The beauty of Bengali women is portrayed in the movies with the red and white saree. Bengali sarees are elegant and enhance the beauty of the wearer. It is an iconic look for every women of Bengal. Bengali sarees have a unique and the most sought after draping patterns. The Tant and the Jamdani sarees were highly patronized and made famous during the Nawabi and Mughal rule. Bengali sarees are made of cotton and its really lightweight.
Bengali sarees are traditionally of handloom work . The complex threadwork is meticulous and needs attention to every minute details. They are in hues of bright colours, with white being the most preferable. The sarees have scenes from the epic folklores woven skillfully into the saree. The sarees are breezy to adjust to the humid climate of Bengal.
Bengali sarees are evergreen classic. They are timeless and ageless. It is suitable for all age groups and all body types. It looks aesthetic on any woman who wears it.
Here are the Bengali Sarees that are must to be included in your wardrobe
1. Korial Saree
Korial is the most popular type of Bengali saree. It is a white saree with red border. It is subtle and effortless. It is a classic look suited best for the Durga puja celebrations. Just pair it up with a red bindi and a tight bun and you will be good to go. The term korial is derived from kora which means white or plain.
These sarees are perfect for the older women of the house. The korial sarees are adorned with golden or silver borders. It is also suitable to wear them during Bengali weddings.
2. Garad Saree
Garad and Korial are similar in nature and composition. The only difference is that the the red borders are lighter and there are floral prints woven over the border and the pallav to give the saree a more feminine outlook.
Garad sarees also have a cream base canvas. These sarees are lightweight. Originally manufactured in the Murshidabad district of Bengal, the Garad sarees have a texture that resembles a crisp tissue paper.
Garad sarees are meant for auspicious occasions and it is offered to the goddesses also during the puja.
3. Tant Saree
The best product of Bengal’s textile industry is handloomed Tant saree. The word “tant” itself means handloom. Tant is the crisp cotton saree which is passed from generation to generation. Tant sarees are made in bright hues. The thick borders of the saree are highly decorative with floral designs. The pallu’s have ornated gold design work. It is lightweight.
Tant sarees are more stiff in nature than garad or korial. Tant sarees originated since the 15th century in Shantipur. The weavers of tant sarees were patronized under the Nawabs. After the partition,Tant sarees have evolved with different weaving techniques.
The weaving technique of tant sarees are also complicated as first the materials are washed to eliminate chemicals present. It is further bleached and sun-dried. The saree literally takes about six days to woven with completion. In today’s time, zari and hastkala tant sarees are also available in the market.
4. Murshidabad Silk Saree
Bengal holds a strong tradition of silk sarees. Murshidabad silk sarees are popularised since the Nawabs rule. The aesthetic works are the result of the hardwork and talent of the craftsmen. Since it is locally created, the material stays authentic.
These sarees are available in bright colours with bati print silks. They are worn for evening functions or casual gatherings. The sarees originated from the 18th century and was patronized by Nawab Murshid Kuli Khan. The sarees tended to show the complex themes of royal life on the silk canvas.
Murshidabad silk sarees are easy to drape. The saree needs proper care and wash. It should be kept in a damp free place to avoid spoilage.
5. Dhakai Jamdani Saree
Originally from Bangladesh before partition, the name comes from the capital city of Bangladesh. In Bangladesh these sarees are made with Egyptian cotton, while the weavers of West Bengal still uses homegrown raw materials to weave them.
“It takes a years to weave these Dhakai Jamdani sarees.
Yes, jamdani sarees are highly labor intensive. The weaving patters are also complex. The designes are not drawn directly on the canvas but are traced with a graph paper prior the weaving. The sarees have gentle drapes.
These sarees are sheer and transparent to allow airflow in the humid weather. A blend of cotton silk and adorned with floral designs, these sarees are perfect for evening functions. Dhakai Jamdani sarees are made with the finest quality of muslin and cotton.
6. Tussar Silk Saree
The production of Tussar silk sarees are done on large scale in West Bengal. The entire sari can be worn in a single drape of the pallu or be pleated in different ways. The sari is famous for its patta and buti.
The kantha stitch print is often seen on the tussar silk sari. It is also known as Kosa silk in Bihar. The tussar silk sarees were originally from Bhagalpur. They were woven by tribal women within a span of three days. The material obtained for the saree is mulberry silk.
The tussar silk sarees are not highly durable. However, it is famous for weddings and family functions complimented by beautiful hairstyle and traditionally designed blouse. Tussar silk sarees are the example illustrious craftsmanship of the medieval Mughal period in India. The dull golden border of the saree is adorned with floral and geometrical pattern. Today there are a variety of Tussar silk sarees available such as Katia or Ghiccha.
7. Baluchari Saree
Originally from the Baluchar village in Murshidabad district. Baluchari sarees are made of authentic tussar silk . They are stylish and elegant. It is often adorned with the scenes of mythological folkores. Women wearing these sarees avoid pleating the pallu as it would spoil the entire look of the saree. It is one of the finest hand woven work of the artisans of Bengal.
