Baluchari

Baluchari had enjoyed the special patronage of the Murshidabad court since the 17th century and developed a school of design where stylised forms of human and animal figures were most interestingly integrated with floral and geometrical motifs in the elaborately weaver material.

The Nawabs and Muslim aristocrats used the material produced in raw silk mainly as tapestry, but Hindu nobleman had it made into Sarees in which the ground scheme of decoration became a very wide pal lava. The Saree borders were narrow with floral and foliage motifs, and the whole ground of the Saree was covered with small paisley and other floral designs.



An interesting feature of earlier Baluchar Sarees was the stylised bird and animal motifs that were incorporated in paisley and other floral decorations.

Gradually, hunters mounted on horses and elephants appeared, followed by scenes of the Nawab's court. When the British took over Bengal, "sahibs" and "memsahibs" appeared-a "sahib" smoking and the "mem" fanning herself.

The silk yarn used at Baluchar was not twisted and therefore had a soft, heavy texture. The advent of railways and steamboats was also most interestingly documented on these Sarees. The ground colours in which the cloth available were limited, but they were permanent, are still fresh after hundreds of years.