Baluchari Sarees, the pride of Bengal, are available in multiple colours and patterns. Thus, they can be used across multiple contexts and can be worn in a variety of occasions:
Bridal wear – The All-over Baluchari, which is the supreme form of the Baluchari saree can be a wonderful replacement for a Benarasi Saree. This is a kind of a Swarnachari saree (Baluchari sarees in which the motifs and pattern are woven with Zari), in which the entire body of the saree is woven with intricate patterns with different although matching patterns across the pleats and pallu complimented with matching patterns in blouse.
While it has the same level of intricacy in work across the length and breadth of the Saree, Allover work Baluchari Saree is many times lighter than a Benarasi Saree. Thus, one a dazzle during her most special day in life with a gorgeous piece of Swarnachari Saree with allover motif work. Available in a variety of colours although Red, Magenta and Blue are recommended colours for Bridal wear.
Attending Weddings – Draping a swarnachari or a minakari Baluchari Saree (Baluchari saree with motifs woven into contrasting coloured threads), can the surest head-turner. Especially the Baluchari sarees which are made with bi-coloured threads.
These not only look outstanding as a product, they are generally limited in supply. Think of answers for questions like “where did you find this” and then drape one of these.
Social occasions – Minakari Baluchari sarees made in mustard or rust-orange threads can be a great accompaniment for attending social gatherings such as Birthdays, House Parties etc. These colours are fairly universal and can fit into any occasion in day or night, look equally good even with minimal make-up, and can be worn by women across all age groups and complexions. These are some of the safest colours.
Office wear – Baluchari sarees are also available in which the Pallu work is slightly understated and made with single coloured threads. The motifs are at wider spaces and made with single coloured threads. For an understated elegance into meetings, gatherings and events which are slightly official in nature, Single thread coloured Baluchari sarees can be a great option. On the price front, these are a bit more pocket-friendly compared to its richer (art-wise) peers.
Comfort wear –Since Baluchari Silk sarees are quite comfortable to wear since they are handmade, there are Baluchari sarees which are made in cotton. Although the cotton baluchari sarees are quite comfortable to wear and priced reasonable compared with the silk counterparts, the artwork does not stand out in a cotton backdrop as beautifully as it does in silk.
As a traveler, I have been to lots of places including Varanasi, Surat and Kanchipuram. However, there is something magical about visiting Bisnupur, the hub for Baluchari Sarees. Bisnupur has been a cultural melting pot from the days of yore, a place where artisans converged and where encouraged to practice and exhibit their art and virtuosity in the art. While years and generations have gone by, there still are remnants of those art forms kept alive by truly passionate descendants. In and around Bisnupur, one would expect to see gorgeous terracotta temples, the famed terracotta horses, dokra art and the most beautiful of all, the Baluchari Sarees.
A few hours drive from Kolkata, you are in the enchanted world of narrow bylanes with colourful strands of silk strayed around and the air is filled with the mellifluous rhythm of the Handloom. Peeking from some of those workshops would be a sepia tinted old framed picture of an Indira Gandhi awarding one of the artisans. There is an old world charm about the Baluchari Sarees and the methods that are deployed in making one piece. If there is one weaving art and saree production method which has truly withstood the test of time and has emerged stronger than ever before, it is the Baluchari sarees.
Baluchari sarees, are handmade in every step of the process. The fabric itself, interlacing warp and wefts over Bangalore silk and locally made silk yarns extracted from cocoons is where the process starts to take shape. Nearby place of Sonamukhi is a huge support system in terms of providing handmade silk not only for Bisnupur but also in Bolpur, where the popular Kantha Stitch Sarees are made. These silk is hand-dyed into a variety of colours and shades. Seasoned eyes of the craftsman are aware of the proportion of dyes to be used to ensure final reproduction of a desired colour. With amazing regularity, they are able to produce 10 different shades of a Pink or Red.
The art of graphically depicting stories is most evident in Baluchari sarees. Stores and lores from Ramayana, Mahabharat, Shakuntalaetc find a gracious depiction through intricate weaving. These stories, manifested through motis and handiwork in Pallu are reproduced on card-boards. These card-boards are tied to an end of the Handloom to ensure reproduction of the graphic into fabric during the process of weaving and stiching of a Baluchari Saree.
