History and archaeological discovery suggested that Bengal was famous in olden times for textile fabrics. Cotton was the chief material for textile work and produced abundantly in Bengal. During the first century AD, Dhaka Muslin became famous in Rome and was highly priced. Many other fabrics of Bengal were noted for their fineness of texture, the beauty of design, the intricacy of weaving, lightness of weight and durability. The following pages of this article have been developed to take you on a journey through some traditional fabrics.
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Muslin is among the most fascinating, ultra-fine, light, exotic and glossy texture fabrics in ancient Bengal. It was admired not only in ancient Bengal but also praised another part of the world when it was exported from Dhaka to the Middle East and much of Europe. Only upper class or royal family desired to wear these exclusive fabrics. Muslin is a finely-woven light cotton fabric in plain weave without a pattern and had identical warp and weft threads. It is made in a wide range of weights from delicate sheers to coarse sheeting. Early Indian muslin was hand-woven by uncommonly delicate handspun yarn, especially in the region of what today is Bangladesh. An important feature of muslin fabrics is its ability to drape. The material of muslin was first made in the city of Mosul (Iraq), from which its name is derived.
Jamdani is one of the finest muslin textiles of Bengal, produced in Dhaka, Bangladesh for centuries. The Mughal emperors patronized the historical production of jamdani. It has been spoken of as the most artistic textile of the Bangladeshi weavers. Traditionally woven and created on the loom brocade, Jamdani is fabulously rich in motifs and
presently is the most attractive textile of Bangladesh and is worldwide acclaimed.
Banarasi saree whose history dates back to the Mughal era in the 16th century has its origin in Banaras, a northern city of India. In Bangladesh, the migrated Muslim from Banaras started making Banarasi sarees in Dhaka since 1950. The sarees are made of finely woven silk and are decorated with an intricate design and because of these engravings are relatively heavy. Several varieties are available in Banarasi sarees. They include Pure silk (Katan), Organza (Kora), Georgette and Shattir.
Cotton fabric is amazingly versatile, whether alone or blended, it outsells all other fibers combined. The natural soft fluffy staple fiber that comes from the seedpod of the cotton plant and is used to make many fabric types at every price point. Cotton fabric is popular because it is comfortable to wear all year-round. Almost every type of fabric available can be made with cotton fibers. Usually, cotton fibers are
collected from natural source and composites in cottage by hand-loom. Later comfortable and fashionable wearers are made traditional by hand driven weaving machine.
Jute is the name of the plant or fiber that is used to make burlap, Hessian or gunny cloth. It is one of the most versatile natural fibers used in raw materials for textiles. Fabrics made of jute fibers are carbon-dioxide neutral and naturally decompose-able. It is extremely Eco-friendly textile. It grows best in warm and humid climates. India, Bangladesh and China are the main producers of jute. Its soft fabric structure is known to be very comfortable and therefore popularity for jute clothes has increased significantly over the last decade.
Khadi or Khaddar is handmade, hand spun and hand-woven cotton fabric. One of the most surprising aspects of Khadi fabric is its ability to keep the wearer cool during the summer and at the same time keeping him or her warm during the winter. The khadi wearer gets a royal and distinguishable look due to its fall and style. It symbolizes luxury and uniqueness. Romans were great admirer of Bengal Khadi and used to import vast amount of fabrics. The Khadi weaves of Comilia during the Mughal period were renowned as valuable textile wearer with distinctive characteristics.
Tant saree is a traditional saree and usually used by Bengali women. It is traditionally made by the weavers from all over West Bengal and Bangladesh
but typically few places like Murshidabad, Nadia, Hooghly of West Bengal and Dhaka, Tangail of Bangladesh are famous for Tant saree weaving. Tant saree are woven from cotton threads and distinguished by its lightness and transparency. The typical Tant saree is characterized by a thick floral and other artistic motifs border.
The word Khaki is originated from Urdu literally meaning “dusty” and “Khak’l from Persian meaning “dust”. This was first introduced in making uniforms of British cavalry ill India (the Guide Corps, 1846), widely adopted for camouflage purposes in the Boers Wars (1899- 1902). Khaki, light brown fabric made with cotton, wool, or combinations of these fibers, as well as with blends of synthetic fibers. It is made in a variety of weaves. Modern khaki is both a color and a textile.
Rajshahi Silk is the name given to the silk products produced in Rajshahi, which is located in the north-western part of Bangladesh. It is a famous name in the domain of clothing, especially in sarees. Rajshahi silk is a delicate and soft fiber produced from the cocoons of silkworms and is covered with a protein called Sericin. Sarees and other products made out of Rajshahi silk are popular by users ill the country and abroad. There are several varieties of silks- Mulberry, Eri or Endi etc. depends on their weaves and threads.
Kota doria or Kota Saree is one of many types of saree garments made at Kota, Rajasthan, Muhammadabad and Mau in Uttar Pradesh and its nearby areas. Kota Doria is a hand-loom cotton fabric which is known for its special weaving style that makes the final fabric translucent and light. Its light, airy and comfortable feeling makes it first choice for the summer. Its softness and transparency makes it graceful and part of fashion. Today it is one of the most preferred fabrics used by the comfort lovers.
Tassar is produced from larvae of several species of silkworms. Tassar silk also known as “Wild Silk”. Tassar silk is valued for its rich texture and natural deep gold color. This is an economical silk and more durable than the other silk varieties. The precisely finished and designer garments produced from tassar silk are fail/oils and are exported to various countries worldwide.
Wool fabric is the warm, cozy and incredibly soft fabric. Wool is actually quite soft and luxurious. Though, wool fibers come from a variety of animal coats and rather extremely soft it is crimped, elastic and grows in staples. Wool is a lavish and classic fashion fabric perfect for making stylish suits. Woolen fabrics have a soft feel and fuzzy surface, very little shine or sheen.