiri, A.P.

Scheduled Tribe


Scheduled Caste




Karnataka Handloom Technology Institute, Gadag, Karnataka.

Weaver’s community - 6 Unreserved




In addition to the above, 4 seats are reserved for Chhattisgarh State in IIHT, Bargarh, Odhisha.



Smriti Prasad Sneha Ghosh

Central Silk Board, main building



From top to bottom a Main building of IIHT, Champa b Frame loom at IIHT, Champa. c Classroom wing at IIHT, Champa.




he samples that we have put together over here includes

shirting/suiting, furnishing and sari samples. We would like to thank Shri Ajay Kumar Dewangan, owner of Kosa Silk Emporium Champa, Chhattisgarh for contributing few samples of furnishing and suiting and shirting for the documentation. Also, we would like to thank the weavers from Chandrapur to contribute the sari samples for this document.

Previous page Close up of a red Jala sari border, at Kosa Silk Emporium, Champa, Chhattisgarh.


"Bheed bhare shehron me kho gaya hai gaaon, aangan bhar dhoop jahan, mutthi bhar chaaon." -Dr. Ramakant Soni


s we reflect back to the place and its everlasting impressions, we find that it has transformed our whole idea of craft and traditions. There has been an

overall change in the thought process towards the crafts and its makers. For initial few weeks, after coming back we really missed the 'mitti ke chulhe ki roti' at

dinner, 'kali chai' in the mornings and also the simplicity and innocence of the people around. As we started documenting our experiences and interactions with the people of Champa and Chandrapur, we realised that, today we often fail to acknowledge the precious heritage passed on to us by our great ancestors in the form of the crafts, traditions and culture. Deeply rooted in the soul of our country, these crafts reveal an older way of life, a life rhythm that emanated from a close association with and a deep knowledge and understanding of the surrounding nature, of the flora and fauna, of weather and climate, of matter and materials. And this deep knowing was in play when these people responded to their needs. Their solutions emerged from this knowledge system and their other beliefs, solutions appropriate to the region, time and needs. Their existence proves the diversity and creativity in our culture. While documentation we came across a wide range of handcrafted textiles of India. Being from two different States and cultures we both got an opportunity to understand and appreciate the multiple dimensions of the lives led by the Dewangans. Our quest for the creation of nature- Kosa fal to the creation of Dewangans- Kosa lugda was delightful and informative. Apart from these life enriching experiences, we could also begin to gain a different perspective of the market system. We have begun to recognise the drawbacks of the present market system due to which the Indian crafts and its makers are under adverse conditions. Though the metro cities and export market offer opportunities, very few artisan groups have benefited from these. The Fair Trade movement and the artisan centric NGOs are few and benefit through them reaches a handful, when considering the entire artisan population of this huge country. Many artisans, in small towns and villages are still caught in the exploitative networks of middlemen, mahajans. The policy makers at the state and national level are certainly striving hard to amend laws and policies to meet the pressing needs of the artisans. This is evident from the shift in the 8th five year plan and onwards, the various DCH schemes, the state level awards and honours etc. But somehow, many of these policies and schemes often these get diluted by the time they reach the execution phase, some due to lack of awareness, certain are not understood in the right spirit and many others get tainted by corruption. One encounters many co-operatives and registered societies which have lost sight of the traditions and its strength and identity are working merely for profit margins. The Mahajans are working for their own individual benefits and not for the preservation and continuity of these crafts in its natural existence. We could clearly feel the gap between the producer (weaver) and the consumer (us). The gap between the creator and the raw materials has widened, and due to lack of any quality control mechanism in the market or by the government, they face issues of high rate of adulteration in materials, especially the introduction of the foreign silks like China and Korea silk, there is a high rate of adulteration in materials and the products made using these yarns are sold in the name of Kosa in the markets. Also, the weavers are not able to get the proper share of the hardwork that they do. When we saw the old/traditional samples at WSC, Raigarh we were quiet sad to see the condition of such beautiful samples, these were kept in. Also, throughout our stay at Champa and Chandrapur we couldn't see any of these old motifs being woven by any of the weavers. This was the indication of a drastic shift in the demands from the market.

There was a marked gap between what the WSC was set up for and what it was delivering now. It’s support to the local weavers seem very limited. There was no provision from their end, in bringing forth a system for quality control of the yarns, or provision of yarn banks for the weavers, or some regulation in the market for monitoring yarn quality etc. Can there be certifications of Kosa Mark like wool mark and silk mark? The weavers seem to have been left to the mercy of the Mahajans and the local markets. Will their voices ever be heard? We have been wondering in what ways a designer can contribute to bettering of the artisans’ lives. As a design student our thinking and work should also be focused on the identification and being sensitive towards such issues. We are glad that we were introduced to such a module where we got an in depth knowledge of such a beautiful craft that is being practised in our country and also we are able to acknowledge the craft of Kosa weaving and its makers- Dewangans. Though our journey came to an end but we hope that this craft document of ours help the new generation students of design to take such studies forward and open new avenues for themselves and the people around to know and appreciate the great craft diversity of India.

Previous page: An old man performing the process of piecing, Chandrapur.


Sari the epitome of traditions "A Portugese traveller in the early 1500's: The women wear white garments of very thin cotton or silk of bright colour, ďŹ ve yards long, one part of which is girt round their below and the other part on their shoulder across their breasts in such a way that one arm and shoulder remains uncovered." Dr. Moti Chandra in 'Costumes and Textiles of Sultanate Period'.