Over days and weeks, the handmade silk is woven over a handloom to produce desired patterns over yards of hand-made and hand-dyed silk. Contrasting coloured threads and zari highlight the motif patterns which are interwoven into the fabric to further embellish the handiwork.
The result is a gorgeous piece of Baluchari saree with pure handmade silk in colours which are achieved through hand-dyes, with attractive motifs interspersed through the length of the Saree concluding with a grand graphic story telling in the Palla by a skilled weaver. Only a few wearable products compare with the radiance of a hand-made Baluchari saree. It is the crème de la crème amongst all the weaving art forms from Bengal and truly, can be termed as the Pride of Bengal.
“Draping the six yard in style has been the celebrated glory for most women who are prone to wearing sarees to grace any occasion. In this blog, you will find the top 4 names of the sarees from Bengal that are popular and find a rich place in Indian culture and tradition.”
Bengal has always been the pioneer for ethnic outfits, and nothing flatters Bengali women more than the sarees. The Bengali community boasts about their music, food, football, travelogues and definitely the handloom sarees. It is widely assumed that Bengali woman in a saree and bindi is a soothing sight to behold!
A number of renowned sarees trace their origin at Bengal, be it Kolkata or the other districts and rural parts. Bengal has been the home to a variety of traditional sarees crafted with perfection by the rural weavers’ community, with hard work and dedication.
The authentic Bengali sarees are garnering a lot of attention all over India, and abroad these days for being so classy, elegant and simple. The top four authentic Bengali sarees are discussed below.
The Tussar sarees
The undyed and natural tussar silk sarees come in beige, cream, honey or tawny shades, and these traditional sarees originate from West Bengal. The natural sheen from golden color and high-quality texture make these sarees highly gorgeous and are produced from silkworms by the tribal communities of Bengal. India is the largest producer of tussar sarees in the world, and when dyed, they are available in a rich variety of colors. The decorative motifs embossed on these sarees with exquisite borders make them so trendy, but they are high maintenance and require utmost care to make them long lasting with freshness.
The baluchuri silk sarees
The baluchuri silk sarees trace back their origin in Bengal and their designs depict scenes from ancient epics, mythological events, and religious texts. Though mainly produced in Murshidabad, now Bishnupur and places near it have formed the central hub for their production. The exotic borders and elaborative floral and paisley patterns on the body and the pallu speak volumes about the excellence of craftsmanship of the weavers’ community of Bengal and are available in attractive hues and styles.
The Taant sarees
The cotton handloom sarees are better known as taant saree in Bengal and are crafted with the help of hand and leg operated tools and machines. Weaved by the artisans of rural Bengal, the taant sarees are made of soft and breathable handloom cotton that offers lightweight stance with an airy texture, perfect for summers. The relatively plain body, with a thick border and decorative pallu of taant sarees make them beautiful to look, and also comfortable to feel in. You can go for different prints, from feminine florals to animal patterns, paisley and much more.
The korial sarees
The grand and eloquent version of simple garad sarees is called the korial sarees, that form the quintessential closet staple for Bengali women. The rich silky texture of these sarees are quite sophisticated and come with white or off-white silk body and a colored border and pallu. Worn mainly during religious occasions, these sarees typically embody the white and red color combination, exuding different design patterns, ornamental and intricate motifs.
“Sarees shape a necessary piece of each Bengali lady’s closet and a standout amongst the most prevalent materials that gloat of a rich history and legacy is the Jamdani saree. Read on to know everything about the drape.”
