If there was one saree which never fails to remind us of our Bengali roots, is KAJOL.
This saree is our ode to Bengal, and the eternal love affair that we share. This quintessential classic jamdani cotton saree in the traditional bengali colours of ‘Shaada – laal’ / white – red, is woven by women weavers around West Bengal. The saree is in fine muslin, of the breezy variety, which is characteristic of Bengal handweaves. The saree has a contrast ganga-jamuna border in silver and gold zari , with the jamdani motifs being a combination of ‘buti’and ‘tara’in red.
No Blouse piece.
Designer speak :
The model is wearing our KAJOL with an underskirt of striped white and red handloom cotton which is slightly longer than the saree length. It gives a carefree edge to this otherwise classic drape.
What is a Jamdani ?
The word “Jamdani” is of Persian origin coming from the word “jam” meaning flower and “dani” meaning vase. ( It is a prime example of a handweave and there are multiple meanings of the word, but the name itself is suggestive of the beautiful motifs on the sarees that are handwoven.) Originally, jamdani sarees were woven in Bangladesh, Dhaka, and hence the name “Dhakai Jamdani” . After partition of Bengal into East and West Bengal, a cluster of weavers migrated across the border to West Bengal and settled here. These are the weavers, who weave our Jamdanis.
A jamdani weave is a prime example of the power of hand weaving, since the entire process of weaving the motifs is extremely time consuming and done completely by hand.
A jamdani weave is characterized by its motifs. We at ‘Paromita Banerjee’ work on both graphic and floral jamdanis. The motifs are woven by a thicker yarn, called the extra supplementary weft which is woven one line at a time, to make the motif, along with the standard weft technique of weaving the base of the fabric . The base is usually of a sheer yarn than the motifs which is opaque on its surface. As such, this creates a certain light and shadow effect. In a good jamdani, the motifs on the back of the fabric will be of the same neatness as the front, which speaks volumes for the skill of the weaver and the tenacity with which he weaves every single piece. There are times when a single saree might take over 8-15 days to weave.
Most of our jamdani sarees are woven from a span of 6-15 days each. Some of our complicated signature sarees like the NEELAMBARI, might have taken over 15 days to weave.
There are some things that cannot be replicated by a machine. Jamdani weave, is one of them. Such is the power of the handmade. A timeless luxury.