Central India Kera




6 km


36 km




Champa 16 km 3 km




Khurda 20 km Seoni Saria


30 km

4 km






Adbhar Umreli


20 k




Out of 137.00 lakh hectares geographical area of Chhattisgarh, 43 % area comes under cultivation. On the basis of climate & topography the state is divided into 3 agro climatic zones. The Bastar Plateau comprises of Bastar, Dantewada, Beejapur & Narayanpur districts and a part of Kanker (excluding Charama, Narharpur & Kanker Blocks). Northern parts of the state comes under

Initial travel map

"Northern Hilly Region" which comprises of Sarguja, Koriya & Jashpur Districts. Bilaspur, Raipur, Janjgeer-Champa, Raigarh, Rajnandgaon, Kawardha, Durg,


Mahasamund, Dhamtari, Korba and parts of Kanker come under "Plains of

There are supposed to be 36 garhs/forts in the State that is why the State is

Chhattisgarh". Varied ecological condition enables cultivation of various crops

called Chhattisgarh. Also, at the time of Jarasandha (King of Magadha), 36

in different parts of the state. As per the census 2001, 83 % of the population

families of Dalits emigrated Southwards from the kingdom and established

of the state in engaged in Agriculture & allied sector, it reveals that Agriculture

themselves in the country, after them it is known as Chhattisgarh.

is still the backbone of stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s economy. Forest The State of Chhattisgarh being placed in Deccan bio-geographical area, houses an important part of that rich and unique biological diversity. What

is more conspicuous is that the state is significantly rich in endemism with

are painted with colours and in almost every instance the depiction being

respect to many plants having medicinal importance. The forests of the State

associated with some ritual. Pithora paintings is a common traditional art

fall under two major forest types, i.e., Tropical Moist Deciduous forest and

form. These paintings originated in the tribal area of the Central India which is

the Tropical Dry Deciduous forest. The state of Chhattisgarh is endowed with

presently Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and depicts the offering to gods.

about 22 varied forest sub-types existing in the state.

These paintings are usually done on the occasion of marriages, childbirth and

Sal (Shorea robusta) and Teak (Tectona grandis) are the two major tree

other occasions of fulfillment of wish etc.

species in the State. Other notable over wood species are Bija (Pterocarpus

Most of these paintings has a horse as it was considered auspicious to sacrifice

marsupium), Saja (Terminalia tomentosa), Dhawra (Anogeissus latifolia),

a horse. In most of these tribal houses one can find pithora paintings. They are

Mahua (Madhuca indica), Tendu (Diospyros melanoxylon) etc. Amla (Embilica

colorful and use natural colors.

officinalis), Karra (Cleistanthus collinus) and bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus) constitute a significant chunk of middle canopy of the state forests. From

Kosa Sericulture

the management point of view ,there are four types of forests in the State of Chhattisgarh. These are Teak, Sal and Bamboo forests.

History of Silk

Biogeographically, the State falls in Deccan bio-region comprising

Ancient Hindu literature has many references to silk, perhaps to sericulture

representative fauna of central India like the tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard

and trade in silk. Kashmir has been mentioned as the land of silk fabrics since

(Panthera pardus), gaur (Bos gaurus), sambhar (Cervus unicolor) , chital (Axis

ages. Old mythological stories deal with words like kauseya, pattabastra, and

axis), nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) and wild boar (Sus scrofa). The state

chinangshuka, all relating to silk products. In Rig Veda mention is made of

is a proud possessor of rare wildlife like the wild buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)

urna, which is some sort of silken cloth. Specific references to such cloths

and hill myna (Gracula religiosa) which have been declared as rare and

can also be found in Manusmriti. Nuptial presents of Sita, as reported in

endangered. Apart from the species diversity, the State is also endowed with

Ramayana, included silken garments of different colours. It also finds its place

rich genetic diversity. The variation in the genetic composition of individuals

in Mahabharata. Pundra kshatriyas were known to have practised sericulture

within or among floristic and faunal species is large.

long before the Christian era. There was a well organised trade of raw silk from India to Rome at the time of Kanishka (58 B.C). India was reported to


establish a profitable export trade of raw silk and silk fabrics with the Middle-

Bamboo Work

East countries and South Europe, in direct competition with China in c A.D.

Bamboo thickets are common sight in the State and tribal of Chhattisgarh have

200. Fragments of Indian made silken garments are reported to have been

been putting their craftsmanship to work. Craftsmanship of Chhattisgarh tribals

unearthed from the ancient graves in Syria, thereby proving the antiquity of

can be seen from varying articles of craft produce they make out of bamboo.

the silk trade in India carried on with that country. Sericulture received its

Articles for daily as well as decorative use are produced by these artisans.

tremendous impetus from the Mughal rulers during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Some of the will known Bamboo produce include agricultural implements, fishing traps, hunting tools and baskets.

Silk and Silkworm

Wood Carving

India is the fourth largest producer of raw silk in the world. The main silk

The woodcarving art has been flourishing in Chhattisgarh from time

producing countries are situated on a silk belt between 20° and 42°coordinates.

immemorial and one can find beautifully carved wooden products designed

Almost all the wild silk moths are characterised by short antennae and labial

by the craftsman of the State. The skillful craftsmen of the State carve beautiful

palps. A transparent eye spot is invariably present near the centre of each

wooden ceilings, doors, lintels etc using different kinds of wood like shisham,

wing. These are the largest and most beautiful moths in the world, females

teak, dhudi, sal and kikar. The craftsmen also make pipes, masks, doors,

having a wing expanse of 25 cm.

window frames and sculptures.

Tussar moths are only semi- domesticated, i.e. they pass some part of


their life-cycle in nature and other under human care. A. mylitta (Drury)

Traditional wall paintings of the State is associated with rituals. Floors and walls

occurs over a vast areas in India, particularly in Singhbhum in Chota Nagpur,

parts of West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Caterpillars

thorax. Three pairs of hook- like legs, one pair in each segment, are present

of this species feed on the leaves of Asan (Terminalia tomentosa), Arjuna

on the underside of the thorax of the larva. The terminal part of the body, the

(Termalia arjuna), sal (Shorea robusta Gaertn. f.), ber or kul (Zizyphus jujuba

abdomen, is nine-segmented. Five pairs of claspers or prolegs are present

Lam), semul (Salmalia malabarica DC.), peepal (Ficus religiosa Linn.), fig (Ficus

on the abdomen, one pair on either side of the segments 3-6 and the last

glomerata Roxb.) and a host of others. Cocoons with wrinkled surfaces and

segment. Nine pairs of openings or spiracles are situated, one pair on the first

striated markings, remain suspended from the branches of food trees, each

thoracic segment and on either side of the first eight abdominal segments.

by means of specially- constructed peduncle looped around the twig. Colour

These spiracles through which respiration is carried out, communicate with

of the cocoon varies from brown to different shades of tan; silver grey is also

the body by tube-like structures called tracheae.

not rare.