When one considers Bengal, one of the principal things to fly up in our brain, directly after the fish and desserts, is its flourishing saree industry. Sarees shape a necessary piece of each Bengali lady’s closet and a standout amongst the most prevalent materials that gloat of a rich history and legacy is the Jamdani saree. Famously known as Dhakai Jamdani or essentially Dhakai, this specialty of material weaving has its underlying foundations in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Thought to be one of finest assortment of muslin that is handwoven from cotton, the craftsmanship thrived under the Mughal support. Indeed, even the name, Jamdani, is of Persian inception and originates from “stick” which means bloom and “dani” which means vase. The name is suggestive of the delightful botanical motifs on these sar
Beginning And History
The name Jamdani is of Persian beginning and is unequivocally suggestive of Mughal impact. It is a compound word wherein “stick” implies blossom and “dani” implies vase. The name is suggestive of the excellent botanical motifs that embellish these ravishing sarees. The Bengali form of the name, Dhakai, originates from the place of its beginning — Dhaka in Bangladesh. Strangely, the most punctual specify of Jamdani sarees can be found in Chanakya’s Arthashastra, going back to the third century BC! The book alludes to it as some fine material from “Bangla” and “Pundra” district. Critical notices of Jamdani can likewise be found in the book of Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, other than the records of Arab, Chinese and Italian voyagers and merchants. In the primary portion of the nineteenth century, James Taylor depicted the blossomed Jamdani.
Despite the fact that Jamdani has delighted in massive prominence ideal from the earliest starting point, the work of art blossomed amid the Mughal period. Nonetheless, colonization by the British saw a decrease in the creation of this texture. Fare of less expensive yarn from European nations in the nineteenth century was one of the essential explanations behind the decay of Jamdani. Likewise, with the decrease of Mughal govern in India, makers of Jamdani were denied of their most persuasive supporters. Towns like Madhurapur and Jangalbadi, once popular for the mind boggling Jamdani industry, blurred into insensibility. Post the parcel, numerous weavers relocated to display day West Bengal, and that denoted the start of the fine art in India.
The procedure is to a great degree tedious as it includes a repetitive type of hand approaching. The making of Jamdani includes the supplementary weft system alongside the standard weft procedure. With the last mentioned, the construct sheer material is made in light of which thicker strings on used to make outlines. Every one of the supplementary weft motif is then included physically by intertwining the weft strings with fine bamboo sticks utilizing singular spools. This procedure brings about the energetic examples that seem to glide on a sparkling surface, which is a component novel to Jamdani sarees.
Jamdani weaving is to some degree like woven artwork work, where little transports of shaded, gold or silver strings are gone through the weft. Today, notwithstanding, value requirements have constrained weavers to improve their outlines. The most surprising piece of this strategy is that the example isn’t portrayed or sketched out on the texture. Rather, it is drawn on a translucent diagram paper and set underneath the twist. The texture isn’t simply restricted to sarees; scarves, hankies and dupattas made out of this fine muslin are likewise to a great degree prevalent.
A standout amongst the most arduous types of handloom weaves, it’s nothing unexpected that it is thought to be a standout amongst the most prized textures on the planet. Jamdani weaving is tedious and work escalated as a result of the extravagance of its motifs, which are made specifically on the linger utilizing the spasmodic weft method. Strings of gold and silver are generally woven together with these sarees to make an assortment of examples and motifs on a brocade linger. It has the supplementary weft system alongside the standard weft method. The standard weft makes a fine, sheer texture while the supplementary weft with thicker strings adds the mind boggling examples to it. Every one of the supplementary weft motif is physically included by joining the weft strings with fine bamboo sticks utilizing singular spools. It gives a hallucination of the outlines drifting on a sparkling surface, a normal for Jamdani weaves.
In spite of the fact that initially made in a variation of differentiating splendid hues, numerous Jamdani sarees are presently hued, and even the creamer Jamdani assortment is greatly well known. The two current top choices in Jamdani saree are the self-shaded style where the work is in indistinguishable shading from the base texture and the creamer style where the inward and external parts of the saree are in integral hues. The plans and hues additionally changed with time. Initially, the motifs used to be made on dark texture. Later on, textures of different hues were likewise utilized. In the 1960s, Jamdani chip away at red texture turned out to be exceptionally famous.
