Sunday, August 2, 2009


Eastern India - You will be surprised to know that this land, known for its picturesque foliage and flora, alone boasts of 6 ways of draping a saree. One of them, which is relatively famous is the Baluchari saree. The legendary Baluchari saree is a well known Bengali silk saree. It is a product of intricate and exquisite design, and fabulous weaving techniques.

The name of the saree comes from the town where the saree is produced – the town of Baluchar in Murshidabad district of West Bengal. The most distinctive feature of Baluchari sarees is their elaborate borders and pallu (that portion of the saree that is allowed to flow freely over the shoulder)

Fabric in Baluchari Sari
Silk weaving of Baluchar continues to be an important landmark of Bengal's handloom tradition, this is primarily due to its reputation of producing quality silk. Baluchari sarees are woven in Bengal silks which are much acclaimed in the world over, since ancient times. Like silk, cotton baluchari sarees are also woven in a fascinating and exquisite range. The cloth is very fine and transparent with a soft drape.

Design and Colours
Inspired by the Jamdanis of Dhaka, the sari has large flowing kalka motif, that is said to be a stylized form of the leaf of a holy tree , or a decorative fruit form in the centre surrounded by narrow ornamental borders. These are framed by a series of figural motifs worked in rows around the kalkas. These motifs are woven diagonally and are worked in four alternating colours, white, blue, yellow, red and green on a shaded background. The motifs are entirely in silver zari.

The various designs depicting narrative folktales in the pallu of the sarees are as:

  • A woman riding a horse holding a rose in one hand with her plait flying behind her.
  • Pleasure boat, with two lovebirds on top.
  • Traditional muslim court scenes.
  • Women smoking hookah.
  • Puranic tales or legends of Ramayana and Mahabharata are also depicted on the classic baluchari sarees etc.