The female of tussar moth lays c. 150-250 eggs in lumps and this process commences in the evening and continues for 3-4 days. Eggs of this moth

Life History

are small, flattened oval in size, and change to bluish colour before hatching

Life history of a silk moth illustrates a type of complete metamorphosis

which normally takes place in 9 days in summer and 20 days in winter. Newly

(Holometabolic) among insects. Eggs of this moth hatch out into larvae

hatched larvae are approximately 0.75-1 cm, which moults four times and

which differ greatly in appearance and food habits from the imagoes (adults);

mature into fully-grown caterpillars in 30 days in summers and 60 days in

transformations takes place in an apparently quiescent instar, called pupa,

winters. It spin cocoons in the form of loops of ‘S’ for about 15 days; cocoons

from which finally the adult emerges.

are oblong measuring approximately c. 50 mm long and 12.3 mm broad.


Physical and Chemical properties of Tussar silk

Each female moth is capable of laying generally 300-400 small, smooth, sub-

Silk is valued for its light weight, durability and lustre. It is hygroscopic in

spherical eggs at a time either in a free or agglutinized condition. These eggs

nature, high at hygiene and a poor conductor of heat and electricity. It has

are of two types hibernating or non–hibernating. Hibernating or annuals are

a crystalline structure with innumerable transverse fissures, creases, folds

eggs which are deposited by the moth in spring, undergo a diapauses stage

and uneven lumps. It can stand higher temperatures than wool without

(aestivation during the summer and the autumn, and hibernation during winter)

decomposing. It decomposes quickly at 175° sunlight also encourages the

and hatch out only next spring. Non–hibernating eggs are those derived from

decomposition of silk in the presence of atmospheric oxygen. It has another

successive generations without any pause in a year. Active development in

unique property called scroop or rustle. The length and size of the filaments

the annual egg takes place in few days and in case of hibernating eggs the

of tussar cocoons is approximately 1,082 and 100-150 deniers respectively.

larva hatch out after about ten days.

The fibre is irregular in shape, the specific gravity is 1.35. The fibroin has

Voltinism is a specific characteristic and is hereditary but can be radically

many parallel striations on the fibre axis while in cross-section its shape has

influenced by such environmental factors as temperature, light, humidity,

been recognized to be of broad-based triangles. Strength and elongation of

nutrition etc.

the fibroin filament are comparatively lower. The tensile strength of the fibre in


It is considerably stiffer and coarser, less reactive to any chemical reagents; it

fresh condition is about 3-5 g/denier and elongation is 30 percent. Each newly hatched out caterpillar is approximately (2mm), cylindrical in form

presents more difficulty in bleaching and dyeing. It has a presence of poly-L-

and dark in colour. Its head bears a pair of antennae or feelers, and small black

alanine as the main constituent of tussar cocoons. There are almost no sulphur

eye-spots are present on the two sides of the head. Mouth parts consist of an

containing side groups in this so, the linkages between molecules is mainly by

upper lip or the labrum, a pair of mandibles, a pair of maxillae or the jaws, a

virtue of hydrogen bonds. This is a zigzag form because there is a limitation

lower lip or the labium; and a spinneret is situated on it. Body is covered with

of angles between adjacent valency bonds. There is an axial repeat of 0.7nm,

a chitinous skin and hairs, and is marked at intervals with slight constrictions

corresponding to two amino acid residues.

in the form of rings or segments. The three segments immediately behind

The molecules in silk are fairly highly oriented parallel to the fibre axis, and the

the head are somewhat wrinkled and swollen, it together constitutes the

material is moderately highly crystalline. In the molecules of fibroin which is

140nm long there are two segment each 17nm long which is made of tyrosine. The two triangular filament of fibroin is joined together with a gum called sericin.

Biha day 1 'Marwa Garai Javo' In this ceremony the brother in law of the bride and elderly people of the village do puja and dig the earth to place the logs of woods of Jamun tree for


the setting up the marwa. And in the centre of the marwa, karva is placed on

Hindi- Arjuna; Beng- Arjhan; Mar- Sanmadat, Sadaru, Vellamarda, Guj.-

which a kalash is kept. In the other corner of the house the ladies dress up

Sadado; Tel.- Yerramandi; Tam.- Vellamata; Kan.- Maddi, Oriya- Arjuno,

the bride for the ceremony of ‘Tel hardi’. 5/7 pieces of turmeric is made into

Sahajo; Assam- Orjun; Punjab- Arjan.

a paste by the sister or sister in law and the paste is applied on the body of

The tree is common in the greater part of the Indian Peninsula. It is an evergreen

the bride/bridegroom, and then she/he is given 5/7 lotas of water to take bath.

tree. Its casual name is crocodile bark due to the characteristic bark pattern.

The bride wears new clothes and sits with the oldest women in the family and

Other common names are: Indian Laurel, Taukkyan (Burma), Sadar, Matti,

4 married and one unmarried females take the ‘parra’ to perform the ceremony

Asan, Marda (India).

of ‘Aaunjari Bharana’. Again, this is done five times.

Trees may reach a height of 100 ft and more with clear, straight boles to 70

Then the bride/bridegroom sits on the lap of their grandmother who sits on the

ft and trunk diameters of about 3 ft. The trees are fire resistant. The wood

traditional cloth roller ‘thoom’. In the evening the bride/bridegroom with other

is coarse, fairly straight grained, dull to somewhat lustrous and without

female members go to nearby crossroads for offering puja. After doing puja

characteristic odour and taste. The heartwood varies from light brown with

he/she digs out some earth and keeps it into ‘parra’ to take it back home. This

few markings to dark brown or brownish black and figured with darker streaks.

ceremony is called maati–marna. The grandmother takes that dugged mud in

The sapwood is reddish white and sharply differentiated. The heartwood is

her aanchal, and puts it into the parra. This mud is used to do the neepan of

moderately durable and the sapwood is liable to powder-post beetle attack.

the marwa where the kalash and karva is kept. The marwa is decorated with colourful rice, jau, colours of rangoli and names


of the couple is written with peas. A peedha is kept in front of the kalash and


it. After this, the last ceremony for the day is Til tel which is done two times

karva, and the sisiter in law or sister offers Paan patta with turmeric paste on "Hamar ladki la aaj tak padhae, likahe,jaise bhi hamar kora (aanchal) ma rakhe

in the day.

rahen, aela haman aap mann ke kour ma saupat havan, apan laika samaj ke rakhe raiha", says 50 yrs Janki dai as she adjusts the achara/aanchal of her sari

Biha day 2

and smiles at us with affection. And with immense happiness and enthusiasm

The gods and goddesses are worshipped and again the ceremony of tel hardi is

she shares the ceremonies which one can in a Dewangan marriage.

done, this time thrice in the day. Then everybody plays tel vahi, in which they

‘Meher’ the head of the community keeps an eye on the eligible bachelors and

apply tel hardi on each other’s face.

maids in the community. He acts as a mediator between both the families. Before the engagement there is a ceremony 'Paan beera' in which both the

Biha day 3

families talk and fix the marriage.

