Traditional Bengal sarees can often be identified by the beautiful motifs or patterns depicted on them. These motifs bear the essence of a rich heritage which has been cultivated by the weavers lasting up to hundreds of years.
These motifs represent various features of life, such as nature, favourite flowers or animals, religion, or rituals and customs. The way the everyday features have been symbolized and woven into manifold intricate artistic patterns inspires our awe and appreciation!
Traditional Bengal sarees bear beautiful motifs which invoke our tradition and culture. Truly every motif has its own story to tell in a thousand words.
Here are 5 famous motifs in Bengal Sarees:
Kalka or Kolka:
Kalka or Kolka is the magnificent paisley, that looks like a decorated droplet. It is also known as “Persian pickle” or “Welsh pear”! The Sournachuri silk, Baluchari silk, Jamdani, and Tant sarees are incomplete without Kalka or paisley designs!
The Garad and Korial sarees are minimally adorned with striped patterns along the borders and pallav, which are sometimes enhanced with paisley and floral motifs.
Palki motifs is the motif which depicts palanquin, carrying women or royalty. This motif invokes the long-lost tradition of Bengal. The palanquin was a common mode of transport in rural areas of Bengal. The palanquin also symbolizes marriage. After the marriage, girls in earlier days were taken to her husband’s home in a Palanquin.
Aansh (fish scales) is another popular motif used in weaving Bengal Sarees. Jamdani sarees look stunning in aansh motifs.
Dora or Stripes are the most common motif of Bengal Sarees. Weavers of Dacca gharana have a separate name for dora motif embroidery. The designs get mentioned in hazar-buti, rose-leaf, dora-kata, chand, tara-buti, and dabutar-khop.
Jamdani Saree motifs are mostly floral, but the specialty is they are of geometric shapes. The spread of the motifs diagonally across the fabric is called Tercha. A jamdani saree having small flowers dotted on the fabric is known as a Butidar saree. If the design is diagonally inclined, then it becomes a Tercha Jamdani.