Mask of Vaikuntha Vishnu, late 5th century. Learn more about 5th century masks
Skilled artisan involved in the process of making Benarasi brocade textiles, who punch holes in a card corresponding to a design. They transfer intricate textile patterns drawn on graph paper by the naqshaband (pattern-maker) onto cardboard panels, with each row corresponding to a row of the design. The cards need to be meticulously punched to avoid flaws in the textile design. Once completed, the cards are tied together and loaded onto the jacquard attachment, which controls the warp threads in a manner similar to the jala. An average saree requires up to two thousand cards, and the number increases exponentially for more complex designs.