On the final day Pitri puja is done. In this fire is lit and in an earthen pot oil is

"Ladke wale hi hamesha ladki dekhney jatey hain, baat paaki hone ke baad hi

put and small pieces of made of wheat flour is put into in to it one by one tak-

ladki wale ladke ke ghar jatey hain", says Shri Veer Kishore Dewangan Ji elder

ing the names of their ancestors. This ceremony is done to invite the ancestors

son of janki dai.

to be a part of the marriage. This ceremony is performed under “Marwa’ at

In earlier times the marriage ceremonies continued for a week but now due

bride’s house. These wheat flour pieces are collected and put on the roof of

to busy scheduled the ceremonies winds up in just three days. In 'Paan beera',

the marwa. And again Tel hardi is performed 5 times that day.

five paan (betel leaf) from bride’s side is given to the bridegroom and seven


paans from bridegroom to bride’s family. This number, 5 for bride and 7 for

The bridegroom wears maaur on the head and the old lady of the house car-

bridegroom is very typically followed in Dewangans.

rying a kalash performs the ceremony of maaur sekna. The bridegroom wears

Dhoti Kurta (in old times) and puts red gaamcha on shoulder for Gathbandhan

cocoon of a spider, which is indicative of weaving, the occupation of the caste.


Russell and Hiralal (1916) states that the Koshti are a Maratha and Telugu caste

When the Baraat reaches the bride’s house, at the entrance the maaur sekna

of silk weavers and according to them, the Koshti are the descendants of of

is done again 7 times by the old women. The welcoming of the bridegroom is

a famous saint, Markandi Rishi, who first wove the fibres of the lotus flower

done by putting teeka (or in their words ‘teekhthe hai’) 7 times on his forehead.

to clothe the nakedness of Gods. Risely (1891) believes that the Koshta or

This teeka has yellow rice and gulal (colour) in it. After welcoming the bride-

Mahara are a weaving and cultivating caste of Chotanagpur, who claim that

groom the in–laws do samdhi bhent. The bridegroom’s family is welcomed by

their ancestors emigrated from the Central Provinces. In Bihar the Koshta, also

garland; oil and scent followed by a hug. They offer shakkar and water to each

known as Meher, live in the Simdega subdivision of the Gumla Chotanagpur

and hug each other.

plateau. The traditional and primary occupation of the Koshta is weaving.

Before entering the house ceremony of chaur marna. In this a cloth is stretched

In Madhya Pradesh, The Koshta are also known as Kushtha in Chhattisgarh.

in front of both bride and the groom and they both throw rice on each other

Chhattisgarhi is their mother tongue. The community has three subdivisions

5 and 7 times respectively. The Baraat is served with Bhojan which has dishes

namely Bholia, who produce Kosa (silk); Koshti who have migrated from

like puri, bada, sweets etc.

Maharashtra; the Kostha, who are original inhabitants of Chhattisgarh.

The bridegroom’s family gives saris and jewelleries to the bride which she

Recently the Kostha of this region have adopted Dewangan as their surname.

wears for marriage ceremony. And then the kunwari puja is carried out by the

Weaving and agriculture is their primary occupation.

pandit (priest) followed by groom’s puja. Before the main ceremony starts, the pandit establishes the idols of Gauri Ganesh to do the Kunwari puja. The Kany-


adaan is done by the bride’s parents, this leads to 7 phera and naun( barber) puja. In pachardaij, paani grahan ceremony is done along with giving Kasa


utensils to the bride which includes utensils like thari, lota, balti, maliya. Then

Sindoor dani called Singhauda, which is tied in the bridegrooms patka or

the ceremony of paon pakharna is done, in which the groom’s feet is washed

shoulder cloth along with some yellow rice at the Pehli haldi ceremony. It

with curd and milk by everyone from bride’s side and gift are given.

contains a sava tola sindoor. Sava is a symbolic measure of incompletness,

Then the sindoor daan is done. The sindoor is taken on to palms of the groom

interpreted as potential growth. On the final day of the marriage, after seven

is put from the tip of nose till the backside of the head or maang of the bride.

rounds of the fire, the groom applies the sindoor to the bride's maang.

This leads to sindoor sudharauni, the bride’s part wipes the extra sindoor and


asks for money from the groom. At the time of phere the seelha is kept upside down on which supaari (betel nut), singholi, lai, hardi, sikka is placed in 7 parts and after phere the groom

Craft guilds are known to have existed in post-Vedic times during pre-Mauryan,

touches one part and the bride pushes it down.

Mauryan, Shunga, Kushana and Gupta periods (600 B.C. to 550 A.D.). They

After sindoor daan the elder brother in law of the bride gives a sari to the bride.

developed as urban centres grew in the Indo Gangatic plains and along the

At the time of bidai the ceremony of goras bhaat is done followed by final

important trade routes. The Buddhist Jatakas mention eighteen types of guilds

Maaur sekai and bidai. Maaur is made up of pin khajur (dates). On the 1st day

including several of artisans. The earliest Sanskrit dictionary, the Amarakosha,

of the marriage ghoda lera made up of besan is sun dried and after 15 days of

describes the shilpi and their associations , the shreni. Export of artisanal

marriage it is cooked and ate.

produce, spices and minerals brought in imported bullion which served as coinage in many kingdoms, and merchant guilds must have controlled much


of this wealth. Some guilds even functioned as banks and had their own laws

They are a community inhabiting the States of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh,

of governance. They financed the war efforts of kings, built and maintained

Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

Enthoven (1920) treats them as Devangas,

temples, and supported a majority of urban craftsman. They were close to

Hatkars, jads, koshtis or Salis in the Vinkar in the Deccan. He explains that

civil authority and were allowed to migrate according to their whishes by the

the term Koshtha is derived from the Sanskrit word meaning kosh, the cod or

king. The 5th century A.D. inscription of Mandasor records the munifience

of a guild of silk weavers who repaired the Sun Temple which they had built

business connected with the production of handloom fabrics, garments

and endowed three decades earlier. Each guild was managed bya court of

or made-ups and for bringing about greater modernization and pooling of

Mahajans or kind of aldernam, with a special position to the Seths or chiefs of the guild. In the larger towns and cities the guilds seemed to have weilded

technical resources for achieving higher standards of production. t

considerable influence, for the Seth of the guild became Nagar Seth. The guilds built temples and also spent for welfare work.