It is ideal to wear Baluchari sarees during weddings or special functions. It is a result of many weeks of work with high fiber material with beautiful bright prints. Baluchari sarees originally portrayed the royal life of the nawabs on the canvas. These sarees add colour to the wardrobe of any women.
“It takes almost a week to weave this saree”
The silk yarns of Baluchari saree are softened after washing with soda and hot water. The bright hues in sarees are added after colouring with acid dye. Baluchari sarees were woven in the jala looms. At the beginning of the 20th century, the technique was revived with Shubho Thakur who introduced an improvised way to weave these sarees in a shorter time through the jacquard weaving method.
There are different types of Baluchari sarees. The Baluchari Resham sarees are woven with one colour thread while the swarnachari sarees are woven with gold or silver thread work.
8. Dhaniakhali Saree
Dhaniakhali sarees are made of pure cotton which originates from Dhaniakhali village in Hooghly district. The material is much coarser and heavy. It is made with 100 metres of cotton. It is affordable.
“It takes minimum 2 days of time to weave Dhaniakhali Saree”
These sarees are woven in pastel shades and are simple in looks. These sarees are more suitable for formal work wear. These sarees are a type of tant sarees. It is of high quality.
Dhaniakhali sarees have stripped borders with no floral patterns present. These sarees are also suitable for long time use.
9. Shantipuri saree
Shantipuri cotton sarees are known for grace and simplicity. They come in simple soothing colours. These sarees are finely woven and is comfortable in the hot and humid months of Bengal. The saree’s elegance is defined by the buti’s printed on the pallu. It is suitable for everyday wear.
The designs on these sarees are inspired from nature, though they portray irregular patterns. Tie and dye are also used in the aanchal of the sarees. The sarees are woven with the jacquard technique. Stiff starching is used in wafting and warping of Shantipuri cotton sarees. These sarees are transparent and are woven with finest cotton yarn.
10. Begumpuri Sarees
These beautiful sarees of Bengal are handwoven and made of cotton, also very popular in Kolkata. Begumpuri sarees have dreamy drapes. The sarees are woven locally. The cotton used in the saree do not need much starching.
The sarees have distinctive features which is being revived through local initiatives. The borders of these sarees are narrow and designed with dyed cotton. The Begumpuri sarees are of earthy colours with shades of orange and black with contrasting borders. They are light weight and transparent. Begumpuri sarees are known for their Mathapar and Nakshapar border styles.
The contemporary Begumpuri sarees showcase the tribal patterns and motifs. These sarees are easy maintained but it is suitable to wash them only in the machine. The Begumpuri sarees are simplistic and yet their elegance is eye-catching.
11. Phulia Saree
Phulia hand woven sarees are a new style of weaving that has been developed in the recent years. The yarns, the compositions, the weaving techniques and textures make the saree unique in style .
There are no dominant patterns in these sarees. But it represents the earthy colours of Bengal. Different fabrics are used in weaving these sarees such as Ghicha, mulberry silk, matka, cotton with the jacquard technique. The textures are eye catching.
There is no typical way to weave these sarees. It is an effort of permutations and combinations of yarning to create these beautiful sarees. Phulia sarees have soft textures and minimalistic motif woven on them.
12. Tangail saree
The origin of Tangail sarees lies in partition history of India. These sarees are woven in silk and have a softer texture. The sarees have extra-weft butis. The silk used in the fabrics makes it easier to sew and weave the sarees.
The tangail sarees have bright hues and lustrous outlook. The edges of the saree are unique in nature as they are woven with shiny silk threads. It is easy to drape this saree.
Tangail sarees are best for evening wear. Every individual thread used in the tangail saree needs to be starched. Tangail sarees cannot be created in machines.
13. Mulmul cotton Saree
Mulmul cotton sarees are originally from North East but they are popular in Bengal. These sarees have bright colours. The fabrics used in these sarees are one of the finest available in the market.
These sarees are soft and breezy. It is perfect for a summer wear. The sarees have a distinctive feature to absorb moisture and sweat, hence, keeping the body cool. Mulmul sarees are dyed and they often bleach colours and become soft after a wash.
The Mulmul sarees are known for its simplicity and light monotone colours.
14. Khesh Saree
Khesh sarees are artistic results of the weavers of Birbhum. The sarees is woven with a new yarn and pieces of thin cloth. The weaving technique is simple. The tradition has been passed from generations of families living in Birbhum.
Khesh sarees are designed with hand-block prints which are irregular. The minute details adds to the exquisite charm of this unique piece of woven work. The saree is amalgamation of old cotton saree pieces torn and randomly woven. These sarees are plain and simple yet appear to be attractive to the eyes with variant colorful strips.
15. Batik Print sarees
Batik print sarees are popular amongst the urban women of Bengal. It is weave with hard work and creativity. The designs of batik print sarees are often dynamic in nature. The batik print sarees range between Rs 800 to Rs 25000.
The aesthetics of the sarees date back to nearly 200 years. The batik print sarees are designed with intricacy and are mostly custom made suiting to the tastes of every customer. Batik print sarees have floral designs over a contrasting background of colours.