The most surprising piece of about the Jamdani weaving strategy is that the motifs are not portrayed or sketched out on the texture. Rather, they are drawn on a translucent chart paper and put underneath the twist. In spite of the fact that Jamdani system is celebrated for sarees, it is likewise used to make scarves, cloths and dupattas. Mainstream motifs incorporate panna hajar (thousand emeralds), kalka (paisley), butidar (little blossoms), fulwar (blooms organized in straight lines), tersa (corner to corner designs), jalar (motifs equitably covering the whole saree), duria (polka spots) and charkona (rectangular motifs).
Assortments of Jamdani
A Jamdani saree can be sorted by the varieties that every locale offers. Dhakai Jamdani from Bangladesh is the first and the finest sarees with the most expand workmanship. One Dhakai Jamdani saree could take anyplace between nine months and a year to weave. The Tangail Jamdani is woven in the Tangail locale of Bangladesh. Generally, these Jamdani sarees have expansive outskirts including lotus, light and fish scale motifs.
The Shantipur Jamdani from Shantipur, West Bengal, is like Tangail Jamdanis. They have a fine surface and these sarees are regularly embellished with rich striped motifs. The Dhaniakhali form of Jamdani has a more tightly weave when contrasted with the Tangail and Shantipur assortments. These are set apart by striking hues and dull, differentiating outskirts. With its foundations in Bengal, most Jamdani sarees have motifs that are unpredictably connected with Bengali culture. Numerous a times the pallu tells a famous story or is a pictorial portrayal of straightforward town life.
Current Cutting Edge
In spite of all the in addition to focuses, the artistic expression has seen a decrease as the weavers don’t discover the calling as remunerating any longer. While trying to restore this workmanship, a Jamdani Palli has been built up close Dhaka. One of the finest and most costly materials to work with, originators see unlimited potential outcomes with this delightful weave and are taking an unmistakable fascination in it. Fashioner Gaurang Shah, one of the pioneers to have displayed the Jamdani weaves on the slope, has worked widely with this material and goes for resuscitating the adoration for this lovely texture in India, as well as everywhere throughout the world. He feels that Jamdani is the ideal articulation of India’s rich and nitty gritty legacy. His perplexing outlines are enlivened with cunning contacts of Dhakai work that have stolen the spotlight at numerous worldwide shows world over. He doesn’t name his work as he trusts that a definitive credit for every creation goes to the weavers.
Such is the appeal of this lovely weave, big names like Vidya Balan, Rani Mukherjee, Kajol, Asha Parekh, Aishwarya Rai and numerous others have been frequently spotted wearing this weave on different events. The most eminent appearance was be that as it may, made by Priyanka Chopra when she got the Padma Shri wearing a lime green Jamdani sari with unpredictable botanical plans.
The most straightforward of cotton Jamdani sarees start at around 2,500 INR attributable to the mind boggling process. The costs fluctuate contingent upon the utilization of silk string, the work, zari and multifaceted nature of the work. A marriage Jamdani can cost anyplace in the vicinity of 8000 and 10,000 INR or more.
Step by step instructions to recognize a Jamdani saree
Jamdani sarees are made of amazing cotton muslin, which is thin and delicate, making the saree light and vaporous.
Jamdani sarees are portrayed by eye-getting decorative motifs woven onto the texture. These unpredictable motifs in thicker string appear to glide on the surface of the ultra-fine texture.
Flower motifs are quite often display on Jamdani sarees. You’ll discover paisleys, jewel shapes and additionally lotus, light, angle and so on relying upon where the saree is produced.
A veritable Jamdani saree won’t cost under Rs.2500.
A definitive articulation of superbness and privileged, Jamdani isn’t known as the finest muslin for reasons unknown — this to a great degree dexterous weave takes anyplace from a month to a year to finish a saree. A Dhakai Jamdani, in any case, takes at least nine months to weave. Along these lines, in the event that you don’t claim a Jamdani saree yet, there is no better time to put resources into this bit of legacy. With the universe of mold indeed grasping this beautiful weave, you would not have any desire to be forgotten, isn’t that so?
It is best to launder your Jamdani saree. You can enclose it by a perfect material and store it in a saree pack or a plastic sack.
Amongst all Sarees of Bengal, Baluchari sarees stands out as one of the most gorgeous and vibrant Saree, completely made in Handloom. Made through weaving of silk yarn in attractive colours, and interlaced with attractive motifs and a grand display of artwork in Pallu, makes it one of the obvious choices for Special occasions such as Wedding and Receptions.