To undertake formulation, organization and control of multistate handloom production and processing projects.


To act as channel for routing Central Government funds, loans and grants

Also a part of indigenous tradition was the jajmani system of patronage "where

to State Handloom Corporation, Cooperative Societies and other bodies

there exists an exchange of services and gifts between patron and client and

or persons engaged in the promotion and development of handloom

payment in kind is the general practice".

industry. t

Yarn is the basic input for the handloom production, the Corporation is

National Handloom Development Corporation Ltd.

equipped to supply all types of quality of yarn to the handloom agencies

National Handloom Development Corporation Limited (NHDC) was set up

at reasonable and competitive prices.

in February 1983 as a Public Sector Undertaking by the Government of India under the Companies Act 1956 in pursuance of the imperative need for a

The main features of yarn supply are as under:

National Level Agency to assist the speedy development of the Handloom


The Corporation is implementing Govt. of India – Mill Gate Price Scheme


The Corporation has tied up the supplies from almost all the leading group

Sector by coordinating all action covering the procurement and supply of inputs at reasonable prices augmenting the marketing efforts of State upgrading

since 1992 and is regularly attaining new heights.

the technology in the Handloom Sector & improving productivity.

of spinning mills, yarn manufacturers to offer the same at reasonable and competitive prices to the handloom weavers.



To be a National Level Agency for the promotion and development of the

well production for domestic and export purposes have regularly been

Handloom Sector.

taking the advantage of the yarn supplies by this Corporation. t

Objectives: t

t t

is equipped to supply yarn under its normal policy, which ensures the availability of yarn at cost plus pricing i.e. with the service charges for this

marketing or otherwise controlling the distribution of all types of yarn for


the benefit of handloom sector.

NHDC is equipped to supply the complete range of dyes, auxiliaries &

To procure, stock distribute and sell all types of raw materials, dyes &

chemicals of standard quality from the leading manufacturers of the country

chemicals needed by the handloom sector.

at reasonable and competitive prices to the agencies, who are providing their

To manufacture, purchase, stock, sell export or otherwise support and

dyeing and processing facilities for the production of handloom fabric. The

agencies. To undertake the establishment of spinning mills/ silk reeling units on its own and to render financial and other assistance to the state Corporations and such other agencies for the setting up of such spinning mills/ silk reeling units for supplying yarn to the Handloom Weaver t

Apart from the Govt. of India – Mill Gate Price Scheme, the Corporation

To carry on in India or elsewhere, the business of buying, stocking,

promote the marketing of handloom fabrics directly or through other t

The handloom weavers, who are associated in the cooperative fold, as

To aid , assist, finance or implement any project, undertaking an enterprise, whether on its own or in collaboration with an international organisation. A statutory body/ company/ cooperative society, firm or individuals with capital, credit means or Resources for the prosecution of its work and

main features of dyes & chemicals supply are as under: - The Corporation has empanelled the leading manufacturers of Govt. and private sector offering their best prices to the Corporation. - The agencies involved in dyeing & processing of yarn and fabric are among the regular buyers of the Corporation. - The Corporation has ensured the supply in original packing as received from the manufacturers to ensure the quality standards to yield the best results. - For the convenience of small user agencies, small packets/ sachets have been specially got packed. - The technical support is provided to the agencies by the expert and qualified

officers of this Corporation.


Training weavers by disseminating improved techniques and new designs by undertaking training programmes within the precincts of the Centre

Development (A) Establishment of Marketing Complex

and in the field t

The Scheme for setting up of Marketing Complexes was started in 1985-86 with a view to create permanent marketing outlets on the concept of one stop

producers and buyers which includes execution of sample orders. t

shopping. Consumer will have the advantage of choosing & procuring genuine handloom

Solving problems arising in pre- loom, loom and post- loom processes and technologies.


items of their choice from the showroom of handloom agencies of different states at one stop.

Providing market support by arranging interface between designers,

Arranging exhibitions, seminars, workshops focussing on new and improved designs, equipments and processing techniques.


Implementing various schemes in handloom sector of the Government of India and providing assistance and interaction with State Governments,

Places where such complexes are functioning presently are:

handloom agencies such as Apex and primary co- operatives, State and

i) Jaipur (Rajasthan) ii) Kolkata (West Bengal)

private undertakings dealing in handlooms. t

Monitoring of projects sanctioned under various central schemes.

iii) Ahmedabad (Gujarat) iv) Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) v) Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh)

Resources t

vi) Indore (Madhya Pradesh)

Full commitment and support of the Government of India to make the service centre a vibrant focal point of development and growth of the

vii) Navi Mumbai (Maharashtra)

handloom sector.

viii) New Delhi


Qualified technical personnel in the discipline of design, dyeing,

Other Stake Holders


Need-based looms, accessories, allied equipments and other teaching

processing, weaving and necessary support staff. aids.

Weavers Service Centre


Mandate: t

Serve and strengthen the second largest sector of Indian Economy in


Transfer R&D and technological advances in the handloom sector from

terms of employment generation with dedication, devotion and vision. lab to land.

Need- based design development, design adoption, design dissemination, technical inputs in the form of research in looms, dyes, dyeing techniques and innovations in appliances and accessories used by the weavers.


An excellent collection of paper design and fabric samples to choose


An excellent dyeing laboratory, design section, weaving section, printing

from, for the commercial production


Strive for value addition and higher productivity.

section, library and documentation section and computer aided textile


Cater to the poor multitude as well as to get it weaved for the niche

design section for sample development, training expert guidance and for


extension services.

