Panika Weaving in Bastar

  • by Trinadh kumar
Panika Weaving in Bastar
The Panika is a Hindu community from states of Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odhisha and Uttar Pradesh. By tradition, they are the weavers and are commonly known as Panka or Panikar.

Process involved in Panika Weaving to make specialized sarees called PATA saree
1. Loom Preparation – The throw shuttle pit loom (mangtha) is made of teak wood (Sagwan) and are made by the carpenters. The simple loom may weave plain to complex patterns depending largely upon the skill of the weaver.

2. Yarn specifications – Traditionally yarns were of 10’s to 20’s counts which were hand spun and coarse and used to make Patas and Angochhas. Currently finer cotton yarns of 60’s and 80’s counts are being developed for weaving

3. Pre-Loom process – Yarn for warp and weft are prepared for the required lengths of the product to be woven. This process requires weavers experience and precision since the long yarns tend to entangle repeatedly hence is a laborious and time-consuming process.

4. Making Warp – Board warping technique is used to make warps. Yarns are stretched peg to peg from one side of the frame to other side forming two layers of the warp.

5. Coating of warps – Yarns are coated with liquid rice starch. This is achieved by dipping yarns and rubbing them with hands for uniform coating. This starch coating increases strength of the yarns.

6. Treating warps – The coated yarns are spread out by stretching them. A bamboo brush is passed through them like combing so as to separate each strand of the yarn. Oil is applied for lubrication so that yarn slips well through harness during weaving. This yarn is dried by tugging from both ends of length and is then ready for entering the loom.

7. Preparing roll of yarn – The yarns are tied in a ‘tosar’ (long wooden rod with one end tapered). Tosar is roated by hand with simultaneous up and down movement. This results in creating an elongated ball of weft yarn known as ‘guchha’ which is placed in the shuttle

8. The weaving process – Al dyed yarns are the characteristic feature of Panika weaving. Designs are made by ‘interlocking extra weft weaving technique’. The weaver throws a shuttle from one end of the selvedge across the width of cloth by one hand and catches it at opposite end by other hand. The foot operated paddles change the harness position to create shed before weft insertion. This operation is repeated till the entire fabric is developed.

9. Designing on the fabric – This is done by visual sense of the weaver and not by using even a design graph or written hand instructions. The designs are creating by lifting yarns by fingers and inserting extra weft yarn. Two coloured borders are simultaneously made by using “3-shuttle technique” called as ‘Phera’. This includes two separate shuttles for borders and one for field of the Pata. The yarns are interlocked accordingly to the design requirements.

There are some specific nomenclatures for Pata basis the width of borders, edgings, plain bands appearing on pallu etc. These names help weavers to choose specific designs while taking orders.


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