One of the most exquisite handicrafts of Uttar Pradesh are the wall hangings of Ghazipur that are renowned for its innovative designs, weaving and craftsmanship. This craft is practised in villages of Ghazipur, Mirzapur, Varanasi and Chandauli, with more than 3000 families engaged in this centuries-old art.
The artisans use an ancient Banaras weaving technique called naka jala taka to create these unusual designs that are known for their naturalistic appeal and stylistic presentation. Hindu Gods and Goddesses, forests, birds, animals and houses are created using jute, cotton, silk and fabric.
These are traditional handloom products made with blend threads of jute yarn and other yarns in myriad colours and strength without using jacquard. Natural yarns are bleached using traditional techniques to get white and soft discoloured yarn. Dyeing process is done using hot (dark colours) and cold water (light colours).
After the yarn is dried, the tana (warp) is prepared for weaving. Bana (weft) of different colours is arranged as per the design. Bana of different shades and colours are blended and mixed with tana by hand so that the motifs are clearly visible. Weaving is done in pit looms.
Extra threads and yarn are cut and the jute wall hanging is kept steady for the embroidery work. New motifs and designs that cannot be woven are embroidered with silk and jute. Patterns like the branches of trees, flower motifs and leaves are generally embroidered. Roofs, bridges, boats and carts are made in the next process of rapping. Windows are made in the patching process stage.
Age-old patterns and traditional weaving process from start to finish are still adopted by the cluster of artisans who have strived to maintain the uniqueness of this handloom product.
Ghazipur wall hanging was granted the Geographical Indication Tag (GI) in 2018.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian
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