Daily Archives: January 17, 2014

Stories of Silk

Stories of Silk

A tiny village, just outside the Murshidabad district in West Bengal, is keeping the tradition of weaving alive!

Life takes a sudden hectic turn at Tantipara, a textile village on the outskirts of Murshidabad. Skeins of silk literally spill onto the streets as looms clatter rhythmically under the labors of skilled weavers. Men, young and old, dexterously separate strands stretching down the entire length of the lane. Watching the super long threads bounce and quiver together is quite a sight.

silk weaving

silk weaving

It takes around four days for a single weaver to make one simple sari and much longer to craft a Baluchari, the renowned Bengali sari adorned with large mythological motifs in gold and silver zari, worn by women of upper-class and zamindari families.

Baluchari sari - heavy work

Baluchari sari – heavy work

A heavy Baluchari fetches around $200.00 and urban demand is only rising. Saris have broad borders, adorned by brocaded gold patterns. And so, unlike the tranquil riverside villages, time races ahead here and tradition flourishes with untiring speed. In the artisans determination to stay relevant echoes the unsung song of Murshidabad.

indian motifs

indian motifs

DIVINE DHARMAVARAM

Silk is not just confined to Murshidabad but has its presence in several parts in India. Dharmavaram silks have been popular Anantapur district in the state of  Andhra Pradesh. It is known for its cotton and silk weaving industries. Dharmavaram saris comprise heavy ‘pallus‘ with exclusive designs. Their broad solid colored borders with contrast ‘pallus‘ are desired by every woman.

Dharmavaram silks

Dharmavaram silks