This stunningly beautiful fabric is characterized by its heavy gold work, compact weaving, figures with small details and metallic visual effect. Generally, silk, cotton, wool, satin and metallic threads are used in Brocade weaving - one of the finest weaving techniques hailing from the oldest living city of the world - Benaras. The craft entails weaving of patterns by thrusting the pattern thread between the warp. Depending on the fabric and thread required, special threads are transfixed in between skipping the passage of the regular weft over a certain number of warp threads depending upon the pattern. Brocade weaving fabric is also referred to as embroidering on the loom, where extra threads are woven into the base structure to make patterns. Favoured and exclusively woven for royalty during the Mughal period, brocade weaving only began in Benaras around the 17th century, prior to which Benares was renowned as a cotton weaving centre. Brocade weavers originally arrived from Persia via Gujrat and settled in Benaras. The industry witnessed a major shift in its traditional weaving techniques when weavers shifted from manually operated pit looms to the modern jacquard, invented by Joseph Marie Jacquard. Modern day Brocade weaving entails tracing designs onto a graph paper and then onto punching cards. Brocade fabric has many parallels in other regions of the country ranging from exclusive Jamdani cotton weaving from Bengal, the muga silk mekhalas from Assam, Kanchipuram Silks and Kutch woollen weaves, each with its own unique characteristics and identity.