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YATRA West Bengal Tourism West Bengal Handlooms

West Bengal Handlooms

Artistic Weaving Printing & Painting
Silk Saree, West Bengal HandloomsSilks of Bengal were much acclaimed the world over, since ancient times. The most well-known Bengal Silk saree, which carry its legendary name, is the Baluchari saree - a product of exquisite design, and fabulous weaving technique. A revival in recent times of both the Baluchari and yet another outstanding, traditional Bengal Saree, the Daccai, has led to nationwide and worldwide popularity and renewal of interest in Bengal silks.

Like silk, cotton sarees are also woven in a fascinating and exquisite range. The Daccai ‘Jamdani’ is a fabric on which the designs are raised in inimitable style. The ‘Batik’ prints originating from Javanese wax-designing, revived in Santiniketan. Floral forms circular ‘kalka’ shapes, pyramidal and variations of geometric designs are typical. Handloom still remains the great employer in rural Bengal. Today hand-painted scrolls also silk-screened and printed are quite popular as wall hangings etc.

Shantipur in Nadia; Begumpur, Rajbalhat and Dhanekhali in Hooghly; Kenjekura in Bankura; Fulia, Guptipara and Samudragarh in Nadia and Burdwan - are the homes of these legendary weavers.

Needlework & Embroidery
Delicate silver needles, flashing fingers, moving dexterously on cloth - it’s a bewitching world. The ‘Kantha’ of Bengal, somewhat in the class of the English quilt, is an all-purpose wrap, superbly stitched together from pieces of garment: for use asWest Bengal Handlooms bedspreads (Sujni Kantha), mirror-wraps (Arsilata) and the like. Multiform designs fill every segment, pocket and compartment. They run along the borders, illuminating the edges. Except for the straight kantha stitch, it is customary to represent illustrations from well-known epics such as the Ramayana or Krishnalila, and also legends evolving from folk-rituals of Bengal (Vratas). The results are products of art-consciousness and creative aptitude in symbolic communication. Figures or complexly stitched and bespectacled with colour, the lotus as the central point in the kantha from which the design spreads - all are redolent with meaning.

Most importantly, the ‘kantha’ is a creation of the essential female - the mother, the wife, the sister and the loved one. It is her eye, her emotions, her skill that gives us this exotic example of needlework and embroidery rolled into one.

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