Swarnachari Silk Saree
The elegent Swarnachari Silk saree of West Bengal is more often referred to as the ‘illustrious’ sister of the Baluchari Silk saree. The Swarnachari Silk saree has gold thread incorporated in the weave which gives its characteristic rich sheen, whereas the Baluchari Silk saree only has silk threads incorporated in the weave. Despite this difference, both are similar in weaving, design and conception. The Swarnachari Silk saree is a new creation from original Baluchari Silk saree, which has always been associated with the Bengali nobility.
The design and patterns on the Swarnachari Silk sarees are normally inspired by mythological stories like the Ramayana and Mahabharatha. Some of these sarees can depict an entire episode out of the Bhagavat Gita. Bright colors are normally used in these elegant sarees that also show vignettes of festivals, rural life and marriages, with the classic Bengali motifs of animals, flower, circles and fishes. The borders of the Swarnachari Silk sarees are very ornamental with Kalka motifs adorning them. Various other motifs are inspired by architecture, pleasure boat, women on horseback with a rose in hand, court scenes from the Muslim era and women smoking the hookah apart from many others.
A singlw saree takes nearly 120 hours to be woven by master weavers, hence immense efforts go into designing and producing a single Swarnachari Silk saree, which is a specimen of high quality craft wherein gold zari is infused in silk. Before weaving, the silk strands are separately dyed and then put in a loom. The intricate and exquisite design on the sarees are created with the help of punch cards.