The weaver of Varanasi

Neeruddin works as a weaver in the ancient city of Varanasi (aka Benares, Kashi), India. He is teaching his five sons to be weavers and is working to send his only daughter to school.

We buy shawls directly from Neeruddin and pay a fair wage for his work and have even been known to bargain with him: upwards! (much to his surprise).

Threads of fine silk and wool are wound onto wooden bobbins by the weaver’s youngest son using  equipment of antique design in a poorly lit room. 

Handmade punch cards carry the patterns of the designs to be translated into delicate fabrics, governing the placement of the threads as the weaver’s hands operate the shuttle in a complicated three thread jacquard fabric.

The finished items are future heirlooms made by a family carrying on their traditional work in a time where increasingly the hand-made is being superseded by machine-made. Our collection of Neeruddin’s breath-takingly beautiful work is probably the only in Australia.

Those who decide to own one of these rare items are not only investing in one of the most beautiful textiles to be found, but also helping to support the future of the weaver and his family and to keep alive the traditional hand weaving of Benares.

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