Objectives: t

t t

Design section:

Product development to evolve more marketable products by interaction

Artists from the best art schools are constantly engaged in preparing paper

between expertises’s available in the fields of weaving, designing and

designs. These designs are done for weaving as well as printing. The attempt


is to preserve the traditional designs by reviving them or adopting them to the

Improving weaving techniques and accessories and appliances used in

requirements of the market. WSC Raigarh has the facility of CAD; this makes


the work easier and faster. The Centre also has services for Jala makers, graph

Improving techniques of processing.

paper designers who work in close association with the dyeing laboratory and

weaving section. Care is taken to see the designs developed are within the discipline imposed by the types of yarn, dye stuffs and weaving techniques as

cooperatives, institutions, exporters, manufacturers or private persons. t

per requirements of the sector. Weaving section: Skilled weavers drawn from the main traditional weaving communities of the

As per the demand of international market in terms of colour, design and fashion forecast.

Revival of market –worthy traditional motifs. t

Artists delight from various sources e.g. museums, temples, palaces, havelis,

country form the weaving section of WSC. They are supervised by qualified

etc. Help of CATD is taken to perfect colour and design combination and

textile technologists. Facilities of prototype looms and weaving equipments are

suitability of fabrics.

available in the section. Fabrics in new designs and new textures are produced


using different yarns. The section also undertakes simple improvements in looms and in the processes of weaving.

Maintain and update an inventory/ data base of the motifs, designs, prints etc. And display developed samples in exhibitions.


Popularise increasing adaptation and adoption of designs etc. As a vital ingredient of value added product development / diversification and for

Dyeing laboratory: Fully equipped dye laboratory manned by experienced dyers and other

the creation and sustenance of a culture of quality. t

Encourage the sale of designs, prints etc. on a non- exclusive right basis.

qualified technical personnel capable of developing techniques in cost processing of fabrics is available in WSC, Raigarh. These laboratories bring

WSC is linked with the National Centre for Textile Design in order to provide

out number of shade cards for silk, cotton and wool dyeing. These illustrate a

information to weavers in terms of fast changing consumer preferences, fashion

number of shades in use in the field of handlooms and also give details of the

trends and technological developments in the means of communication

method of application of dye stuffs, temperatures to be maintained and the

both within and outside the country. WSC online activities with NCTD and

length of dyeing period for each shade. These cards also provide information

subsequently with weavers relates to the provision and analysis of trends and

on degumming, scouring, blending, dyeing etc.

forecasts of colour and fabrics for the fashion and home fashion industry

Printing section:

with regional preferences, forecasts of fibre blends, weaves, fabric structure,

keeping in mind the requirements of the entire sector such as colour forecasts This section carries out experiments in preparation of basic materials for hand

motifs and print idea for printed fabrics. WSC has links with Export Centres,

block printing. Dischargeable and non-dischargeable dye stuffs have been

Apex Trade Bodies, both inside and outside the country and related linkages

effectively used to obtain multiple effects of rare beauty. WSC has expertise

to textile resource sites. It has database of reputed handloom manufacturers,

in block and screen making.

fibre suppliers, spinners and yarn makers, machinery and fashion accessories

Library and Documentation section:

consultation with NCTD involve fabric collection, cataloguing according to

suppliers, garment manufacturer etc. the offline activity of the WSC in A collection of cloth samples, photographs, colour slides, books and

region, locality, to maintain a Museum of Heritage Textile of the region and

periodicals dealing with various aspects of the textile industry is available in

locality having collection of motifs in the form of line drawing and swatches

this section.

and samples. WSC holds thematic exhibitions periodically. The basic idea of such exhibitions is to produce exquisite quality of handloom cloths from

Design development: t

master weavers throughout India in order to sustain and excel in the quality

Innovate and develop designs, motifs, patterns, and prints, via in- house

aspect and to promote the marketing of handloom products on a sustained

skills, on a regular/ongoing basis, through appropriate systems and trained


designers and synchronization of traditional designs, etc. with modern


and contemporary design. For this purpose development of In-house


designs are undertaken based on:-


Specific demand in the market in terms of apex societies, weavers’

WSC imparts training through Integrated Handloom Training Project (IHTP) to semi- skilled and skilled weavers for product development,

product diversification and improvement in productivity, in dyeing

facilities like technology, design development, marketing etc. and for their

technique and design development on looms to the beneficiary within

long term sustainable development.

the jurisdiction i.e. in Chhattisgarh State. t

Short term in- house training in weaving, designing/pattern making and processing to students, weavers, master trainers, employees of State

Advisory committee: t

Handloom Corporations, Apex Bodies and others.

Helps the formation of a board-based and representative Advisory Committee locally for the WSC, to oversee its functioning and for monitoring its activities and hold regular meetings thereof

Exhibition: t



WSC holds dyeing cum design exhibition in the interior clusters of

Engage the advisory committee actively in consultative processes with all concerned interests groups and individuals in the sector and carry

weavers to familiarize them with the latest and the best in the dyeing and

them along in decision- making advice/ recommendation/ programme

design techniques.

implementation of WSC.

In- house product display of the latest and unique samples, samples


drawn on the basis of revival of traditional motifs, display of improvised

Solicit the guidance of the advisory committee on design for continuous excellence in design development.

and modern looms and their working. Through its In- house exhibition, the members of WSC acquaint the visitors with the latest information required for the development of right fabric in right colour and for right

Market support: t

market. The information on woven and selected designs by the visitor is provided with complete technical specifications like count of yarn, technical graphs for jacquards etc. the same idea is taken out door also. Research and Development: t

R&D work is carried out for loom development, design modification,

It provides marketing guidance in coordination with State and Central Government, nominating and forwarding societies/master weavers for participation in Dilli Hatt, Suraj kund mela, Taj Mahotsav etc.


Promotion of Excellence:


Recommends, from their area of jurisdication, master weaver, printer and others making outstanding handloom product for National Award to be presented by the President of India.

development of shade cards, natural dyes, unique development, and is available at reasonable prices in WSC. Extension services are provided

Help and Guidance:

through training programmes or at very reasonable charges.

A complaint/ grievance box shall be placed which may be used to drop a

To look in the usability, manufacture and improvement of materials used

written complaint. The box will be opened and checked daily for contents.

in handloom industry and other trades or industries allowed therewith

A complaint will be promptly acknowledged and requisite action taken and

including designing, dyeing, bleaching, finishing etc.

communicated within 30 working days of receipt.


To assess the utilization of the products of the handloom industry as well

If for valid reasons a complaint cannot be redressed within the due time, a

as to assist members in the execution of sample orders.

suitable imitation will be sent promptly.


