Tangail is a weaving area specializing in patterned silk textiles known as Tangail saris, woven on jacquard pit looms. Weaving is done as a cottage industry set up with most households involved in some part of the textile production. Tangail saris are mainly woven by Hindus who are weavers by cast, born into this craft. The men have the responsibility of weaving while the women take care of yarn preparation, bobbin winding and sometimes reed making.
A reed is an essential part of a loom, used at the front of the loom to space the threads out. For the cloth to be even the reed needs to be immaculate, as every small dent will show up on the fabric. I have only used metal reeds so far, and I was determined to learn a new skill so decided to take this opportunity to learn how to make a bamboo reed.
During my time at Tangail I walked past many weaving workshops and popped in to see them working on colourful Tangail saris. Their technical skill is amazing, such an inspiration to see how the looms are adapted to create complicated patterns.