The glory, and the colors of nature captured skillfully on cloth characterize the famous Jamawars of Kashmir. “Jama” means robe and “war” is yard. King and nobles bought the woven fabric by the yard, wearing it as a gown or using it as a wrap or shawl.
The base of the Jamawar was always wool-with perhaps addition of a little cotton. The brocaded parts were woven in silk or pashmina. Most of the designs were floral, with the kairy or paisley as the predominant motif.
The art of weaving a Jamawar was painstaking and intricate one. Several kannis or little wooden shuttles of different colors were used for a single weft line of the fabric. Upto 50 colors could be worked into one shawl-the most popular colors being zard (yellow), sufed (white), mushki (black), ferozi (turquoise), ingari (green), uda (purple), gulnar (crimson) and kirmiz (scarlet). Months of hard work went into the preparation for each Jamawar, with not more than an inch being added per day in a 48-inch width of material.
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