Kolkata and saree are very closely linked from the beginning. Most of the people of our country while being on a visit to Kolkata do not go back home without buying handloom sarees of Kolkata. A Bengali woman looks simply gorgeous when she gets attired in a saree of Kolkata. If we look behind into the history of the textile industry of India we get to know that the Bengal handloom is the most ancient one in our country. Which is accepted by women who know the fashion and have an aesthetic sense deeply rooted in their minds.
There are so many variations of Kolkata handloom sarees, which is a long story. One of the most well-known handloom saree is named Tant. Tant, Jamdani, Baluchari, and Kantha these sarees are widely famous in WestBengal with some specific designs with floral motifs, elaborate meenakari work, and decorative broad borders.
Tant saree of Kolkata contributes a lot to the textile industry of West Bengal. When we think of Kolkata’s sarees, the Tant saree is the first name that comes to mind. It is a basic cotton saree that is stiffly starched. This saree is absolutely weather friendly and very light in weight and absolute comfort. This is Bengalis’ perfect attire for Durga Puja and other festivals. Tant saree is basically produced at Murshidabad, Hooghly, Nadia, and Dhaka, Tangail in Bangladesh. The light airy texture of this fabric makes them especially suited for the warm and humid summer days of this region. The first record of Tant saree weaving in Bengal can be traced back to the 15th century in the Shantipur district. Tant saree is woven from cotton threads and is known for its lightness and transparency. It can be considered the most comfortable saree for the hot climate in the Indian subcontinent.
Garad Saree usually comes in eye-catching red and white or off-white color combinations. They are often called the famous Lal-Par saree due to the staple color combination of red and white. The combination of red on white is considered very auspicious by every Bengali woman. The saree’s white color stands for purity while red is symbolizing her fertility. These sarees are made in the Murshidabad district and they are often worn by Bengali women during Durga Puja and other traditional days.
Jamdani Saree is characterized by intricately designed floral motifs on an almost transparent ultra-fine fabric. Jamdani sarees are considered to be one of the finest muslin textiles of West Bengal. Muslin cloth the fabric has a mix of cotton and gold threads weaved in it. With its roots rooted in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. These Jamdani sarees are also popularly known as Dhakai Jamdani as well. The first mention of these jamdani sarees can be noted back in Kautilya’s Arthashastra. The word jamdani has derived from two Persian words one is jam and the other is Dani which means flower and vase respectively. Weaving Jamdani fabric is considered one of the most time-consuming and labor-intensive processes of making. Just like Tant, floral motifs are common in these sarees while some sarees have beautiful meenakari work and broad borders on it.
Tussar Silk Saree is commonly available in different parts of eastern India but the majority of Tussar silk is produced in West Bengals Malda district. Often known as wild silk, it is obtained from the wide-winged insect named moth that is yellowish brown in color. This textured fabric is quite porous so it is cooler and wearable in warmer areas. Not much is known about the history of this fabric Tussar silk but it is believed to have its origin around medieval times. You can choose from a wide range of Tussar silk sarees in the Kolkata marketplace, generally manually woven and embroidered. Available in various colors and patterns.
Baluchari saree with its origin in West Bengal, the saree is widely popular in India and Bangladesh. It is well known for its portrait of mythological stories on the pallu primarily. Originally made in Murshidabad, The name Baluchari came because the weaving of these sarees started in a small village called Baluchar around 500 years ago. Baluchari sarees are presently woven in Bishnupur too. These sarees were traditionally woven in a small village. In the 18th century, the weaving of Baluchari was maintained by the then ruler of Bengal, Nawab Murshid Kuli Khan. While these sarees are known for their portraits of mythological stories. During British rule, the designs showcase scenes from the lives of Mughal kings and the Europeans. Women smoking hookah is also found in these designs. Nowadays the artisans use stories from two great Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. What is extensively used. Baluchari sarees are often worn during festivals or any special occasion.
Kantha saree One of the oldest forms of Indian embroidery is the Kantha stitch embroidered saree originated in West Bengal. Traditionally used in bedspread making. But later the embroidery was made into sarees and then gradually captured the whole world of fashion. At present time Kantha stitch sarees are one of the most popular sarees in West Bengal Kolkata. The main reason behind the Kantha stitch was to reuse old materials and convert them into something new and useful. Extensively done by rural women mostly. Kantha embroidery was done with a simple running stitch on the edges of sarees. It is also used for making cushions, blankets, bedspreads, quilts, etc. But now Kantha stitch is much more complex and detailed than before. Weaving a Kantha saree is quite a slavery as it involves such intricate works on it. Kantha stitch saree is something must-buy while shopping for sarees in Kolkata.
Often known as a paradise for saree lovers, Kolkata is known for the quality and originality of its amazing collections of sarees. While we at Sonajuri Arts are pretty unique in our own way of designing sarees, Our rural artisans are working hard to satisfy you with their intricate work. For a better experience, you should be particular about the choices you make based on your budget. Start your saree shopping now ladies and have a raring Puja.