Come summer and women in India prefer the light, airy, breathing and comfortable cotton sarees as all-day wear. Cotton has always been cooling for the skin because of its absorbing qualities and is a boon for hot climes.
One such cotton handloom variety is the Bengal offering – the Tant saree. Traditional in style but modern in outlook, the Tant saree once restricted only to the women of Bengal, is popular across the nation.
The Tant Handloom is woven from cotton threads and known for its transparency and lightness. Motifs of flowers, the sun, and modern art depictions generally adorn the Tant Saree. The borders of the fabric are thicker than normal since the fineness of the weave make the ends prone to tearing.
The Unnati Tant collection of ethnic weaves includes the traditional Tant Jamdhani Saree, the Assam, Meghalaya and Nagaland Cotton Tants. Superior quality cotton, soft fluffy and light in weight, these Tants include self-colour patterns, light motifs, with beautiful zari borders that are attractive both in price and looks. The Jamdhani in particular is a patent feature of Bengal sarees and the Tant saree exploits its intricate weaving fully. Plain to lightly adorned fabrics in light hues and vibrant colours, the exclusive appeal of the Jamdhani patterns comes to the fore in attractive bootis and mesmerizing single to multi coloured wide borders.
It is common knowledge that the chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee wears a Tant saree, from Dhaniakhali. A 6 metre long white cotton fabric instead of the conventional 5.5 metre saree, it has a wide border between 1.5 and 2.0 inches in colours of green, blue, grey and black. The Saree has a mean count of 100 (No. of threads per square inch of warp and weft).
Additions of hand painting and appliqué work enhance the price of the saree slightly. The chief minister’s slogan Ma, Mati, Manush (Mother, Earth, Man) finds its way on these sarees to make them popular.
There are delightful trending Tant Saree avatars from Unnati that have enraptured the Market.
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There are plain body sarees with dots and motifs with zari worked borders and pallu. There are other versions having checks on the body and zari naksi border or checks with zari woven lines with a broad zari border.
What once used to be a plain body saree with large borders and slightly adorned pallus, has now become a stylish fashion statement in its new designer versions.