Looking For The Perfect Saree For The Festive Season? These Shops Define Six Yards Of Bengal Style
Festive season's around the corner and everyone's browsing shops for that perfect saree. From the blink-and-you-will-miss it vintage stores to popular boutiques, here are the best places to buy Bengal’s famed sarees.
The Classic Cottons
The classic Bengal taant saree is famous for their airy weightlessness and transparency. Kolkata’s tangails and dhaniakhalis are perfect for the high levels of humidity. We especially love the latter with their crisp and smart stripes. They look great worn with contrasting, embroidered blouses. Balaram Saha. Taant Kutir and the many Basak stores around Dover Lane have a wide range of these, along with the classic red and white sindoor khela sarees. Vijay Stores, a small and unassuming shop near Banana Leaf restaurant has one of the best taant collections.
A Lightweight Silk
A silk that is distinctive to Bengal is the thin, and almost weightless, Murshidabad silk. You must browse the extensive collection at the Indian Silk House Agencies store. Kala Mandir stocks a good range as well.
Everything In One Place Here
If you want a variety of traditional sarees in one place, head to the state outlets in Dakshinapan. Maheshwaris from Madhya Pradesh, ikats from Andhra Pradesh, muga silk and cotton from Assam, sambalpuris of Odisha – they are all available here. The best part is you can take a break with the best Darjeeling tea and sandwiches at Dolly’s Tea shop.
For handpicked classic sarees that stand out, head to Ananda on Park Street which has a curated collection of everything from jamdanis to georgettes. Also visit Kanishka’s on Hindustan Road. Here you will find beautiful Dhakais from Bangladesh, as well as a nice variety of linen and khadi sarees. You must pick up some of their gorgeous handloom and block-printed sarees, and handwoven Bengal khadis.
You just have to pick up a bailou saree at ByLoom. These are wildly popular in Kolkata and outside. We love the way ByLoom plays around with colours and motifs – they’ve had double-deckers, yellow Ambassadors and Kolkata’s iconic buildings on their sarees. The unique weaving techniques used in these sarees has been written about by Australian artist /writer /curator Maggie Baxter in her book Unfolding: Contemporary Indian Textiles.
Batiks On Silks
A couple of minutes away from Byloom is Bhumisuta where you can pick up a range of cottons, and silks with their in-house batik prints at very reasonable prices.
Soak Bengal cottons briefly in warm water and some rock salt. This will stop any colour bleeding.