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Mulmul, Silk & Kota: Head To This 1960s Shop To Pick Handblock & Handpainted Sarees

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Heavy work and jewel tones in sarees are so yesterday, for real. Easy-breezy sarees, ideal for the mucky weather, with fabulous prints to make you the cynosure of all eyes, is what we need at the moment. And this 1960s store on Rashbehari is just the place to head to, if you want to lay your hands on some of them.

What Makes It Awesome

You can't miss Arttext when you're walking down from Deshapriya Park towards Gariahat. Even if the sarees on the shop window escape your notice, the shop entrance lined with intricately carved wood blocks will surely beckon you. Set up in 1960s by late Runu Bose, history hangs unmissably in this store - from the art deco style store name to the charming humble interiors. Step in and you'll find gorgeous handblock printed sarees lining the wooden shelves.

The tussars (a kind of rich silk handloom fabric) we found here will surely give you a standout look with handblock prints done by women in their workshop at Jadavpur. Arttext boasts of one-of-a-kind prints that range from paisleys to florals, texts, folk motifs and even intricate patterns. You'll fall in love with the cotton mulmuls that are great for easy wear, and the Bishnupuri silks that are best for an evening party or festive wear. Kotas make for good summer wear, but Arttext's hand painted (with fabric colours) and hand block printed collection are far from the usual prints. Check out the hand appliques as well. Prices start from INR 650 (cotton mulmuls) and go up to INR 6,000 (tussars).

Chat up with store manager Swapan-da (he's been here for the last 28 years!) and he'll show you blockprinted matka silks in a variety of colours and designs. 


If you look around the store, you'll find several old B&W photographs lining the walls. One of them is of Runu Bose's, and Swapan-da will tell you how Runu Bose (incidentally, also the daughter of the owner of Bengal Lamp) has helped women artisans find employment opportunities.