Project LooM

Before the Weave

We celebrate weavers here. Of course we do.

But for all that, there is the space before the weave. The space where threads roll out of the cocoon. Well, figuratively speaking.

The weavers know this. They feel it.

For them, these weavers, life begins with the thread. With the yarn.

It is here that the sari story begins.

Weavers have an intimate relationship with yarn. They wield it like a violin, twisting and turning.

Wrapping it around their body like a long sensuous snake.

They roll it with their fingers, examining it carefully.


Checking for breaks in this child of cotton. Or silk. The long thread that will eventually become fabric.

Watch master weaver Krishnamoorthy of Kanchipuram below and you’ll see what we mean.

Reeling thread is a careful unsparing process. Requiring patience and perfectionism.

Nowhere is this more important than with khadi thread.

The finest of them all.

Look at these photographs. We see colours. Reams of silk, or perhaps cotton.

The weaver sees a beginning.

In the green, he sees a peepul leaf.

In red, a parrot’s beak.

In purple, peacocks or hamsas.

In gold, the ashrafi coin butti.

How will they come together, he asks himself?

In his answer lies the saree.

Related posts

Welcome to the Khadi Edition

Shoba Narayan

Kanchipuram Silk Saree Colours and their Meanings

Shoba Narayan

How to recreate a 100-year old Jamdani today?

Shoba Narayan


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Your point of view caught my eye and was very interesting. Thanks. I have a question for you.


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