The sizing is done immediately after the warping where the warp is removed along with lease braided into a ball form that will be easy to unbraid while sizing.
The warp rolled is stretched between two rollers that are tied by means of ropes to a pair of stands known as ‘ gurram”. The lease rods are inserted to every lease which divided the warp sheet in two layers. The warp is stretched tight between the stands to enable the application of size.
Two in front spray the size and the next two people run a brush which is more than the width of the warp from one end to another. This help in uniform spreading of sizing solution on the warp and keeps the protruding fibers get bind over the core of yarn.
The sizer carry the brush all the way back to the starting point to again brush the warp. At this stage the required amount of softeners (coconut oil) are applied on the bristles of the brush and then brushing is done on the warp to separate warp sized ends without much rupture. The protruding fibers are combed in a direction with starch resulting in good feel of the fabric woven.
The brushing is done only in one direction. The warp sheet is reversed or t brushing is done from the bottom side of the warp to make sure the size is applied evenly to the yarn. The same process is continued for two or three times to allow the yarn absorb sufficient starch evenly and attain more strength.
The weavers beat the sized warp with bamboo stick and all the leases are opened from one end to the other on the stretched warp to separate stuck sized yarn.
The broken ends in the warp are knotted together.
These days as there is a place constraint to do the process, the warping is done for 24 yards doubling the no. of ends. Counting every alternative two threads a different lease is made to unfold the same warp in to 48 yards.
The weavers carefully take out the wooden sticks and replace the lease with threads. Starting from one end the separated top layer is winded on to the warping beam. Slowly they will wind the top layer of 24 yards with thread lease with proper tension and see that there are no loose ends.
The weavers will take over the left over lease and separate threads by hand to open the top layer fully which will be the continuation of the other layer.
The other layer is wind tight on the warping beam as a continuation of the first layer keeping thread lease intact. Now the sized warp is ready to take it to the next stage of the weaving process.
Sizing in Muramanda village
Special technique practiced by weavers over a period of time
Muramanda Weavers Co-operative Society is one of the very oldest societies of Andhra Pradesh who weave with singles finer count mostly 80’s and 100’s. There are many other societies where they weave with 80’s count, but there is a drastic difference in quality to what these weavers make in terms of feel and fall. The difference is mainly because of the sizing process what the weavers do before the weavers take it on to the loom. They add a pre-sizing process to the usual street sizing which is followed in any other areas. After boiling the yarn the weavers the lot is soaked in rice starch solution overnight. Next morning the yarn is taken out laid down one after the other and thoroughly paddled by legs.
The yarn is squeezed and further soaked in the sized bath overnight. Next day morning the yarn is taken out and paddled by legs as he did the previous day. The same process is followed for few more days that allow size to get into the amorphous region of the yarn. Finally the yarn is dried and taken to warping beam to prepare a warp. After the warp is prepared the length is stretched on the street for further sizing and brushing. The quality of yarn after the process is very superior to the yarn which only undergoes street sizing process.
The recipe of street sizing is rice starch. The starch is diluted with water and 40 ml of coconut oil is added to make the size bath. In winters they even add little bit of sabudana boiled mix to the size solution.
Old methods of street sizing
Ways of applying size to the singles warp stretched
Method 1: One person in the front takes the size bath into his mouth and spews it on the stretched warp. Two others will follow him with a brush combing the yarn in one direction to spread the spewed size solution evenly on to the stretched warp ends. Once they finish the full length of the warp, the same is turned around and the process is repeated starting from the same warp end.
Method 2: A fine muslin cloth is dipped in the sized solution and that wet fabric is wiped on the stretched warp to spread size by two people holding two ends on either side. Another person behind will brush the warp evenly and make sure the size will apply on to each and every end. The warp is left to dry and winded onto the warping beam further to do the piecing.