Has Skillset : Weaving
In the ancient Buddhist city of Nalanda in Bihar, Baavanbuti was once a thriving and celebrated weaving technique. Sadly, the Bavaanbuti tradition is in jeopardy as weavers have largely abandoned their looms in search of more steady employment. Bavaanbuti weaving is renown for its iconic fifty-two miniature butis (motifs) on the body of the fabric. The genesis of the word ‘Baavanbuti’ lies in the realm of mythology, folklore and tradition.
The word for fifty-two, ‘Baavan’, holds special significance in the region as, not so far away, in a place called Amaawa; there lies a dilapidated old palatial building known as Tirpan Darwaazaa Baavan Kothi, with fifty-three doors and fifty-two rooms. Kapildevji, the master weaver from Basawnbigaha village, proudly reveals that in Vaaman Avatar, the Lord Vishnu was of the size of fifty-two fingers, and yet with such a small size, he could cover the entire universe in three steps. This fable has an amazing significance in context of the Baavanbuti sari tradition. While Vishnu in Vaaman Avatar was of the size of fifty-two fingers yet covered the entire universe, similarly these miniature motifs, called ‘butis’, are a symbolic narration of the beauty of the entire universe on the vast expanse of a six-yard sari. In yet another story elaborating on the importance of fifty-two, according to Beej Ganit (modern day algebra), the number fifty-two is the beejakshar (symbol) of Nirguna Brahma, the Supreme God. The inclusion of the fifty-two butis on the body of the fabric is a result of a small, yet significant technical innovation. The loom is prepared with warp (vertical) threads that run the length of the finished fabric. Sitting at the loom, the weaver works on the weft (horizontal) threads. This yields the pure, plain cloth. Any small woven motif or a scatter of woven motifs needs extra thread (extra weft), which are woven on the loom. Bavaanbuti weaving is similar to satin-stitch embroidery, except that the shuttle of the loom replaces the embroidery needle; the extra weft replaces the embroidery thread and patterns are directly woven into the structure of the fabric as the weaver continues to weave. This style weaving was revolutionary for its time and marked the beginning of cotton-on-cotton brocade. Jiyo’s Bavaanbuti cluster is reviving Bavaanbuti weaving in unique and modern ways for Jiyo! Style and Jiyo! Home and is giving sustainable livelihood opportunities to local weavers.
Initiative Of : JIYO! Creative & Cultural Industries Pvt. Ltd.