Each handwoven saree has its own story. It brings with it the glory of their hometown, the pain, sorrows, joy, sweat and tears that go into their hard work. Originating from West Bengal, this technique was first begun by a small community of people called the Basak Community. This set of people later settled in Tangail, a district of Bangladesh. Since the weather was in their favour, they enthusiastically took to weaving.
Most of the times, they train the inexperienced weavers through Basak Association and they also have a control over the fabric quality. In 1947, after the partition of India and in 1971 after the liberation war, a lot of weavers from Basak community migrated to India. As the community grew larger and stronger with time, astounded by their work, people of other communities started to become deeply engaged in the weaving industry. They became skilled as weavers of Basak community and this widened the community extensively.
What makes a Tangail Saree special?
An extremely fine yarn is used to prepare Tangail Saree which makes it so soft and comfortable. Weaving style, color, design and length of Tangail sarees are different from all other Sarees, making it stand out in a crowd. Special types of yarns and threads are used by the weavers. Tangail Sarees are not made in machines. That means every portion of a Tangail Saree is weaved and designed by hand.
The edges of Tangail Saree are made with special care with silky and shiny threads. Later on, due to the scarcity of silk yarns, the weavers began utilizing cotton for both warp and weft. It takes around 5 to 7 days to weave a Tangail saree. The weavers get only 700-800 taka for making a single Saree.
Tangail sarees are known for their spaced out motifs, dotted designs and their comfortable, soft silk. Whether it is a busy office day, a party or a wedding celebration, a Tangail saree is fit for any occasion. Tangail Sarees are made of many different colors and designs. At present, silk Tangail sarees have been revived. The technique of drawing and weaving of extra weft for figured Tangail sarees is more or less identical to Jamdani sarees.
Unlike Jamdani, two plain picks instead of a single pick are inserted after each extra weft meant for figured design. The folding is done is a different manner because the sari becomes stiff like paper; after the sari is woven it is folded in a characteristic manner and tied with a piece of cloth known as “Swatch.”
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By Naqiyah Hasan