Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Photograph of a gold puggree border weaver at work in India, taken by Shivashankar Narayan in c. 1873
This image shows a craftsman weaving the border of a puggree, an expensive turban, made of gold thread; thread which has been mixed with gold wire made from gold leaf melted onto silver bars and forced through small holes in a steel plate to form very fine gauge wires. Metal threads from India were considered less likely to tarnish than products from other sources. The pulleys of the narrow loom pictured are affixed to the wall opposite the weaver and also to the ceiling of the small workshop and there appear to be regimental badges attached to the wall. After photography was introduced into India in the 1840s it rapidly grew in popularity, particularly as a means to record the vast diversity of people and their dress, manners, trades, customs and religions.