Stepping Into the World of Silk.
Silk: the name in its own reflects the royalty it’s been spreading down the ages. Haven’t we all tried to wrap ourselves within the silk weaved sarees of our grandmothers and mothers?
Yes, we have which often ends with us getting to hear a tale on the emergence of the saree or the fabric or emotional importance it reflects. Most of the times we find these kinds of sarees to be a part of our heirloom: a gift from our ancestors, a testimony of one generation been passed to the other.
Indian heritage and culture seem to be as big as an ocean, full of alluring and engaging tales and stories associated with every being present.
Silk being a prominent part of Indian heritage and culture withholds stories which can make us fall in love with its grandeur and royalty every time it’s said and heard. Let us know more about the glorious tale of our past.
SILK: THE TALE OF CENTURIES
India has not been given much a credit in the discovery of silk and surprisingly our relation with the fabric does not justify its roots. Though we are emotionally connected and depending on the fabric it has been originated from China. Chinese were among the first people to extract silk threads from cocoons and make yarn and fabric out of it.
These Chinese brains never let anyone beat their innovative skills.
Some belief silk to be a part of India since Indus Valley Civilization and some believed to have paved its path to India through trade. Trade has a huge contribution to bringing silk to India. Gradually, silk production (or sericulture) was spread all across the globe and each country washed their hands in the ocean water, that is, adopted sericulture wholeheartedly, thus, accepting it and adopting it.
ONE FOR ALL BUT NOT ALL FOR ONE
The sub-topic here looks very tricky, right? Let’s break it into simple terms.
ONE FOR ALL means that silk is used as generic terms for all its varieties. As we know, there are different types of silk been produced.
BUT NOT ALL FOR ONE means the contrary to the above. Every type of silk has its distinctive feature which speaks for itself, so all silks cannot be clubbed together under one name.
Silk, whenever spoken or heard, is thought to be the same: are they really same? No! the quality of the silk threads extracted from cocoons depends on the leaves feed by silkworms. Mulberry leaves are considered to be an ideal food for the silkworm, which gives us the finest quality of silk which are easy to dye and print or embroider patterns on.
So, next time when you go shopping for silk apparels, don’t forget to ask the vendor about the leaves eaten by the silkworms.
Maybe you might find something new! But how did silk find a place in the saree industry? Let’s find out!
THE SIX YARDS TALE
As usual, Chinese were the ones to start the production of silk sarees which ultimately found its course down to India.
It was The Maharaja of Mysore who established the first silk factory in our land in the year 1912, which continues to produce the world-famous Mysore silk sarees.
India never lets us down, I feel so elated to be a part of India’s mighty heritage and culture.
Each variety of silk has its own origin in India. In respect of our blog, we will focus more on the introduction of silk sarees in Bengal.
ORIGIN OF SILK SAREES
Silk sarees were produced first in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal under the influence of the Mughal Nawab of Bengal, Murshidkuli Khan. Bengal produces different kinds of silk sarees namely as:
- Garad Sarees
- Tant Sarees
- Murshidabad Silk Sarees
- Dhakai Jamdani Sarees
These sarees are being produced since a very long time and make the state proud of its quality and pattern.
We all know that silk is a very strong fibre and is considered to be among the best fibres. But why is so? Why is silk so widely used?
The reason being that it is because of the proteins that we human are so strong to carry on with a healthy and active life, similarly silk is a natural protein fibre which is why it is so strong yet soft.
Jamdani, Baluchari and Kantha silk sarees have been a part of the history since centuries. The distinctive motifs and embroidery used to prepare the sarees have always been authentic and royal. The intricate depiction of mythologies like Ramayana and Mahabharata in the Baluchari sarees are to fall for. The thin muslin cloth of Jamdani sarees are hard to find now and the womanhood and simplicity been reflected in the Kantha sarees have been produced in both silk and cotton fabrics. These were produced to fulfil the daily requirements of women.
As time changes, the need and requirement of silk sarees changed. Silk sarees are very heavy and not for daily use. It is to be worn on occasions or festivals mostly.
New types of silk incorporated in the market are:
- Sournachuri Silk Sarees
- Garad Silk Sarees
Sournachuri Silk Sarees was a new creation from the original Baluchuri Silk Sarees which has always been associated with Bengali nobility. It is very similar to Baluchari silk saree with the motifs and the drawings but the point of difference lies in the fact that it uses zari, that is a gold thread in weaving the saree.
Garad Silk Sarees are traditional sarees worn at auspicious events according to the Bengali tradition. It is typically made on white coloured sarees with red coloured motifs and/or embroidery on it.
This was brief information about the history of Bengali silk sarees. We here at The Vama manufacture and sell authentic Bengali silk sarees. Don’t forget to visit our online store now!