Jamdani refers to the extra-weft weaving technique in India that is indigenous to Bengal. The intricate and elaborate designs are often in thin muslin cottons.
Most sources say the term ‘Jamdani’ originates from the word ‘Jam’ which means flower, and the word ‘Dani’ which means vase or container. Many of the traditional motifs are flowers and hence the name. It is a craft that is widely practiced in Bangladesh and to a lesser extent in West Bengal (India).
The process usually involves weaving a fabric by hand and manually inserting an “extra weft” wherever the motif needs be to woven in. Two weavers usually sit side-by-side at the loom and add the discontinuous weft motif separately in order to cover the motifs that appear across the weft of the fabric.
This craft is highly labour and time-intensive, making it one of the most luxurious and expensive textile crafts in India. Once patronized by royalty, this fabric is a celebration of the high level of skill achievable in handloom weaving.