To do in house work for the improvement of various machinery and

All efforts will be made to locally and satisfactory redress complaints. However,

appliances used by the handloom industry and other trades or industries.

if the complaint has not been attended satisfactorily, at the local level, the

To investigate into and help improvement of various processes of

matter may be considered to be taken up in writing with the following



manufacture with a view to securing greater efficiency, rationalization


and reduction of costs.

Additional Secretary & Development Commissioner (Handlooms), Ministry of Textiles, Room no. 56, Udyog Bhawan, New Delhi.

Synergy efforts: WSC coordinates the effort in the adoption of at least two handloom handicraft clusters as thrust areas by each of the agency/PSUs/Sub- ordinate Office of Ministry of Textiles and other Ministries as their thrust areas for providing

Mr. R.R. Sahu


Senior Inspector, District Sericulture Office, Seoni District: Janjgir-Champa

Mr. A. Ayaz Khan

Ph: +91 9691354582

Director, Indian Institute of Handloom Technology Govt. of Chhattisgarh

Mr. Shekhar Dewangan

Old Govt. College Building,

Sitaram Hath Kargha, Champa

Hanuman Dhararoad

Ph: +91 932960337

Champa Ph: 07819 245111 +91 9424168719

Mr. J.P. Bariha Officer, District Sericulture Office, Urdana, Raigarh Ph: +91 9424181024

Mr. Gopala Dewangan Alumni, IIHT Champa,

Mr. O.P. Mishra

Rani Road, Dewangan Para

Officer, Weaver's Service Centre, Raigarh

Near Town School

Ph: +91 9826157398

District- Janjgir-Champa. Chhattisgarh- 495671.

Yogita Kosa Handloom

Ph: +91 9907980940

Chandrapur Ph: 07762 274711

Mr. Kashyap Staff, IIHT Champa

Hotel Jaipuria

Ph: +91 9981197634

Ph: 07819 244256

Mr. Patel Officer, District Sericulture Office, Seoni District: Janjgir-Champa Ph: +91 9424259045 Mr. Virkishor Dewangan Chandrapur Ph: +91 9993113149 Mr. H.K. Chauhan Staff, IIHT, Champa Ph: +91 9406107552 Mr. Pramod Kumar Champa Ph: +91 9826483440



Gadda– Bobbin.

Aanchal/Aanchra– The end piece of a sari, very well ornamented.

Galana– Melting process.

Andsechan– The process of egg laying by the female Tussar moth.

Galis– Streets.

Ankur– The sprout from the seed.

Gatha/ganth– Knots. Gharanas– It refers to the place where the musical ideology originated.


Gheencha– Yarn obtained from broken cocoon or left over cocoon.

Bachua– Referred to son in Chhattisgarhi.

Ghumakkad– Nomadic

Badi– A cuisine of Chhattisgarh.

Ghunghat– Veil.

Baiey– Shaft of a loom.

Gobar khad– Cowdung manure.

Bandhani– A type of tie and dye practise in India.

Gond– A tribal population in the Central India.

Bane-Bane–Greetings in Chhattisgarhi.

Gothla– A traditional gold jwellery of Champa.

Belan– Warp beam.

Gulgula– A cuisine of Chhattisgarh prepared from wheat flour and milk.

Bhils– A tribal population from the Central India. Bunkari– Weaving.

H Haat– Markets in villages, usually set up in open fields.


Hatha– Reed cap.

Charkha– A wooden swift used to spin yarn. Chaunk/rangoli– A folk art of Chhattisgarh made with colourful powders.


Cheelna– Ornamentation.

Ikat– A technique in which the warp is tie-dyed in a pattern and the yarn is

Chunris/dupatta– A linen wrap usually worn by women.

used for weaving.



Dabdena– Sowing the seed in the field.

Jala– A technique for weaving intricate patterns in saris.

Dai– Referred to an old lady in Chhattisgarhi.

Jamindar– Landlord (term used during British Rule).

Danthal– Branch.

Jati– Caste.

Deh– Body of a sari.

Jeera– Dottrd pattern.

Devi– Goddess.

Jhela– End piece of a sari.

Dewangans– The weavers community who weave Kosa fabric. Dhan– Paddy


Dharamshala– A resthouse for pilgrims/ inn.

Kacchha– Loin cloth.

Dhokra– Bellmetal craft from Bastar region.

Kachua/Kachoo– Tortoise.

Dhoti– Loin cloth.

Kalichai– Tea prepared using Lemon and spices in Chhattisgarh.


Kami– Lease rods.

Diya– Earthern lamp.

Kanchan– Gold.

Doodhfara– A cuisine from Chhattisgarh prepared from milk.

Kanghi– Reed. Kanna– Pirn.


Kanpat– Shuttle box.

Fal– Fruit.

Kasa– Bronze.


Katia– Zari yarn.

Gaam– Village.

Kechul– Outerskin, removed during moulting process.

Ketki– Zari yarn.

Peetha– A cuisine of Chhattisgarh prepared from rice.

Khapa– A system developed to weave 2/2 or 4/4 weft ribs.

Peetna– Beating.

Kheda maag– Pit loom.

Pel– Shed.

Khet Khalihan– Referred to agricultural fileds.

Phera– Extra weft technique, where temple motif is formed.

Khutankari– Brushing the Kosa silkworms on the leaves of Arjuna/Saja tree.

Pujasthal– Space dedicated to Gods and Goddesses.

Kinar– Border of a sari. Kirmi– Referred to worm.


Kosa– Referred to Tussar in Chhattisgarhi.

Ranga– Alloy of bronze.

Kucchi– A brush made up of coconut fibres used for sizing of warp.

Rao– A holy man who performs all the ceremonies during the puja of

Kuldevi– Clan Goddess.

Parmeshwari Devi.

Kumbha– Temple motif.

Resham– Silk.

Kurta– Upper body stitched garment.

Roopan karna– Sowing. Rui– Cotton.

M Maar– Cooked rice water.


Macchi– Fish motif.

Sari– An unstitched garment, belongs to the Indian subcontinent.

Machia– A low highted wooden stool. Machuara– Fisherman.


Mahajan– Middleman.

Tag-fag– Floats.

Majhi– Boatsman.

Tihar– Festival.

Masik patrika– Weekly magazine.

Thun– Cloth beam.

Muslin– Fine count cotton fabric.

Toran– A hanging put on the door during festivals.



Nakkashi– Ornamentation.

Yugman– Coupling/Mating.

Nari– Shuttle. Natva– A wooden tool used to wind Kosa yarn during thigh reeling.

