Production- Among the plethora of sarees woven by the weavers of West Bengal, the Baluchari sarees of Bishnupur and the adjoining areas of West Bengal are very popular. The Baluchari sarees are hand-woven by the weavers of Bishnupur, in the Bakura District of West Bengal.
Material used– The sarees are made up of pure silk. Right from the rearing of silkworms to its weaving and packaging, it requires immense care and hardship.
Origin– The sarees were originated in the 18th century during the time of Murshid Quli Khan. Under his patronage, these sarees became popular all over the world. Baluchari sarees were first woven by the weavers of Baluchar, a village in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal. Later, during the British Era, the art of making Baluchari sarees was on the verge of extinction.
Revival of the sarees– However, it was Shubha Thakur ( an artist from the Tagore clan) who revived the lost heritage of West Bengal. Previously, the Jala loom was put into use. Later, Subha Thakur took the initiative of introducing the Jacquard loom.
Description of the saree– The length of the sarees is about 15ft and the width is 42 inches. The sarees are mainly manufactured by using pure silk threads. The various embellishments on the sarees are chitro, Kolkaa, parh and buti.
Design– These are remarkably noted for their beautiful designs not only in the aachal part, but also in the overall body. In some sarees of Bishnupur, the aanchal part and the kuchi part are well embellished.
Varient– Another speciality of these sarees is The Swarnajari sarees. They are hand-woven by using golden silk threads. The design on the pallu is a variation of contemporary themes.
Use of contemporary subject– These sarees are remarkable for their intricate designs, vibrant and lustrous look, perfect colour combination and magnificent themes. The themes include gods and goddesses, scenes from the Mahabharata, the dancing girls of the court of Nawab. The designs provide a touch of royalty and elegance. Each and every saree is a specimen of the timeless saga.
Sri Das– It was in 1957, that an artist named Sri Das used Ajanta and Ellora cave paintings to decorate the pallus of the Baluchari sarees.
Images-The following images depict the gorgeousness and the sparkling brilliance of the Baluchari sarees.
Making– The manufacturing of the beautiful sarees undergoes toilsome and time-consuming hardship of the weavers. Firstly, the mulberry silkworms are brought up to get the raw silk. A mixture of soda plus soap is used to soften the yarn. Then they are dyed by using acid colour. The yarn is then made crispier by stretching and by applying force with both hands. Intricate designs are drawn and coloured on the graph paper. Cards are used to punch the designs.Then they are placed accordingly in the jacquard loom. It takes 7 to 14 days to weave these sarees.
Price– The price range of theses starts from 7000 INR onwards.
Used by– The women of royal families mainly wear the Baluchari sarees. These sarees can be worn during festive occasions and in marriage ceremonies.
The Baluchari sarees of Bishnupur is a worth buying for each woman of Bengal as it depicts the tradition of Bengal.
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