A cluster is defined as a geographic concentration (a city/town/few adjacent village and their adjoining areas) of units producing near similar products and facing common opportunities and threats. An artisan cluster is defined as geographically concentrated (mostly in villages/townships) household units producing handicraft/handloom products. In a typical cluster, such producers often belong to a traditional community, producing the long-established products for generations. Indeed, many artisan clusters are centuries old Artisan.
About Bajaura Cluster:-
Bajaura Cluster falls under Himachal Pradesh State in Kullu district.
The Bajaura cluster is able to form 230 plus Artisans & 15 SHGs supporting the strong work force. The mobilization gains momentum day by day.
The women of Himachal are expert at making woolen coverings such as woolen socks and gloves to beat the chill. These gloves and socks are available for every age group and are in background shades of blue, grey, black, white and cream. These are made out of rough as well as soft wool and are not very expensive.
Daccai Jamdani is distinguished from its mutant cousins by its very fine texture resembling muslin and the elaborate and ornate workmanship. In Bangladesh, weavers use fine Egyptian cotton, while the Indian weavers use only indigenous raw material. The single warp is usually ornamented with two extra weft followed by ground weft. While the original Bangladeshi sari is almost invariably on a beige background, the Indian weavers are a little more adventurous in their choice of color schemes. The gossamer thin black Jamdani with its splash of multi colored linear or floral motifs sprinkled generously all over the body and border and crowned with an exquisitely designed elaborate pallu is a feast for the eyes.
While the Daccai Jamdani is strictly a party affair, the other Jamdani are much sought after by fashion-conscious working women for their elegance. These are mostly Jamdani motifs on Tangail fabric and are generally known by the confusing nomenclature of Tangail Jamdani. Although beige background is the most popular, these are available in a riot of colors, at affordable prices.
The wool is collected every spring, and spinning is done by hand. The yarn is spun on a spinning wheel locally known as ‘Charkha’. Prior to spinning, the raw material is treated by stretching and cleaning it to remove any dirt and soaked for a few days in a mixture of rice and water to make it softer. Hand-spinning is an extremely painstaking and a lengthy task. It requires extreme patience and dedication, and is an amazing process to watch.
Yarn is too fragile for the vibration caused by power looms thus the weaving of the traditional 100% shawls is therefore done on Hand Looms. It is essential for the weaver to have a uniform hand, for par excellence fabric. Weaving is done with a shuttle. The weaving process is in itself an art, which has been passed over from generations to generations. It takes about 4 days to weave a single shawl on a handloom.
Dyeing is also done by hand and each piece individually. Dyers with immense patience and generations of experience are the ones who dye the shawls, as even the smallest negligence reflects on the quality of the product. Only metal and azo-free dyes are used, making the shawls completely eco-friendly. The pure water used for dying is pumped up from deep beneath the surface. Dyeing is done at a temperature just below boiling point for nearly an hour. Pashmina wool is exceptionally absorbent, and dyes easily and deeply.
In Jamdani the pattern of design drawn on paper is pinned beneath the warp threads. As the weaving proceeds, the designs are worked in like embroidery. When the weft thread approaches close to where a flower or other figure has to be inserted, the weaver takes up one of a set of bamboo needles round each of which is wrapped yarn of a different colour as needed for the design. As every weft or wool thread passes through the warp, he sews down the intersected portion of the pattern with one or another of the needles as might be required and so continues till the pattern is completed. When the pattern is continuous and regular, a master weaver generally dispenses with the aid of paper patterns.
How to Reach:-
Nearest convenient rail heads are Kalka, Chandigarh and Pathankot on Broad Gauge from where Kulu can be reached by road. Kulu is connected by Indian Airlines, Trans Bharat Aviation and Jagson flights with Delhi & Shimla. The airport is at Bhuntar, 10kms. from Kulu. Kulu is well connected by road with Delhi, Ambala, Chandigarh, Shimla, Dehradun, Pathankot, Dharamsala & Dalhousie etc. Regular direct buses ply between these stations including deluxe, semi-deluxe and air conditioned buses during tourist season.