India is a land of rich weaves and textiles. It is estimated that about 95% of the world’s handwoven fabrics are made in India. In this land of beautiful textiles and exquisite fabrics, there is one region that has carved a place and a name for itself as the centre of India’s handloom sarees. We’re referring, of course, to West Bengal. Handloom sarees are the traditional textile art of Bengal in India, and for our latest collection, we have sourced stunning sarees directly from the weavers of West Bengal.
History of handloom
The weaving of cotton sarees is a traditional art of West Bengal and Bangladesh that began during the Mughal era. Traditionally, these sarees are woven on a handloom, hence the name handloom cotton sarees. A handloom is a simple machine that is operated entirely by hand and without any external sources of energy like electricity. Weaving by handloom is not only a painstaking process, it is also time consuming – and yet the weavers who use it seemingly weave magic.
The arrival of the British in India disrupted the handloom industry. However, after the British left India, many of the skilled weavers settled down in West Bengal, particularly near the Hooghly River. Today, these artisans carry on the tradition of crafting beautiful Bengali cotton sarees, also known as Tant sarees.
Pure cotton sarees
We at Tjori understand how tough it can be find sarees that are made using pure cotton that’s perfect for Indian weather and feels soft on the skin. Cotton is a material that is central to Indian handloom, and for this collection, we have used natural, breathable cotton to create stunning sarees. Lightweight and premium cotton yarns have been handwoven to bring to your doorstep these beautiful Bengali cotton sarees.
A rich colour palette
This collection is a riot of colours, and we wouldn’t have it any other way, for isn’t India known as the land of colours? Rich red, chartreuse, daisy yellow, understated grey, deep blues, shades of pink, emerald green, pure black – all these shades are used together to create Bengali cotton sarees that are sure to turn heads everywhere you wear them.
For this collection, we have retained the motifs used in traditional Bengali sarees. This means that some sarees have been made with blooming flowers on the entire length, while others have bold stripes in contrasting hues. The traditional paisley or kalki motif has also been used widely in this lovely collection. These stunners are perfect for everyday wear as well as festive occasions.
So go ahead and invest in a lovely piece of handloom – you won’t be buying just a gorgeous saree, but also the hours of loving labour and the skill that has gone into creating it.