Weaving is acknowledged as one of the oldest surviving crafts in the world. The tradition of weaving traces back to Neolithic times – approximately 12,000 years ago. This is the process of interlacing two or more yarns at right angles to each other to produce the woven fabric. The yarns which run lengthwise are called warp (end), while the cross yarns running at right angles to the warp are called filling or weft (pick). Warp and weft yarns, threads per unit length, selvedge, face and back, and top and bottom are features commonly found in all woven fabrics.
The machine used for weaving is called a loom. The basic purpose of any loom is to hold the warp threads under tension to facilitate the interweaving of the weft threads. The precise shape of the loom and its mechanics may vary, but the basic function is the same. The basic operations of a loom include shedding, picking, beating-up, warp let-off, and cloth take-up motions.
The way the warp and filling threads interlace with each other is called the weave. The majority of woven products are created with one of three basic weaves: plain weave, satin weave, or twill. Woven cloth can be plain (in one color or a simple pattern), or can be woven in decorative or artistic design.
Woven fabrics are generally more durable. They can be easily cut into different shapes and are excellent for producing styles in garments. However, the raw edges ravel or fray easily and need to be protected. Fabrics having more fabric count (number of wrap and weft yearns present) keep the shape well. Low count fabrics are less durable and may snag or stretch.
The actual weaving process is preceded by yarn preparation processes namely winding, warping, sizing, drawing and denting. Winding converts the smaller ring frame packages to bigger cheeses and cones while removing objectionable yarn faults. Pirn winding is performed to supply the weft yarns in shuttle looms. Warping is done with the objective to prepare a warper’s beam which contains a large number of parallel ends in a double flanged beam. Sizing is the process of applying a protective coating on the warp yarns so that they can withstand repeated stresses, strains and flexing during the weaving process. Finally, the fabric is manufactured on looms that perform several operations at proper sequence so that there is interlacement between warp and weft yarns and continuous fabric production.
Weaving industries in Andhra Pradesh
Indian weaving industry has conventionally been one of the most promising sectors of huge employment. In fact, after agriculture, this industry is the largest provider of the workforce. The abundance in the raw materials, the continuous supply of cheap workforce is the contributing factors behind the success of the weaving industry of India. However, the liberalization of international trade coupled with a change in the reforms of the domestic economy affected the weaving industry of India negatively.
The manufacturing of weaving products makes a remarkable contribution to the national GDP and even in the export revenue. As per studies, it has been found out that the weaving industry provides employment to approximately 12.5 million people, thereby, making this industry the largest provider of rural workforce. It is preceded by the agriculture sector. Over 38,00,000 weaving industries have been built throughout the country, and more than 15,00,000 domestic weaving industries have been set up in the North and Eastern parts of the country. On the other hand, the southern States also have their huge share of weaving industries.