May 23, 2021 / By Murad Shakil / in Saree Collection
Jamdani (Bengali: জামদানি) is a fine muslin textile (figured with different patterns) produced for centuries in South Rupshi of Narayanganj district in Bangladesh on the bank of Shitalakhwa river. The historic production of jamdani was patronized by imperial warrants of the Mughal emperors. Under British colonialism, the Bengali jamdani and muslin industries rapidly declined due to colonial import policies favoring industrially manufactured textiles. In more recent years, the production of jamdani has witnessed a revival in Bangladesh. Jamdani is typically woven using a mixture of cotton and gold thread.
In Persian jam means a kind of fine wine and dani means cup. The name Jamdani originates from the muslin worn by the Iranian Saki serving the jam. The design has been enhanced by weaving in Jamdani sari According to the design, Jamdani has different names like Tercha, Jalpar, Panna Hazar, Korola, Dublajal, Saburga, Balihar, Shapla Phul, Anguralata, Mayurpachpar, Baghanli, Kalmilta, Chandrapar, Jhumka, Butidar, Jhalar, Mayurpakha, Puilta, Butterflies, Jasmine, Hansbalaka, Shabnam, Jhumka, Jabaful etc.
The Mughal period is called the golden age of Dhaka muslin. At this time the demand for muslin and jamdani was increasing in the country and abroad and the industry was also greatly improved. In the eighteenth century, English documents show that a high-ranking official of the rank of Daroga-i-Malmal was employed to collect muslin called Malmal Khas and Sarkar-i-Ali. Each loom had an office and registered skilled weavers like Nardia, Ripukar etc. The main task of the inspector was to monitor the various steps of making muslin and jamdani. At that time muslin-khas worth about one lakh rupees was exported from Dhaka to the Mughal court.According to the accounts of 1847, Jamdani worth about five and a half lakh rupees was bought for the King of Delhi, Nawab of Bengal and Jagat Seth. Besides, European traders bought muslin for around nine lakh rupees. By the end of the eighteenth century, however, muslin exports had declined sharply. In 1765 the East India Company took over the rule of Bengal. Their employers started torturing the weavers for their own benefit. If the weavers did not agree to sell the cloth at a lower price, they would be beaten. However, the company enacted laws to prevent persecution of weavers.
After the independence of Bangladesh, financial assistance was given to the weavers of Jamdani village in Demra of Dhaka. The obsolete looms of Bajitpur upazila of Kishoreganj have become silent witnesses of the ancient glory. The same is true of Jangalbari in Kishoreganj. At present Jamdani Palli has been established at Noapara in Rupganj. There is still a demand for jamdani in various occasions. Due to the high price and huge demand for jamdani in the current market, this industry in Bangladesh has gained new momentum.
There are many types of jamdani sarees. However, initially according to the material of Jamdani saree, it is of two types.
1.Half Silk Jamdani - The horizontal threads are cotton and the longitudinal threads are silk.
2.Flower Cotton Jamdani - which is made entirely of cotton yarn.
3.Flower Silk Jamdani - Made entirely of silk yarn.