The door was open. A baby sat on the threshold. Inside was the click clack of a loom. I peered in. A pretty young woman in a purple hijab smiled at me.
“Come in,” she said in Hindi.
Her husband: serious and unsmiling but courteous squatted on the ground to make sure that the yarn wasn’t splitting or tangling as it reached the loom. Their baby sat at the door. A guava tree graced the back courtyard.
This is the ecosystem of the weaving community. In a way, it is freelance work. Layered by family, and embedded in community, answerable to the master weaver who gives them the raw materials.
Now, if you watch the video below carefully, you will see how the wooden wedges, called “gundiya” lift up certain threads, thus allowing the weavers to slide the zari threads through certain areas to make the motifs. The clink of bangles, a husband and wife sitting together and working in harmony, and the clack of the loom. This is how a Chanderi weave is made.
“Sometimes strands spend a long time seeking each other, fumbling without light, and interweave without knowing that it is exactly what the web wants.”