You are currently viewing An Insight In To the languishing craft : Kasota Weaving

An Insight In To the languishing craft : Kasota Weaving

Kasota weaving: The unseen and the unheard


Since ancient times mankind has been weaving things by hand and keeping the traditional workmanship and knowledge alive by passing on the skills and techniques involved from one generation to the next but there is some craft which is languishing due to their tedious process and less availability in the market. Kasota weaving is one such craft from the Chhotaudepur region, Gujarat.

The study is an effort to showcase the craft’s history that how it was started and how the Rathwas community is practising this craft till today using the basic loin loom technique, the procedure behind making the sample using basic bright colours. The significance of the bhamra motif i.e (hexagonal motif) and what kind of motifs they are making using two Heald shafts and using extra weft technique. This paper is an attempt made to evaluate the growth, performance and problems faced by the artisans, current scenario and future possibilities.


Kasota Weave:

India has always been famous for handloom and handicrafts for ages.  Ample of people believe in handloom as far as India and its culture are concerned.  Every state in India is having its handloom and handicraft for which it is popular. Religion, tribe, culture and way of living are the major parameters on which the crafts of India are segregated.

Crafts history in India has been so interesting and it’s like a rollercoaster ride in terms of how it became popular throughout the world. Among so many beautiful crafts one very auspicious craft is there which is KASOTA WEAVING which has recently got recognition because very less weavers are there for the craft. Kasota weaving belongs to the chhotaudepur district which is situated on the boundary of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Since their ancestral time, the weaving of the loincloth was the local occupation of the people living over there who were associated with the craft and they weave kasota or the langot for the tribal rathwas who are living in chhotaudepur in Gujarat.  In terms of weaving this craft, they use a pit loom to weave it and healds used in the same are two only and the extra weft technique is used to create their interesting motifs.

Adivasi academy is working to uplift several Adivasi crafts and revitalise them to escalate the reach of the craft.


History of Kasota:

Indus valley civilisation was a boon as traces of  Indian woven textiles have been found over there and people used homespun cotton for weaving their garments. The history of kasota weaving is purely associated with the usage of loin cloth. Every craft has its history in terms of when, how and where it started and in terms of kasota weavers are weaving this fabric for 90 years and there is one old weaver named lalubhai vankar living in the chhota udepur region. Initially, history states that the people of chhota udepur were purely depended on kasota weaving because they were having neither land nor property in their hands. Fabric is usually sold in haats and in death rituals, this fabric holds more importance. Vankar and the rathwa community (tribes) are doing justice in taking this craft to another level.

Dr Madan Meena said that Kasota lost its importance as it is no more worn as loin cloth by tribal communities in that region. Somehow over the years, weavers also believe that western influence made this craft immodest to wear.

Adivasi academy was a blessing for this craft as they helped this craft to flourish in every possible way. Kandora was the thread tied around the waist to wear loincloth and weavers not only mastered the art of weaving but dori making art was also equally entertaining.

Raw Material:

They use cotton yarns of 2/20’s,  2/10’s, 2/20’s,2/30’s,2/40’s, 2/60’s, and 2/80’s count and in one project of MSU (The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara), They used Warp single yarn 30’s and Weft single 27’s and 28’s count yarn to create their products.

Natural dyes are very important for kasota dyeing as they use natural dyes to dye the same such as indigo, manjishta etc.



In terms of motifs, bhamra is the only traditional motif that they are using for ages.

Geometrical motifs are usually woven but due to limitations there are few motifs which are not easier to weave and

Stripes and variation in stripes are very important features of kasota fabric, warp colours are majorly kept white and weft insertion plays a major role as far as the extra weft technique is concerned.

Different types of checks are also used nowadays and variation in the same is also coming as far as contemporisation is concerned.



Usually, bright colours are used such as green, yellow, red, and orange and the base colour is taken as white most of the time. Tint and shades are also used of colours to achieve different effects.



The process entails different steps i.e. winding a warp according to the intended design, denting, drafting and then weaving.

Winding is a process where hanks are converted into bundles, it is done on a charkha. After that warps are arranged on a warping frame using vertical sticks which are kept apart in four directions according to the size of the warp, then one person has to walk around the four sticks so that the desired warping can be done. It is then transferred to the weaver who separates it into two layers with a bamboo shed pole, heald stick, lease stick, and wooden rods, each serving different functions. As the loom setup is done manually, denting is done where threads are passed through the Heald eyes which are also made from knotting the threads in a U structure, while denting threads one has to be very cautious because due to extra tension thread can break easily. After denting drafting is done. Once the loom is set, the artisan according to the paper design starts weaving.



Originally the width of the fabric is  17 inches, only two heads can be used to create the fabric on a pit loom.

selvedge: ¼ inch of space is there for selvedge, fraying in fabric was the main issue,  Rather than using regular stitch we have to use cross stitch to make the products as far as the stitch line is concerned.



The pit loom is set by sinking four posters into the ground and with an overhang slay. In the case of a pit loom, the yarn work inside the pit so that the warp yarn may absorb moisture and better weaving will result. In this loom, the combination of slaying and shuttle boxes.

The loin loom or the back strap loom is an ingeniously simple device. Most of the parts are made from bamboo and wood. It is called loin loom or back strap loom because the warp yarns are stretched between two parallel bamboos, and the bamboo at one end is fixed to a wooden stick or branch driven into the ground.



There were only three weavers who were practising this craft, one practising for eight years and another practising from 40 to 45 years. One was from a village name Dhandoda which is located at a distance of 5 km from Chhota Udepur city and the other is Vasedi which was 10 km away from Chhota Udepur city.

The weavers followed their traditional practice of weaving in their homes and cloth made was sold in weekly Haat every Saturday to the Rathwa tribesmen.

Weavers lived with their extended families. The products were made by Vankar samaj and worn by Rathwa tribes only.

Since only two surviving weavers were engaged in this craft, a case study was done to understand the present status of the tribal cloth weavers and the product itself.



In terms of products, loin cloth was the only application of fabric. At the same time, innovations and diversifications are coming so cushion covers, folders, handbags and curtains are also being created.







  2.  Bhatia Reena PhD. Pawar Pooja. 2016. Revitalization of the Handloom Heritage of

Author- Aniket Khapekar & Jatin Gera

Chhota Udepur, Gujarat, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara

Keywords: bhamra, kandora, pit loom, rathwas

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