Sunday, 15 August 2010

500 count Khadi

A master weaver from Murshidabad, Kalicharan Sharma, had re-discovered the technique of spinning the fine yarn a few years ago, and Saha learnt it from him. Making the 500-count muslin sari— a 5.5 metre saree requires 60,000 metres of yarn to make—is a laborious process that takes more than two months for a team of three weavers. “Making muslin is a very sensitive and lengthy process that takes loads of patience. The yarn breaks frequently. Spinning is done only early mornings and after dusk. The heat during the day breaks the thread. Earlier, very young girls aged about ten years or so would spin the yarn with their nimble fingers. I’ve modified the charkha to replicate those nimble fingers. I’ve modified the apron, rubber rollers, gears and other parts of the machine. I’ve also re-invented the original technique of weaving muslin,” he says.

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