In India, a saree is more than simply an article of clothing; it is also a symbol of the nation’s culture, history, and identity.
When it comes to sarees, India is home to an incredible number of distinct types, each of which is characterised by a different design, fabric, and weaving technique.
One example of such an excellent garment is the Swarnachari saree, which is a wonderful masterpiece that combines the elegance of silk and gold in a woven pattern.
Swarnachari literally means ‘golden design.’ and is often described to as the ‘illustrious’ sister of the Baluchari Silk saree.
WHAT IS SWARNACHARI SAREE? WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF SWARNACHARI SAREE?
The Swarnachari saree has an impressive record that dates back to the 18th century, during the reign of Nawab Mushidquali Khan, the ruler of Bengal and a major supporter of the arts and handicrafts.
This innovative creation was inspired by the Baluchari silk saree, long associated with Bengali nobility.
As a result of its unique style, Bengal’s distinctive handicrafts were seen as a danger by the British throughout their conquest of India.
The upshot was that they coerced the craftspeople into abandoning their profession. Because of this, many of the handloom weavers went bankrupt, and the survival of the art form was threatened.
However, Swarnachari weaving have been revived due to the efforts of Subho Thakur, who inspired master weaver Akshay Kumar Das to study the techniques and revive them.
The weaving processes that are used to create Swarnachari sarees have been honed and polished over the course of time, which is what has led to the creation of these stunning and complex sarees that are available today.
These sarees have become a symbol of West Bengal’s rich cultural legacy.
UNIQUE CHARACTERISTIC OF THE SWARNACHARI SAREE
In Bengal, the wearing of a Swarnachari saree is connected with nobility and high social standing. Often, mythological tales such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharatha serve as a source of inspiration for the motifs and patterns that are used on sarees.
Some of these sarees can even show an entire story from the Bhagavad Gita.
The traditional Bengali themes of animals, flowers, circles, and fish are often employed in these beautiful sarees, which also typically feature scenes of festivals, rural life, and weddings.
Swarnachari sarees have extremely ornate borders that are decorated with Kalka themes.
Among the many additional sources of inspiration, several other motifs include architecture, pleasure boats, ladies riding horses while holding roses, court scenes from the Muslim era, and women smoking hookahs, amongst many other things is what sets them apart.
Another distinctive feature of Swarnachari sarees is the range of colours employed in their creation. Red, green, yellow, and blue are some of the most common hues, although they come in a wide variety of styles and patterns.
A red Swarnachari saree is a time-honored emblem of love, passion, and elegance. Green, the colour of nature and rebirth, is a favourite colour for the Swarnachari saree, which is worn on special occasions such as festivals.
The yellow Swarnachari saree is considered auspicious, it is often worn at weddings and other joyous occasions.
Similarly, blue Swarnachari sarees are trending upward in demand because of the reassuring impact they have on their wearers.
TYPES OF SWARNACHARI SAREES
There are several types of Swarnachari sarees, each with its unique design and color combination. Some of the popular types include:
- Sholar Shilpa Swarnachari Saree – These sarees feature intricate designs of solar and lunar motifs, which are believed to bring good luck and prosperity.
- Hanshli Swarnachari Saree – These sarees have designs of swans and lotus flowers, which are symbols of beauty, grace, and purity.
- Mayurkanthi Swarnachari Saree – These sarees feature intricate designs of peacock feathers, which symbolize beauty, love, and happiness.
WEAVING TECHNIQUE OF SWARNACHARI SAREE
It takes expert weavers up to 112 hours to weave a single saree, and as a result, a lot of work goes into the design and production of a single Swarnachari saree.
This saree is an example of a high-quality craft that incorporates gold zari with silk.
The jamdani weave is a method that is used to construct a Swarnachari saree, it takes a significant amount of time and calls for a high level of both skill and precision.
This technique entails hand-weaving the motifs into the cloth to create the saree’s distinctive patterns.
The jamdani weave is a technique that is used on handlooms to create designs on cloth by interlacing small threads of gold or silver zari with the silk or cotton threads that make up the fabric.
The Mughal monarchs in India during the 17th century are credited with bringing this technique to India from Persia, where it is thought to have originated.
There is a certain order in which each stage of the jamdani weaving process is completed. The first thing the weaver will do is sketch out the pattern on a piece of graph paper.
This will serve as a guide for the rest of the weaving procedure. The weaver will next begin by establishing the loom and preparing the warp and weft threads, which refer to the fabric’s vertical and horizontal strands, respectively.
After that, the process of weaving the zari threads into the cloth is started while paying close attention to the design that is printed on graph paper.
A single broken thread might throw off the entire pattern, and the weaver might need to exercise extreme caution to avoid severing any of the threads.
When the weaving process is finished, the cloth is thoroughly examined for any flaws before being shipped to be washed and finished.
MAINTENANCE OF SWARNACHARI SAREE
Proper maintenance of a Swarnachari saree is essential if one wants to ensure that its beauty and elegance are maintained throughout time.
The saree is only suitable for dry cleaning; it should be maintained in a cool, dry area and put in a muslin bag to protect the fabric and the golden thread.
Likewise, the saree’s fragile threads and exquisite decorations should be handled with care to prevent damage.
FOR WHICH OCCASIONS SWARNACHARI SAREE IS PREFERRED?
Swarnachari sarees are reserved for the most joyous of events, including weddings and festivals. They are ideal for events when one wishes to create a strong impression.
The rich and ornate designs on these sarees make them perfect for bridal wear or for any other special occasion.
COST OF SWARNACHARI SAREE
A typical Swarnachari saree costs between INR 20,000 and INR 50,000, with that price fluctuating based on the aforementioned elements. Swarnachari silk sarees are known for their high price tag and ornate Resham or Zari thread embroidery over the bodice and pallu.
WHERE TO BUY SWARNACHARI SAREE?
- Online Naksha
- Dhunki Fashion
- Bengali Fashion
- Ethnic Gold
MY THOUGHTS ON SWARNACHARI SAREES:
Bengal is widely known for its textiles and weaving craftsmanship. Notwithstanding the hardships the Bengali weavers had during partition, the craft of Swarnachari saree weaving has survived through the years and is today recognised as one of Bengal’s finest creative traditions.
The intricate designs and skilled craftsmanship of a Swarnachari saree are a wonderful representation of India’s historical and artistic achievements.