1. Baluchari Saris:

Also called the silks of Bengal, Baluchari saris are product of exquisite design and fabulous weaving technique, produced in the town of Baluchar in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. The field of the sari is embellished with small butis whereas the borders are generally wide designed with repeat motifs from the pallu or beautiful floral designs. The end-piece of the sari is the main attraction as it manifests narrative folktales viz. woman riding a horse, pleasure boat with two lovebirds on top, traditional muslim court scenes, women smoking hookah, mythical scenes from the legendary Ramayana and Mahabharata or sculptures made on historical temples.

 

Sometimes the sari has large flowing kalka motifs in the centre surrounded by narrow ornamental borders. These are framed by a series of figural motifs worked in rows. The motifs are entirely in silver zari against dark coloured backgrounds of red, yellow, green, purple, chocolate, cream, white and blue colour. The Baluchari saris are often reckoned with the patterning of sun, moon, stars, mythical scenes and motifs of natural objects with repeating pictorial themes in the border of the sari.

Belongs to – Baluchar, West Bengal

2. Bomkai Saris:

 

The traditional Oriya Bomkai saris feature threadwork ornament borders and pallu. They were originally woven in heavy, often coarse, low-count cotton and were always dyed in bright colours, usually with black, red or white grounds. The patterns created on Bomkai saris have names such as rukha (pestle, stick), dombaru (small hourglass-shaped drum), kanthi phoola (small flower), karela(bitter gourd), peacock and fish (symbolizes prosperity and good health). The supplementary bands in the pallu are not woven in progressive order from large to small, or vice versa, but are woven according to the choice of the weaver. Yet despite all the work in the end-piece, it is the supplementary-warp patterns of the borders that give these saris their names. A broad band of supplementary-warp pattern called the mitkta panji forming a latticework of small diamond shapes is the characteristic design feature found in these saris.

Nowadays, the saris are woven in both cotton and silk with brilliantly created angular discontinuous supplementary-weft patterns woven in the end-piece in contrasting colours.

Belongs to – Southern Orissa

3. Jamdani Saris:

Jamdani refers to an ancient fine cotton fabric of Bengali origin called muslin woven with floral or geometric designs. Traditionally woven around Dhaka and created on the loom brocade, Jamdani is fabulously rich in motifs. Jamdani uniquely features geometric design patterns along with plant and floral designs which are said to originate in Persian and Mughal fusion thousands of years ago. According to the design patterns, Jamdanis have been named differently as panna hajardubli lalabutidar (with small flowers spread all over the sari field), tersa (small flowers arranged in reclined position), jalar naksha (creeper leaves covering the entire sari field), fulwar (flowers arranged in rows covering the entire sari field), duria (spot design all over the field), charkonabelwari (with colorful golden borders used to be made during the Mughal period, especially for the women of the inner court), etc.

Present-day Jamdani saris have motifs of rose, Jasmine, lotus, bunches of bananas, ginger and sago on their field. There can also be designs with peacocks and leaves of creepers.

The fineness and quality of Jamdani sari depends usually on the art of making yarns. For quality Jamdani they used yarn of 200 to 250 counts. Jamdani designs are made while the fabric is still on the loom. Coarse yarns are used for designs to make the motifs rise above the fabric.

Various types of Jamdani Saris are:

a)      Daccai Jamdani

These saris are very fine textured just resembling muslin. The workmanship employed to these saris is very elaborate where the single warp is usually ornamented with two extra weft followed by ground weft. They have multicolored linear or floral motifs all over the body and border and have an exquisitely designed elaborate pallu. The mango motif signifying fertility, growth, and marital bliss is a very popular design in Daccai Jamdani saris. They are woven painstakingly by hand on the old fashioned Jala loom, and many take even up to one year to weave a single sari. It feels supple to the touch and drapes gently to reveal the contours of the wearer.

b)      Tangail Jamdani

These saris feature highly stylized jamdani motifs on tangail fabrics (fine textured fabric with 100s count). The traditional tangail borders had a paddo (lotus pattern), pradeep (lamp pattern) apart from the popular aansh paar which was common to Shantipur. From the use of a single colour on the border, they began to use 2 to 3 colours to give it a meenakari effect.

c)      Shantipur Jamdani

They characterize powder fine texture of the sari and are much similar to tangail jamdnais.

d)      Dhaniakhali Jamdani

These jamdanis have tighter weave as compared to tangail and shantipur jamdanis. Dhaniakhali Jamdani saris are known for their stripes and checks and are woven in bold colours with contrasting borders.

Belongs to – West Bengal

4. Muga Saris:

 

These are the most durable silk saris from Assam woven out of Muga silk variety available only in Assam. Muga silk sari is known for its natural shimmering golden colour which requires no dyes. The sari field and borders are embellished with traditional motifs and butis like symbols of human figure, creepers, flowers, birds, channels, cross borders, galaxies and ornamental designs. The pallu of the sari is often woven with sun-tree motif to add an extra charm.

