Traditional Craftmenship > Handlooms Weaving In Tripura

Handlooms Weaving In Tripura

Handloom weaving is an important craft in Tripura. Tripuri women in the rural households prefer to weave their own risa and rinai which are part of their traditional dress. Other handloom products which are woven include lungi, sari, chaddar, and scarves. The motifs are different and one can identify whether it is woven by the Chakma, Kuki, Lussai or Reang tribes. The main feature of Tripuri handlooms is vertical and horizontal stripes with scattered embroidery in different colours. The artistic handloom industry is concentrated in a number of places in the rural areas, in the sub-divisions of Sadar, Sonamura, Khowai, Kailasahar and Belonia.

The Lion Loom is used for weaving. These age old looms are simple, cheap and easy to operate. They have no permanent fixtures or heavy frames and are easily portable. Also these looms offer an unlimited scope for designs. The weaver sits with a loom fixing the back strap, with her legs on the footrest, which is adjustable for keeping the loom stretched. The weaving in the lion loom requires the shedding motion, the picking motion and the beating motion. While one bar is lifted with the left hand, the circular bamboo one is pressed down with right hands imultaneously. The sword is then placed in the shed and kept vertical and the weft is passed from the right side with the right hand by means of the shuttle (a bamboo piece ship containing yarn) and picked with the left hand. The weft is then beaten up by the sword. The sword is then taken out and the centershed are produced through which the shuttle is passed by the left hand and is picked up by the right hand. The sword is then again placed to beat the weft.

Today the handloom industry plays a vital role in the economy of the state and provides a secondary means of employment and income to indigenous cultivators. Popular handloom items which are being woven include the lasingphee (a quilt like weave in which the cloth is wadded with cloth during weaving), scarves, bedspreads, cotton saris and shoulder bags. Tablemats, cushion covers and canvas for holding chairs are also now made from woven tribal fabrics.


Contributed by: Prarthana, CEE Ahmedabad

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Muslin Fabric

This gossamer light muslin fabric has found mention in the writings of many visitors to India, even as far back as the 3rd century B.C. A great deal of muslin was produced in and exported from Bengal. Dacca was the main region where cotton was cultivated due to the high humidity of the region, which prevented the delicate thread from breaking on contact with the air. The cotton spun was very white since the Brahmaputra and the Ganges Rivers have bleaching properties. The chikan workers in Bengal used this fine muslin for embroidery.

Stitches in Chikankari

Double-Star Earring, Peacock Feather's Eye, Sidhual, Makra, Mandarzi, Bulbulchashm, Tajmahal, Phooljali, Phanda, Dhoom, Gol, murri, Janjeera, Keel, Kangan, Bakhia, Dhania Patti, lambi Murri, Kapkapi, Karan Phool, Bijli, Ghaspatti, Rozan, Meharki, Kaj, Chameli, Chane ki Patti, Balda, Jora, Pachni, Tapchim Kauri, Hathkati and Daraj of various types.