Z Zamin– Body of a sari.

O Odhani– Linen wrap for the head. Oraon– The largest tribal group of the Chota Nagpur region. P Pagdi– A headgear. Palaas– A kind of flower used to extract colour. Pallav– End piece of a sari. Para– Colony. Parain/Parai– A shallow earthen vessel used to keep Kosa for reeling. Parsool– A tool for cutting vegetables. Pat/pattu– Sari.

Zari– An even thread traditionally made of fine gold or silver.


Books 1. Aditi Ranjan, M.P. Ranjan, Crafts of India: Handmade in India (Council of Handicraft Development Corporations, New Delhi, 2007), 458-491. 2. Dr. Ramakant Soni, Champa: Atit se Vartaman tak. 3.Eric Broudy, The Book of Looms, A history of the handloom from ancient times to the present (Studio Vista, 1979). 4. Jaya Jaitly, Visvakarma's Children- Stories of India's Craftspeople (Institute of Social Sciences, 2000), 20-39. 6. Kamladevi Chattopadhyay, Indian Handicrafts (Allied publishers, 1963), 1-9. 7. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, The glory of Indian Handicrafts (Indian Book Company, 1976), 9-13. 8. K.S. Singh, India's Communities Vol. IV (Oxford University Press, 1998), 788-791. 9. K.S. Singh, India's Communities Vol. V (Oxford University Press, 1998), 1829-1836. 9. Lotika Varadarajan, Krishna Amin Patel, Of Fibre and Loom: The Indian Tradition (Manohar Publishers and Distributers and NID 2008), 254-268. 10. Linda Lynton, The Sari: Styles,Patterns,History,Techniques (Thames and Hudson, 1995), 7-16, 89-100. 11. Martand Singh, Rta Kapur Chishti, Saris- Tradition & Beyond (Roli Books, Lustre Press 2010), 13-23, 118-141. 12. Rachel Brown, The weaving spinning & dyeing book (Routledge & Kegan Paul: London & Henley 1979), 118-128. 13. Robert R Frank, Silk, Mohair, Cashmere & Other luxury ďŹ bers (Woodhead Publishing limited, 2000), 2,23. 14. Rta Kapur Chishti, Amba Sanyal, Saris of India- Madhya Pradesh (Wiley Eastern Ltd. & Amr Vastra Kosh, 1989), 15-46, 99-133. 15. Shirley E. Held, Weaving a Handbook of the Fibre Arts (Harcourt Brace College Publishers 1999). 16. Vijai Singh Katiyar, Indian Saris- Traditions- Perspectives- Design (Wisdom Tree, 2009), 15-31.

Dictionary Meenakshi hindi to english.

Craft Documents 1. Asha Chirayil and Sangeetha Nair, Textiles of Andhra Pradesh with special emphasis on the silk industry documented in 1991-92 Vol. 2, KMC, NID. 2. Sapna Vedula, Kosa cocoon- A craft documentation on Tussar silk saris of Churri, R-0332 KMC, NID.

Magazines Shri Krishna Rao ji, "Srishti utpatti ki katha", Dewangan Samaj Masik Patrika, November, 2010

Web References 1., 28 November 2011. 2., 29 November 2011. 3., 29 November 2011. 4., 30 Novovember 2011. 5., 4 December 2011. 6., 23 January 2012. 7., 24 January 2012.

Picture credits: Books Martand Singh, Rta Kapur Chishti, Saris- Tradition & Beyond (Roli Books, Lustre Press 2010), 13-23, 118-141. Rta Kapur Chishti, Amba Sanyal, Saris of India- Madhya Pradesh (Wiley Eastern Ltd. & Amr Vastra Kosh, 1989), 15-46, 99-133. Shirley E. Held, Weaving a Handbook of the Fibre Arts (Harcourt Brace College Publishers 1999).

Picture credits: Websites

Sample 1 epi: 88 ppi: 80 weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: shirting

Sample 2 epi: 84 ppi: 76 weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: shirting

Sample 3 epi: 80 ppi: 88 10% Shrinkage after wash. weave: plain warp: China silk weft: kosa silk, gheencha fabric: shirting

Sample 4 epi: 72 ppi: 40 weave: plain warp: cotton weft: gheencha fabric: shirting

Sample 5 epi: 60 ppi: 36 weave: plain warp: China silk weft: gheencha fabric: shirting

Sample 6 epi: 88 ppi: 44 weave: plain warp: China silk weft: gheencha fabric: shirting

Sample 7 epi: 84 10% shrinkage after wash. ppi: 96 weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: shirting

Sample 8 epi: 80 ppi: 40 weave: twill warp: cotton weft: gheencha fabric: furnishing

Sample 9 epi: 88 ppi: 100 10% shrinkage after wash. weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: shirting

Sample 10 epi: 80 ppi: 80 weave: plain, warp: China silk weft: kosa silk gheencha fabric: shirting

Sample 11 epi: 96 ppi: 88 weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk, tie-dye yarn fabric: shirting

Sample 12 epi: 88 ppi:120 weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: shirting

Sample 13 epi: 84 ppi: 28 weave: plain warp: China silk weft: gheencha fabric: furnishing

Sample 14 epi: 80 ppi: 96 10% shrinkage after wash. weave: plain warp: China silk weft: kosa silk gheencha fabric: shirting

Sample 15 epi: 84 ppi: 40 weave: plain warp: China silk weft: gheencha fabric: shirting

Sample 16 epi: 92 ppi: 120 10% shrinkage after wash. weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: shirting

Sample 17 epi: 88 ppi: 100 10% shrinkage after wash. weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: shirting

Sample 18 epi: 88 ppi: 100 10% shrinkage after wash. weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: shirting

Sample 19 epi: 88 ppi: 100 10% shrinkage after wash. weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: shirting

Sample 20 epi: 88 ppi: 100 10% shrinkage after wash. weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: shirting

Sample 21 epi: 88 ppi: 100 10% shrinkage after wash. weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: shirting

Sample 22 epi: 88 ppi: 100 10% shrinkage after wash. weave: plain, extra weft warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: shirting

Sample 23 epi: 80 ppi: 64 weave: plain, jala warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: sari

Sample 24 epi: 80 ppi: 52 10% shrinkage after wash. weave: plain, phera warp: China silk weft: kosa silk fabric: sari

Craft documentation