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TALES 》 Begampuri Cotton Sarees from West Bengal India

The irresistible Handloom saree, that drapes like a dream

Indian textiles are rich in artifacts, Begampur is a small town in Hooghly district in West Bengal, the sarees woven here carries deep and bright colours. The economy of this place depends on textiles and also famous for dhotis. What reminds everyone when you say Bengal is handwoven cotton sarees and is the center for fine cotton weaving and these Begampuri cotton sarees are known for loosely woven light-weight and translucent and are extremely comfortable to drape. These cotton beauties would take one to two days to weave which are very simple ones and more intricate designs could even take five to six days to complete, although the saree fabric named after the city, the subtle madness look after wearing them is absolutely sophisticated.

For ages these weavers were manufacturing a well known saree variety locally known as ‘Matapar’ sarees, which carries simple border without any ornamentation, coarse cotton yarns. Due to decline in sales, Begampur handloom development came with a concept, which offered training in designing, dyeing etc which will further enhance the sales and appeal to the traditional yet modern grace to the saree. Based on the market demands they came up with exotic and opulent colors such as contrasting borders of red, black, blue and so on which became style statement for the elite class. Weavers use a pit loom or frame loom for weaving Begampuri saree and they use traditional dobby designs.

The less cost-effective sarees varieties are mainly stripes and check patterns and carries designs in the borders. The main body of the saree which carries checks, stripes are most loved. The esteem borders are Naksha border, Ganga Jamuna border, temple border, skirt border, dobby border, plain border and broad borders known as ‘maathapaar’ or ‘Beluaaripaar’ were often seen in two colors such as black and red with a solid weave thus making it more robust. One can see the Begampuri sarees are woven in such a way its texture is balanced with contrasting borders example red, purple, orange, black, green and so on. The plain coarse weave have now upgraded to new designs and motifs, many of suh designs are been inspired by Bishnupur, terracotta temples made from the locally available laterite stones.

How to identify genuine Begumpuri sarees

  • The colors are usually contrast shades, seen in body of the saree and borders.
  • One can identify the designs and ‘chiur’, the designs which are made by wooden pattayas and few varieties are woven with ‘khejurchuri’ though it is originally derived from Dhanikhaligharana.

Fabric care for Begampuri cotton sarees
Do 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

  • First few washes should be given for dry clean
  • Make sure, before washing rinse the saree with cold water
  • Always wash dark and light colored sarees/fabrics separately
  • If washing at home, than use mild detergent(delicate mode wash cycle) at home
  • Never squeeze or wring the fabric
  • Once wash cycle is done, dry these sarees in a shade, dyes might start to fade under direct sunlight
  • These sarees do not require frequent starching
  • Avoid soaking the saree for too long, and do not bleach the fabric
  • Ironing is a must to remove wrinkles from fabric, in a medium-low heat
  • An alarm note, saree fabric might shrink since its a pure cotton not to panic



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