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Silk design knotters

Silk design knotters

Photographer: Narayen, Shivashanker

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1873

Shelfmark: Photo 1000/52(4911)

Item number: 4911

Length: 18

Width: 22.4

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of silk design knotters at work in India, taken by Shivashanker Narayen in c. 1873, from the Archaeological Survey of India. This image of three figures seated at work on a verandah is probably an exhibition photograph. These silk workers are tying pieces of silk fabric into multiple pleats and knots before dyeing to produce intricate patterns. This process, which is known as 'tie and dye', may be repeated numerous times to produce multicoloured lines, spots and rings on the fabric. In India this traditional technique is known as Bandhani, from the Sanskrit word bandhana, which means 'tying', and is the origin of the word bandannah.

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