WEAVER'S WORLD / KOLKATA / TEXTILES -2
Baluchari silks are able to withstand even rough washes without loss of color.
The scheme of a Baluchari saree generally has no scope for metallic threads, the ground is generally dark with pictorial designs generally woven with light colored silk threads like cream so that the effect would be old gold, white, yellow ochre etc. The USP of the Baluchari is that despite the richness in patterns the color harmony affords no scope for monotony or strong contrast. The concentration of the Baluchari is on the 14 to 32 inch pallu or end piece and the change from flora and fauna to human figures has revolutionized the Baluchari saree into a piece of art and narrative. Bishnupur in Bankura district, is another hub that is also involved in the weaving of the Baluchari silk saree though the designs that have come to be chosen there are from the sculpture found in the Ajanta Ellora caves and there is much use of jacquard designs.
Shantipur is traditionally known for its fine muslins with an introduction of the Jamdhani as well. Shantipur muslins today have borders that are dyed cotton silk, viscose yarns, art silk, and even gold and silver zari. The ground of the saree at times has fine and delicate checks, stripes or a texture created by colored threads.
The Tangail sarees of Phulia with a lot of color and exotic geometrical designs are mostly centred around Phulia. But compared to the Jamdani, Tangail sarees have lesser designs on the pallu.
Dhaniakhali Saree is a cotton saree made in Dhaniakhali, West Bengal, India. It is a saree with 100 by 100 cotton thread count, borders between 1.5 and 2 inches and six metre long drape.
These popular varieties and other handloom versions make the Bengal traditional sarees a leading attraction in Indian textiles. No wonder Kolkata has with its proximity become a marketing hub for these exceptional handloom sarees.