Wool - The craftsmen procure it from the sheep reared by the 'Rabari' clan as the wool from local sheep is not of best quality. One local sheep gives only about 200-250 gm wool. Today the situation is different as weavers now use 4 types of yarns -100% Marino wool (from Ludhiana), Acrylic, local wool and silk (from Bihar).
Silk - Brought in from Bangalore.
Acrylic - Brought in from Ludhiana.
Cotton - Fine cotton which has 70 threads per sq. inch.
Tools & Technology
Loom - The traditional pit loom is used for Bhujodi weaving. A large wooden frame or 'Thambla' is fixed into the ground forming the main structure of the loom. The 'Pankha' or beater and the 'Lathe' called 'Velan' are fixed onto this. The 'Pankha' consists of two strips of wood into which the 'Phani' or 'reed' is set. The 'Phani' is made of bamboo and the number of dents formed between each bamboo stick corresponds to the number of threads in the warp. The 'Raach' or shafts consist of nylon threads suspended between two aluminum shaft sticks. Two of these are joined together to form a harness. The 'Gendha' or 'shuttle picker' is situated one on a long narrow tray-like wooden structure on either side of the beater. It receives and throws the fly shuttle from one side to another.
The fabric after being woven to a considerable length is wound on another square piece of wood across the pit, which is called 'Tor'.
Killori - This is a brush used for combing the warp when it is set. The bristles are made from a plant which grows in the 'Rann' area. It can last for as long as 10 to 15 years.
Warp stand - This is used to support the warp when it is in the process of being set. The weavers now use metallic stands as they are more durable.
Bobbin winder - A tool used to convert bigger 'hanks' into smaller ones and then into 'Bobbins'.
Treadles - These are rectangular wooden blocks mostly four in number which are connected to the harnesses. The shafts are lifted by pressing them.
Preparing the threads or Warping: The yarn is of 2 x 60's count and is looped around the wooden pegs of a wooden frame. This way a length of 55-60cm can be easily achieved. The yarn is then stretched out and coated with starch. The warp is supported by a 'Jaal' or wooden stand, placed on an empty stretch of land. The threads are then rolled into bundles and new warp is joined. This process is called 'Shantni' and is done by smearing ash on the hands for ease of handling the yarn.
Dyeing the wool
Natual colours like black, white and brown were used in this craft. As time passed and demands increased, weavers began exploring other vibrant colours. Now vegetable dyes as well as acid dyes are used.
The weaving is done in a traditional pit loom with a foot pedal. This simple process is known as 'Taana Baana'. The shawls are woven in a plain weave with extra weft ornamentation. It has one ground pick and one extra weft pick for the motifs of the borders. The loom used is a 'throw shuttle' or a 'fly shuttle' pit loom.