The motifs and designs are woven in traditional colours like red, green and black which provide a dramatic effect against the golden colour of the Muga fabric. The weavers nowadays are also using colours like yellow, green, blue, beige, silver, coppery pink, brown etc.

These hand woven heavy gold silk saris with motifs stand out in a three-dimensional effect which give an exclusive and attractive look.

Belongs to – Assam

5. Pat Saris:

Another variety of silk sari available only in Assam much similar to Muga sari. Unlike Muga silk, the pat silk sari has a typical cream and white sheen and can also be bleached and dyed, we get Pat saris in different vibrant colours. Though the traditional colour is white which indicates purity. Various motifs, butis are knitted or woven on the sari field and its border. The motifs used in pat saris are mostly traditional motifs including butis, motifs of animals, human figures, creepers, flowers, birds, channels, cross borders and other ornamental designs. The traditional wedding attire mekhala chaddar (traditional two piece dress) is created with intricate gold and silver embroidery on the Pat silk and the entire field of the body is done with muga silk or gold and silver wire called guna.

 

Belongs to – Assam

6. Sambalpuri Saris:

Sambalpuri saris are handloom saris woven coarsely out of silk or cotton in Sambalpur, Orissa. These saris have their original style of crafts known as Baandha which refers to the technique of tying and dyeing of yarns to obtain a fixed design pattern. The design is conceptualized and then the yarns are finely tied according to the desired patterns to prevent absorption of dyes, and then dyed. The yarns or set of yarns so produced is called Baandha. The unique feature of this form of designing is that the designs get reflected almost identically on both side of the fabric.

These saris have wide borders with many bands of supplementary figuring and very long end pieces. Sometimes sari borders consist of supplementary-warp bands woven 2.5 to 5 centimetres wide in repetitive geometric patterns, usually with a small diamond-shaped design.

Various motifs are used to create unique design on the saris against effulgent coloured backgrounds. Some of them are kumbhamatcha (fish), kechbu (turtle),phula (flower) and conch shell motifs are woven into the fabric. Sometimes floral and animal motifs are also used to decorate the borders and pallu. Geometric patterns are less common. The das phooliasari, which means with ten flowers have been praised for the intricacy of work.

 

Nowadays keeping the demand in mind new design patterns have also been introduced viz. portrait, landscape prints of women, human being, flower pods and various animals like deer, elephant, swan, lion, creepers, and peacock. Silk Sambalpuri saris from Orissa are also available in single and doubleikat effect. In contrast to the ikats/patolas of Gujarat these saris have fine texture, flannelly touch, are densely woven, sober in colour and decorated with curved forms, which is peculiar to Orissa ikats.

Few variations of Sambalpuri saris are also seen which include Sonepuri, Pasapali, Bomkai, Barpali, Bapta saris which have substantial demand these days. Most of them have been named after the places of their origin, and are popularly known as Pata.

Belongs to – Sambalpur, West Orissa

6. Gorad Saris:

These are the traditional puja saris of Bengal which features white undyed fields and simply coloured borders.

Belongs to – West Bengal

7. Embroidered Kantha Saris:

 

The Kantha embroidery work on saris is very famous from eastern region of India. It shows the folk expression of the art from West Bengal. Kantha refers to the application of simple running stitch covering the entire surface. Traditionally this type of stitching was used to make simple quilts, blankets, and throws from old saris. Few old saris were paired together and they would be sewn together using the kanthaembroidery stitch, a simple, creative, and economic way to make something useful and beautiful. The threads used for embroidery were usually drawn from the colorful borders of the discarded saris.

Kantha is done in contrasting colours on natural coloured background of tussar or mulberry silk saris. The stitches used in kantha embroidery are running, darning, satin and loop. Stem stitch is also used to outline the figures. The motifs used depict human figures, animals, birds, fish, kalkamandala, foliage, tree of life, lotus (usually in the center), lively folk-art designs, and geometrical shapes. Sometimes themes are also taken from the day to day lives. The design motifs are first outlined with needle and thread followed by focal points and then the filled with the colourful running stich. Kantha gives a slight wrinkled, wavy effect to the surface on which it is done which is a typical feature associated with this embroidery.

Belongs to – West Bengal

8. Bengali Tant Saris:

 

These saris are typical handloomed saris from Bengal famous for their crisp and transparent muslin like finish that is favourable for summer wear. Tant saris feature broad silk-embroidered borders palluembellished with delicate embroidery. Tant saris are available in a wide range of varied colors. The lightness of the body cloth combined with wide and borders and elaborate pallus with supplementary threadwork give the sari its unique evenness of drape.

Belongs to – West Bengal

9.Murshidabad Printed Silk Saris:

 

These are machine loomed Bengali silk, which has a china silk like finish but is more textured. The cloth is fine gauge and lustrous, often printed with delicate Bengali tribal style prints or classic Kashmiri inspired designs.

Belongs to – West Bengal

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