Ethnic Indian Sarees :: Baluchari Sarees
Written by: Bindu Lakshmi Kankipati - Published: 02-Jul-2017
Invoking the magic of spectacular, Baluchari sarees
This beautiful garment is worn by women across India and Bangladesh. The origin of
these sarees and roots dates back in Bengal, later produced in Murshidabad, but
currently 'Bishnupur' town of 'Bankura district' and its surrounding places of
West Bengal. Baluchar town from where it derives its name as Baluchari sarees.
This marvelous place is famous for its exquisite terracotta temples and
Malla Shree Krishna Raslilla. Beautifully made 'terracotta craft' is well known
in this place. People here predominantly speak Bengali.
During two seasons, the bright summers one can wear 'Baluchari cotton sarees' and during winters 'Baluchari silk sarees'. These sarees are best known for rich, sophisticated and have a intricate designs and these sarees are crafted in the interiors of West Bengal. To craft one masterpiece saree it would take two craftsmen to work around approximately one week or even more and best known for silk brocade designs Baluchari sarees has been granted, status of Geographical indication in India.
History and Time
Histroy dates back to eighteenth century, during "Murshid Quli Khan" or also known as by the name "Mohammad Hadi", Nawab of Bengal, took keen interest in this sarees and patronized its rich weaving tradition, the deep intricacy of the craft and gets the craft of making this sarees from Dhaka to the Baluchar village in Murshidabad and encouraged the industry to flourish. When there was a massive flood, which was taking place in Ganga river, resulting in submerging of the village, later the industry moved to Bishnupur village in Bankura district. This art of weaving handcrafted sarees started to bloom and later declined, during British rule, due to financial crisis and political reasons, weaving these art started vanishing, which became a challenge to weavers, masterweavers on their livelihood profession and constrain them to give up profession. Baluchari sarees are made of 'Tussar silk', these sarees is not only a saree, it's an art woven with love and passion. The 'Zamindar' or 'Upper-class women' in Bengal during festive occasions and weddings they used to drape these fabulous Baluchari sarees. Name which has made a mark is for it's shine and durability, the super fine art involved is 'Minakari Work' which makes the saree outstanding.
The pallu(anchal) with Huge craftsmanship
The stories which carries depictions of mythological stories and scenes from (Mahabharat and Ramayana), Ramayana such as 'Vanvas of Rama' and 'Haran of Sita by Ravana', 'swayamvar of Sita', 'the prince sitting on an elephant' are few known intricate designs on the pallu, 'beautiful women with a hookah' all these adds to grandeur and elegance. The new version of these sarees carries 'animals themes', 'marriage rituals', 'flower bunches', 'palanquin brides' boats, ‘human images’, 'architectural splendors', 'lady on the horse' and many to the creative list.
The vintage border
Outstanding work on borders depicts Lord Krishna and Arjun pulling the Chariot, scenes from Radha and Krishna on a swing, Lord Krishna with his flute, Sita with garlands on hands and few group of girls dancing.
Fabric care for Baluchari sarees
Check out for specific care instructions on the garment once you purchase and follow the instructions carefully, it addition to it, here are certain guidelines
- Silk fabric is recommended only for dry cleaning
- Never try to wring or twist the silk fabric
- Avoid drying silk saree from direct sunlight
- Refold these saree from time to time to avoid ripping on creases
- Store these silk intricate saree in a white muslin cloth, never use plastic storage containers and also it doesn’t get spoiled by damp and moths
- One can iron these silk fabric, but a quick tip, I use newspaper on top of any silk saree and than iron them, to avoid direct heat