West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced today that “three handloom saree items of West Bengal” have received GI tags. She congratulated the artisans for their skills and said the state was proud of them in a post on social media platform X.
A range of food products around India have received GI tags, food products like roshogolla, Joynagar moa, sitabhog and mihidana from Bardhaman have had the coveted geographical indication previously.
A GI or Geographical Indication is a form of certification given to a product that has a specific relation with geographical locations.
Several other handloom sarees like Santipuri, Baluchari and Dhaniakhali are already designated as GI tagged products.
“Three handloom saree items of West Bengal, namely Tangail of Nadia and Purba Bardhaman, and Korial & Garad of Murshidabad and Birbhum, have been registered and recognized as GI products. I congratulate the artisans for their skills and achievements. We are proud of them. Our congratulations to them!!” Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on social media platform X.
Three handloom saree items of West Bengal, namely Tangail of Nadia and Purba Bardhaman, and Korial & Garad of Murshidabad and Birbhum, have been registered and recognized as GI products.
I congratulate the artisans for their skills and achievements. We are proud of them. Our…
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) January 4, 2024
Handloom remain a major occupation in rural West Bengal. Around 3.5 lakh handlooms exists in West Bengal, according to the Directorate of Textiles in West Bengal.
Tangail sarees are handloom products of Bengal. The word ‘Tangail’ originates from the name of the Tangail district of present Bangladesh.
The weavers of these sarees are mainly from the Basak community, who migrated from Tangail district before partition and settled in ‘Katwa’ Dhatrigram, Tamaghata, Samudragarh, areas in Purba Bardhamman district.
The saree was previously referred to as “Begum Bahar” in which silk warp and cotton weft were used to create it. Eventually, the use of both silk warp and cotton weft became popular around the country. According to the Directorate of Textiles in West Bengal, silk Tangail sarees have been revived.
The technique of drawing and weaving of extra weft for figured Tangail sarees is more or less identical to the one of Jamdani sarees.
The Garad silk saree are handwoven with the use of pure silk and produced in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal.
Santipur and Fulia in Nadia district, Dhaniakhali, Begumpur in Hooghly district, Samudragarh, Dhatrigram, Katwa, Ketugram in Purba Bardhaman district, Bishnupur in Bankura district are the areas in the state where the handlooms are concentrated.
West Bengal has a rich tradition of handloom weaving, it is also a major part of the state’s cultural heritage and is practiced even today.