These sarees are attractive and airy. Most physical block process is used in weaving Batik print sarees. Along with cotton and silk, it has blends of jute. The batik print sarees are a visual treat as the fabric is waxed and dyed to create a magical effect on the saree. The designing techniques of batik print sarees have evolved in the contemporary time.
16. Kantha stitch sarees
Kantha work is famous from the Shantiniketan and Bolpur region. Kantha sarees are popular for the complex thread work. These sarees are manually woven by the artisans especially the rural women. The stitches are unique as it is a form of running stitches within which patterns are woven. The threadwork and the embroidery decides whether the sarees are heavy or light.
The inspiration of the designs comes from the values, nature, and folklore of rural women. Each kantha saree is different from the other. This embroidery work of Kantha originates from the Vedic ages. Naturally the symbols and the motifs embroidered in the saree canvas represents the natural entities such as the sun or the moon.
The kantha sarees are worn in religious ceremonies. It is considered to be one of the coveted form of hereditary craftsmanship in India.
17. Matka Silk sarees
Matka silk sarees have intricated weaving patterns. The fabric and the texture of matka silk sarees resembles that of used in tweed coats. The saree uses heavy mulberry silk. It has beautiful drapes and uneven artistic patterns.
This saree has simplicity but a grand touch of luster which is obtained from the coating of the yarn with sericin. The matka silk sarees originates from Murshidabad. The term matka is used as the silk yarns of the saree are winded on a pot or matka. The threads of the matka sarees are shorter than others as they go through the process of degumming.
The silk used in the saree has a coarser texture although the fabric bears a strong resemblance to linen. Matka sarees are perfect evening outfits.
18. Bishnupuri silk sarees
The art of silk weaving in Bishnupur district dates back to the 18th century under the patronage of the Nawab of Bengal. Bishnupuri silk sarees are popular for their high quality fabric. The sarees look simple in appearance but they do have an aristocratic touch.
The Bishnupuri silk sarees have smooth textures and high durability. Easy to drape, the sarees have attractive patterns that depict local folkore . Bishnupuri silk sarees are woven in mulberry silk yarns.
The sarees are block printed. They airy and suitable for summer wear. Today, the bishnupuri silk sarees come in bright colours and quirky patterns catering to the contemporary taste of the consumers.
19. Dhakai Muslin Sarees
Originally from Bangladesh prior to partition, the muslin sarees were highly coveted due to the superior quality of the fabric. The Dhakai muslin saree can cost you every penny as it is a luxurious. The muslin saree is exotic in nature. The textures are smooth and flowy.
These sarees are delicate and must be washed with care. The border and the pallu are embroidered in Dhaki weaving with increases the splendor of the saree. The muslin sarees have a unique sheen and are transparent. After partition, the art of weaving muslin sarees were lost but it is now being revived with the Bengal government’s initiatives.
20. Block printed cotton sarees
These hand woven sarees are airy and simple in nature. They have contrasting hues and patterns with intricating motifs. The texture of the saree is smooth.
The block printed cotton sarees have high durability. It is pretty easy to drape this type of sarees. They are perfect for formal and special occasions.
21. Shornochuri silk sarees
These are a glamorous form of Baluchari sarees. The shornochuri sarees have a shimmering luster and perfect for evening wear. It almost takes a week to weave these sarees. The shornochuri sarees have a heavy texture, yet they are soft to touch.
The sarees have gold and silver thread work on the borders portraying Vedic themes. It is crucial to store the sarees in a muslin bag to prevent spoilage. The zari work used in the saree is globally renowned.
22. Madhubani silk sarees
The madhubani silk sarees have a smooth texture as they are a part of the tussar silk sarees. The madhubani sarees are formal in nature. They are woven in white or beige shades with a contrasting design on the borders and pallu.
The prints today are block-printed instead being handwoven. The saree has an elegant aura and mostly worn by elderly Bengali women.
23. Atpur sarees
The Atpur sarees translates into saree meant for common daily wear. This saree originates from the Hooghly district of Bengal. It is woven with cotton.
The fabric of the saree is rough and coarse. They are simple in appearance and are woven in pastel shades. The Atpur sarees have a unique draping pattern done by the local women of the region.
24. Banarasi Saree
From the time of the Mahabharata till the Mughal rule, the Banarasi sarees have had a strong footing in the textile industry. These sarees are not native to Bengali but still worn by the women during the wedding. Banarasi sarees are an automatic choice for majority of the women with a beautiful hairstyle for attending any weddings.
The Banarasi saree is known for its ornated zari embroidery over a red silk canvas. It has a smooth texture with a contrasting shimmer of red and gold. Woven in power-looms, the Banarasi sarees have simple floral patterns.
Bengali sarees are beautiful and aesthetic. It has hues of colours and is suitable for every occasion. It represents class and grace and suitable for every age and body type. Every Bengali saree is catered to different occasion. The Bengali sarees are customized for every women’s social calendar. It makes you feel ageless. Bengali sarees are comfortable and stylish in every season.