‘Silk Marriage Sari’ – will be an alternative for ‘Banarasi Sari’ in West Bengal. Varanasi, the city famous for Banarasi – may be more than 600 km from Kolkata, but the weavers engaged in the Bengal government-run Silk Marriage Sari Project will outdo the weavers there – the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) and Textile department officers are confident.
The idea of creating a market competitor of Banarasi – one of the finest wedding-wear for the brides across the nation – is now nurtured by the experts working under state MSME and Textile Department.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed the MSME and Textile minister Swapan Debnath, taking necessary steps to launch the Sari soon in the market.
Kolkata is getting ready for Durga Puja – the inception of the Bengali festive season. The wedding season will kick-start just after the Puja seasons – end of the year to be exact. The sale of Sari in Kolkata is now much higher than the rest of the year, as the popular city markets will be buzzing with the footfall of customers.
Given the background of purchase of Saari in Bengal’s market, it was chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s suggestion to the state MSME and textile department minister Swapan Debnath to launch it before the wedding seasons get going.
“I have confirmation from the chief minister to go ahead with this project. She has instructed us to finish the research work and commence the production as soon as possible,” said MSME and textile minister to Millennium Post.
Banarasi Saaris are known for their gold and silver brocade or zari – a rich fabric woven with a raised pattern with gold or silver thread along with fine silk and luxurious embroidery.
Banarasi are made of delicately woven silk and are decorated with complicated design and, because of these inscribing, are relatively heavy.
“We are not going to disclose our selling proposition. Our production will be modern and gorgeous. The elegant look, stunning hand-made designs, colours would beat its competitors in wedding sari segment,” said the minister.
However, expects who are doing the research work says, the new saari would have special trends including its lightness and it is impossible to match the historical background of Banarasi. But for buyers, it is more important to have wedding saris within pocket-friendly range, but with same artistic work.
The special characteristics of Banarasi are Mughal inspired designs such as intricate interweaving floral and foliate motifs, bel and Kalga, a string of vertical leaves called jhallar at the outer, edge of border. Other features are gold work, compact weaving, metallic visual effects, pallus, designed anchal, jal – a net like pattern and mina work.
The Silk Marriage sari will be showcased in Tantuja - West Bengal State Handloom Weavers Co Operative Society Limited’s showroom across the Bengal.
“The samples will be showcased at 22 centers of Tantuja. We are going to start production at two destinations – Dhatrigram of Burdwan and Fulia of Nadia,” the minister said.
The state government has hired some expert Banarasi artists, who are presently giving training, teaching and guidance to the Bengal weavers. The promotion and branding, marketing team would be done in a pre-planned way. “We are in a hurry to launch this project,” minister further added.