The Mystic World of Bengal Handloom Sarees

With the festive season just around the corner, women across the country have already started planning and preparing for celebrations. From Janmashtmi to Navratri to Dussera, Diwali, Christmas up to new year, the next couple of months are full of social gatherings, family time, food and awesome dressing.

Dressing up reminds us of the most loved ethnic wear for Indian women – the saree! India is a cradle of many varieties of sarees and saree plays an important role on every occasion in this beautiful land.From the multitude of fabrics and techniques that make up this draping marvel, there is one that surely stands out and has made a mark globally. It is the Bengal Handloom Sarees.Bengal handloom take a prominent position in world of traditional attire and is one of those which bears a rich history. As time evolved these handlooms have developed a wide variety within itself. Some of the collection of Bengal handlooms include Tant, Baluchari, Muslin, Jamdani, Garad, Korial, and Tangail. Most of them incur their names from the village in which they are weaved.

Baluchari is the most popular amongst Bengal handlooms. History says it was been prominent since the Mughal reign. Recently it has been awarded as geographical indication of India, and in Bengal it marks a class of aristocracy.They are mostly made out of cotton or baluchari silk. Stories from mythological and cultural epicsare intricately adorned with red motifs on to the borders and pallus of the sarees.

Tant is also said to have gained popularity from the time of Mughals. They are made from cotton thread and have a distinguishing feature of being light and somewhat transparent.Typical Tantsaris have the red and white combination with white or off-white base and red border, and small red motifs strewn across the body.Those withcolorful design and borders are made thicker because it is subjected to tear easily.The modern Tant saris have various patterns on them and also depict modern art.

Jamdanihas been declared by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage of humanity. It is made out of a painstaking methodology and hence it is the one of the expensive collections of handlooms afforded only by the higher strata.Jamdani patterns mostly include geometric and floral designswhich is said to have developed thousands of years ago.

Garad or Garod sarees have a sacred importance amongst Bengal sarees and is mostly worn for religious and sacred occasions. These types of sarees are woven out of mulberry silks or tussar and not dyed to retain its purity.

Korialsarees are gorgeous version of simple garad sarees. They are very light weighted kind of silk sarees, and its texture resembles that of a tissue paper.

Tangailare famous with itstiny repeated motifs. However,in modern days, the weavers don’t reallystick to the original traditional pattern.

Tussar: A tussar silk saree has a natural, pale golden sheen. When undyed, these sarees come in shades of beige, cream, honey or tawny and thus are often dyed to take up more vibrant colours.

Bengal sarees are popular due to its wide variety as well as their intricate and aesthetic designs. They are considered to be a blend of technology and creativity.Bengal handlooms have survived through thousands of years and are still famous not only nation-wide but internationally with its unique blend of colors, textures and class. They indicate a timeless legacy of cultural heritage that India is proud to showcase on the global canvas.