The growth of textile arts through the centuries in this area was influenced by the ease of access to raw material, the quality of the land, its climate, the available skills, the inherent sense of aesthetics and appreciation of beauty, a predilection for colour and the prevailing beliefs and customs. While today the Pakistani weaver's ability to adapt their traditional skills to the demands and tastes of contemporary society has stood the test of time and resulted in a new vibrancy and energy in the sector.
There is evidence to believe that in the 16th - 18th centuries a sizeable textile production emerged from Lahore, Thatta, Lahari Bunder, Sehwan and Karachi which were counted among the large industrial and commercial centres in the subcontinent. The artisans employed at the workshops in Lahore made a name for themselves with fine silks, brocades and velvets. Twenty varieties of woollen cloth were exported from Lahore to different parts of the subcontinent and abroad. For weaving shawls alone it is believed that there were over one thousand karkhanas.
Numerous references to weavers and weaving in classical Punjabi poetry also point to the place the craft held in village societies.
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