Here’s a description on various aspects of the Baluchari Saree which provides synopsis of the various aspects of the product to a consumer.
History of Baluchari
Baluchari Sarees originated in a village in Murshidabad by the name of Baluchar a few centuries ago. However, over a period of time, the weavers and the art migrated and prospered in Bisnupur in West Bengal. Bisnupur was the Capital of the Malla Dynasty, which had a profound cultural influence in West Bengal. There was prosperity in Art during the days of the dynasty and Baluchari sarees was one of art forms which enjoyed patronage from the Royal family. The other art forms which have survived through the ages were Terracota and Dokra.
Cultural richness of Malla dynasty is evident in Bisnupur town, which is dotted with beautiful Terracota temples and the patterns depicted in the walls of the temples had an influence on the motifs patterns and pallu designs of Baluchari. Most popular and signature patterns of Baluchari have been of Human motifs depicting tales from Ramayana or Mahabharata.
Brief Description on elements in a Baluchari
Baluchari Sarees are primarily made in Silk. The silk used in a Baluchari Saree has a smooth texture and is available in attractive colours. There have been manifestation of Baluchari which are produced in Cotton and other fabrics. However, the signature fabric for Baluchari Sarees is Silk. Silk forms the appropriate drawing board for attractive motif patterns woven in multi-coloured threads including zaris. There are three major elements in a Baluchari Saree:
Silk – Silk used in Baluchari Sarees should be of a high quality. Generally the silk used in warp is uniform and of high tensile strength. This provides the strength to a Baluchari saree and ensures compactness in weave. Strength in essential to ensure a firm backbone for intricate motifs and pallu work.
Motifs & Border – Attractive set of motifs, which are linearly spaced, through the entire length of the saree. The standard pattern is linear set of motifs equally spaced through the length of the saree.
On draping it looks as follows:
With further intricacies and denser motif patterns, the Baluchari sarees can be designed for specific occasions:
Human motifs have been the signature pattern in Baluchari sarees. There have been stray attempts at representing floral patterns in motifs in an attempt to fuse modernity. However,
narratives around Ramayana and Mahabharata manifested through human motifs has been the constant feature in Baluchari Sarees.
A similar patterned border across length of the Saree enhances the look of the products further.
Pallu – Pallu has a grand weave pattern with depiction of instances from the Ramayana or Mahabharata.
How and where it is produced
Bisnupur in West Bengal province of India, has been the epicentre of activities around Baluchari Sarees. Most weavers and looms over the years have aggregated to this small town in Bankura district which is also a centre for tourism on account of its cultural richness embodied with Terracota temples and birthplace of Ramkrishna Paramhamsa nearby.
A section of Silk yarns are fine quality standard silk which is procured from Kolkata. These are essential to ensure strength of the Baluchari saree. Weft of the Saree is characterised by Silk which is produced locally in neighbouring districts through boiling silk cocoons and using manual spinning wheels and spindles.
The silk is hand-dyed, washed and dried to ensure uniform colour in product. While dying process ensures Silk is available in a variety of colours. Usage of various colour grades of silk in an intertwined fashion can ensure a plethora of blended colour options in Baluchari sarees.
While Baluchari sarees fabric is produced over the loom by blending warps with wefts, the attractive motifs and Pallu designs are produced by replicating sketch patterns on a cardboard with grids and appropriately spaced holes. The cardboard pattern is fixated in a rotary motion to ensure the designs can be superimposed on the Saree as it is produced. By punching appropriately spaced needles with relevant coloured thread or zari, ensures that the motifs are weaved on the saree.
Every weaving pattern and thread selections is economically expensive for producing a few sarees. Thus, to ensure economies on one design, a loom would typically produce in one design pattern for years (3-5 years). The silk yarn in a variety of colours is used on a loom to produce a Baluchari Sarees in a variety of colours however, the motif and pallu patterns coming out of a designated handloom are a constant for many years on account of the stitchboard life of 3-5 years.
