Story Not So common - Baluchari Silk Sarees, The Legacy is Back
Bengal has always been famous for their textile industry. Silk has been always the eminent among them. And when it comes to silk, there is not just one variety that has been woven in the Bengal handloom industry. Today I will take you to an exciting journey of Bengal's own woven, artistic creation - the Balucharis.
Dates back to 17th century era, Baluchari has been close to the heart of all bongs. With the coming of the Dutch, Portuguese and the English there was a virtual "Silk Rush". Mostly the garnering happened in Cossimbazar of Murshidabad. With the patronage of the Nawabs of Bengal, the finest weavers started to weave finest of art and turned them to elegant drapes. Baluchari started creating its everlasting magic, exactly in this era.
A number of weavers from Dhaka, under the ruler Murshid Kuli Khan, came and started to develop the Balucharis in a village called Baluchari - and now you know from the name has derived. Known for the pictorial themes on social life and traditions, this silk mark sarees started to engulf and melt the heart of the buyers and drape lover from that era.
The new era of Baluchari silk mark sarees
Stars of fate do not remain the same, so the calamity strikes the weaving industry in Murshidabad, Baluchar. And under the British period of rule, the weaving community shifted their base to Bishnupur. Here it is now thriving. Thanks to Shuvo Thakur in 20th century, who have taken the pledge to improve the life and standard of these weavers. He introduced master weaver, Akshay Kumar Das, trained in jacquard weaving machine. However, again the famine of 1943 bought major setback to the industry.
Major steps are being taken to revive this silk mark saree industry in Bengal. You can now shop silk mark Baluchari sarees online with exclusive boutique like us. You can just promote our ethnicity to a wide number of friends, who are unknown to the culture of India, gifting them such precious drapes.
How they make a Baluchari silk mark saree?
The craftsmanship of the Baluchari silk mark sarees available online just cant go unnoticed. The mulberry silkworms reared as a part of the sericulture and produces smooth silk yarns. Silk yarns are softened using hot water and soda and then treated with acid color dye. Then stretched to woven into a saree. The complex yet beautiful process of weaving the motifs and the embroidery comes next on the plate.
The raw designs are first done on the paper and then punched back into the Baluchari silk mark sarees. The colors used in the baluchari sarees these days are bright. The weavers are generally focusing on the use of the natural product like flower dye, fruit dye, neem leaves, turmeric leaves and dried twigs to have those bright color come alive.
Want to know the story behind those mythological designs on Balucharis?
The mythological design on the Baluchari silk mark sarees, makes it ultimately a ceremonial wear. No other sarees in India uses the mythological saga and stories in their weaving, like Balucharis do. The stories are mostly taken from the Ramayana and Mahabharata, giving them a royal and rich look to the silk mark sarees. Even there are range of sarees that shows the excerpts from the Bhagavad Gita or the life story of Lord Krishna.
Why they use these mythological stories? Since due to the invasion of the outsiders like British, Dutch, Portuguese - people started feeling a threat to loose their culture and ethnicity and to break away and teach their next generation the value of that, they started revolt through art and these drapes are a part of that movement.
The National Award Winning Saree of India - Balucharis
Yes, you are reading it right. The Balucharis are the one among the other sarees in India is awarded the best type of drape for their rich, royal and cultural legacy. In the year 2009 and 2010, they have repeatedly being awarded for the sincerity of the weavers towards the art form.
So that's all - Baluchari and its old classic story
Baluchari has been in our heritage since a long time. It has nourished itself over the time and has started to reinvent the wheels with modern touch and look. Fusion collection in our inventory is a part of the proof. You can try to take a look at this traditional and spread the vibe of long lost glory of Bengal.
Sumana Bhattacharya completed her Masters in Economics from the University of Calcutta & was working with the Department of Education, Govt. of West Bengal to provide training to the teachers in Government Schools. She moved to USA in 2005 after getting married & is the mother of 2 kids. She is the one that drives IndyVogue every day, every hour, every minute and every second. Salute to her and her undying spirit.
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