BENARAS UTTAR PRADESH
Brocade weaving, especially with gold and silver, has been an age-old tradition in India. There are two broad classes of brocades - brocades of pure silk or silk and cotton blends and zari brocades with gold and silver threads. Colour plays a vital part in weaving brocade. The charm and subtle beauty of the brocade depend on colour synchronization. Colours are imbued with nuances of mood and poetic association in fabrics and weaving as much as in painting: red for love, yellow represents spring and young blossoms, hari nila is the colour of water when the sky is reflected, and so on.
Making of nakshas (designs) forms an important part of brocade weaving. Benaras is the main centre where the nakshabandha (designer) tradition prevails. The skill and imagination of nakshabandha play a prominent part in the making of designs. Designs are associated with legends and symbolism and the most popular motifs are drawn from nature.
The nakshas are first worked on paper. This part of the work is called likhai (writing). The nakshabandha then makes a little pattern of it in a framework of cotton threads like a graph. This pattern gives guidance to the working of that design into weaving.