The weavers are involved in a variety of activities from preparation of dyes, colouring of yarn to use of loom for production of a Saree. The weaving process takes 1-3 weeks depending on the intricacy of the design of a Baluchari Saree.
Variations of Baluchari
The Baluchari Sarees are available in a variety of options depending on the intricacy in design.
Baluchari Sarees – In terms of design intricacy, Baluchari sarees are available in patterns in which the motifs and pallu are made with single coloured thread patterns. These products are relatively lower in price.
Baluchari Meenakari Sarees – These range of Baluchari Sarees are the most prolific in production and are widely available in a variety of colours. The motif patterns and pallu are weaved with multiple coloured threads. Use of contrasting colours in threads, ensures a richness in design.
Swarnachari Sarees – Swarnachari Sarees are characterised by usage of Zari in motifs, border and pallu. The patterns in Swarnachari Sarees are similar to a Baluchari Saree. However, judicious use of zari gives it a grand look. Zari threads are intertwined with multiple coloured threads to ensure attractive patterns in a Swarnachari Saree.
Allover Patterned Swarnachari Sarees – Swarnachari Sarees these days are also available in dense motif patterns which garnish a larger portion of the body of a Swarnachari Saree. Flamboyant use of Zari ensures that the product looks as grand as a Benarasi saree. In fact, due to its light weight, and close resemblance to Benarasi Sarees, many brides prefer an all-over Swarnachari over Benarasi Sarees.
Colour Combinations to look for while buying Baluchari Sarees Online
Although Baluchari Sarees and Swarnachari Sarees are premium products, a few things to keep in mind can be very useful in ensuring that you can have your cherished Baluchari Saree embellishing your wardrobe at any corner of the world whatsoever. At one level, not only are you encouraging a handwoven silk and its usage, it also helps in sustainability of traditional and rich art form helping it survive.
A great piece of information we can share being from both sides of the desk (Buyer of Baluchari as well as a Seller) is that the Baluchari Sarees and its vibrant colours are always understated in photographs. In spite of best camera shots, lights combinations, post-processing, photography is never able to replicate truly the visual grandeur of the Baluchari Saree. So, in many ways, it is a safe bet to buy online. You would be pleasantly surprised when you open the delivered packet of Baluchari. Vibrant silk colour complimented by gorgeous Pallu is a feast to any Woman’s eyes. It looks way better in its physical form vis-à-vis online photographs.
A guideline of some of the other colour choices that you may make while choosing one Baluchari Saree online for yourself are as follows:
Mustard Baluchari Sarees – Mustard coloured Baluchari Sarees are a universal option and are a great option for women of all age groups (young and middle aged) and complexion (fair and dusky). Unsure about buying online? Just go for this option. It’s the safest bet. Mustard Baluchari Saree is also a great option for gifting on account of its universality. The mustard colour is beautifully complimented by motifs in Green or Maroon.
Black Swarnachari Sarees – Black Swarnachari Sarees are available in variety of options such as Black Swarnachari Saree with Golden Zari, or Black Swarnachari Saree with Copper Motif. However, we feel that Black Swarnachari Saree with Copper Motif is the signature design. The motifs are made with copper coloured Zari complemented by light coloured threads, this colour combination is signature for Swarnachari in Black.
Amongst the Black Baluchari Sarees, we tend to recommend the option of Black contrasted with Red motifs.
Red Baluchari Sarees and Pink Baluchari Sarees are generally available in widest variety of options. Red and Pink are evergreen colour options for special occasions such as Weddings etc. Choice of appropriate colour and motifs pattern is purely dependent on personal tastes. In most cases, Red and Pink are fairly safe options and are expected to be gorgeous.
Quality Checks –
Few points you may look for while purchasing a Baluchari are as follows:
Quality of Silk – Silk itself would have a shine and would be of good quality since they are uniformly dyed. It should not be very light since they have to withhold heavy motifs for years.
Weight – Baluchari Sarees weight around 500 gm while Swarnachari Sarees weigh a little more than Baluchari Sarees. The weight keeps going up with the intricacy and density of motifs reaching upto 850-900 gm.
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