There are at least six varieties of Bengal handlooms, each deriving its name from the village in which it originated, and each with its own distinctive style. The undisputed queen of the range, however, is the fabled Jamdani, which in all its myriad local avtars continues to retain its original grandeur and sophistication. The original version is referred to as Daccai Jamdani. Jamdani is a hand loom woven fabric made of cotton, which historically was referred to as muslin.
- In Bangladesh, weavers use fine Egyptian cotton, while the Indian weavers use only indigenous raw material.
- The single warp is usually ornamented with two extra weft followed by ground weft. The original saree is almost invariably on a beige background, but new designs are more adventorous. The gossamer thin black Jamdani with its splash of multi-colored linear or floral motifs sprinkled generously all over the body and border and crowned with an exquisitely designed elaborate pallu is a feast for the eyes.
- The Dhakai Jamdani is 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.