The raw materials sourced from National Handloom Development Corporation are as follows:
- Cotton yarn - 2/40s, 2/20s, 20s counts.
- Chemical dyes - from Ujjain.
- Polyester yarn - PV 26s 8NM count.
The only waste generated by this craft is left out cut yarn.
Tools & Technology
- Fly-shuttle traditional loom: The whole loom rests on a frame of four vertical posts. In this loom, the sleigh carries a race board and two shuttle boxes, one on either side. The weft yarn is wound onto a bobbin, which is put in a shuttle. This is placed in one of the shuttle boxes on either side.
- Taana Machine
- Charkha or the spinning wheel
- Shuttle Box
- Gittas or small reels around which threads are wound.
- Fly Shuttle Loom
Design :The organizations usually provide the designs to these weavers, if something different from the traditional work is expected out of them. The master weaver refers to the required design, to prepare the warp and the 'Raach' (the vertical comb-like wires through which the warp yarn passes).
Dyeing : Color selection for dyeing the unbleached cotton threads depends on the colors present in the design. The dyeing process is usually given out to specialists called 'Rangrez'. Two basic types of dyes are commonly used for durries: Direct dyes and Vat dyes. Direct dyes are cheaper and are not colorfast. Mostly direct dyes are used for making fly shuttle durries. As they bleed on washing, retail houses recommend dry cleaning for these durries. For dyeing, the yarn is stocked in the form of loose bundles knotted at the center. These are put in a tank (usually a rectangular container of size 5 x 4 x 4 ft) that contains boiling water, to which the desired color of dye is added. The yarn is kept dipped for about 10 minutes and then taken out and dried. This process is repeated again to give the yarn lot a uniform color.
Yarn Opening for Weft
The dyed cotton threads come to the weaver in the form of bundles. This form of yarn needs to be stretched and reeled to make it free from tangles. This is done on the Charkha. The loose bundle of yarn is put over the larger wheel of the charkha and the other end of the thread is tied to a small reel called Gitta, which effectively works as the smaller wheel of the Charkha. The Gitta is then wheeled, so the yarn is pulled from the larger wheel to the Gitta. This form of the yarn is tighter, uniform and tangle free.
Warping : The master weaver now prepares the 'Rula' (log) with the warp, to be used by the weaver to make the Durries. For this purpose he uses a Taana or warping machine. A Taana machine is a much larger version of the Charkha principle. The thread rolls or Gittas are put on the vertical frame of the warping machine. This is a movable frame that resembles an abacus. The ends of the thread are taken from the rolls, passed through another, smaller, grid like frame, with vertical metal wires that guides the thread and are wound on the big wooden cylinder of the machine. This process starts from one end of the big octagonal cylinder and goes on till the entire cylinder is covered with yarn.
The craftsman uses a special visual measurement scale that consists of a spring with a small weight hung over it. The small weight slides over the spring, covering one coil of the spring with every revolution that the wooden cylinder takes. Normally, the entire length of the spring scale can take 50 revolutions of the wooden cylinder. Once the desired length of yarn is wound around the cylinder, the log upon which the Taana is to be wound is fitted into the blocks between the cylinder and the frame. Then the craftsman puts a heavy weight across the cylinder. This is tied to the end of a rubber tube at one end of the wooden cylinder. The tube rests over the circumference of the wheel. This is done so that when the thread is pulled over the Rula log, it comes over the Rula in a very tight fashion. The tightly wound yarn on this log is then provided to the weaver, who uses it for the warp on the loom frame.
Weaving: As mentioned, fly shuttle durries are commonly woven on the pit loom. The weaver sits at ground level and his legs rest inside a pit that contains the pedals. For weaving, the warp from the Rula (log) is bound on the two beams of the loom. It loops over another log called Kharag. The warp is then guided in two layers by a flat vertical metallic reed till it reaches the Hattha (the moveable frame used to beat the weft, which also carries the fly shuttle reel). The reed is a comb-like structure of metal wires. It maintains the distance between the individual warp threads. The design of the reed (Raach) frame varies with each design and is made by an outside specialist. Making the correct Raach is very important to get the weave as desired. For plain durries, the loom has two frames, but the number of frames can go up to a maximum of four depending on the complexity of the design.
The weaver uses the beater (Hattha) to push back the loose thread that tails the shuttle into the system of weft threads. As the weaving progresses, he adjusts the tension of the warp using the tightening screws on the two loom beams.