The Baluchari sari traces its origin to West Bengal. The name Baluchari came into existence because the weaving of these saris started in a small village called Baluchar in the Murshidabad district of West Bengal around 500 years ago. Due to some natural calamities, the weaving set up was then moved to Bishnupur from Baluchar and the industry grew tremendously there after the British rule.

 

Bengal is famous for its unique craftsmanship and artistic values. The unique products of even rural artisans bear the impression of high artistic values.

The practice of weaving baluchari originated in Baluchar, Murshidabad in West Bengal, under the patronage of the NAWAB of Burdwan. In the history of Textile in Bengal, ‘Baluchari’ came much after ‘Muslin’. Two hundred years ago Baluchari was used to be practiced in a small Village called ‘Baluchar’ in Murshidabad District, from where it got the name Baluchari. The designs on the saree are mainly from Ramayana & Mahabharata & are worn as a sign of aristocracy & status.

Baluchari Saree Design

Location of the Project : Sonamukhi, Bankura
Total Project Cost : 70.48 lakhs
No of Artisan : 120 & CFC already Constructed
Soft & Hard Intervention already done.

 

Later in the first half of twentieth century, Subho Thakur, a famous artist, felt the need of re-cultivating the rich tradition of Baluchari craft. Though Bishnupur was always famous for its silk, he invited Akshay Kumar Das, a master weaver of Bishnupur to his centre to learn the technique of Jacquard weaving. Sri Das then went back to Bishnupur and worked hard to weave Baluchari on their looms.

 

STORY BEHIND THE DESIGN

The Baluchari sarees are known for their intricate designs and handwork on them. No other saree uses as many mythological designs as the Baluchari sarees. They are dominated by stories and characters from epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. These characters give a royal look to the Baluchari sari. Saris depicting the story of Lord Krishna explaining the Bhagavad Gita to Arjun is one of the most popular design of Baluchari Saree.

 

PLAN & OBJECTIVE BALUCHARI COMPLEX :

Apart from Bishnupur Sonamukhi is also a major & famous Silk weaving Centre of the District as well as state. The weavers of Sonamukhi & its adjacent area are producing good quality silk fabrics specially *Garad' than (fabric made out of twisted yarn) and other shirting & suiting, and earned reputation throughout the country.
Considering the skill of weavers and their interest in Jacquard weaving, West Bengal Khadi and Village Industries Board has planned to set up a Common Facility Centre at Sonamukhi with a view to provide skill development training to the weavers in jacquard weaving, specially Baluchari weaving, its designing, and diversification.
A computer aided design centre (CAD) will also set up at the C.F.C. to cater the requirement of Khadi Institutions, for improving design of Baluchari Saree and other high value fabrics
where production target has been fixed at 500 nos. of saree          @ Rs. 2500/- = 12.50 lakhs.

The Making of Baluchari

  • Baluchari or Baluchuri: the most common balucharis have threads in 1 or 2 colours to weave the entire pattern
  • Baluchari (meenakari): Sometimes, Balucharis have threads in 1-2 colours alongwith attractive meenakari work in another colour that further brightens the pattern
  • Swarnachari (baluchari in gold) also called Swarnachuri: the most gorgeous balucharis woven with gold coloured threads (sometimes interspersed with a bit of silver) that illuminate the patterns to a much larger extent.
  • Mythological motifs are used ingeneral
  • Only sarees are woven in common colours, very few salwar kameez/stole made too.

 

SONACHARI

 

Expert team of weavers and trainers are producing a new genre of silk called Sonachari, (Sona derived as Sonamukhi is the working area and Chari comes from a slight touch of Baluchari sarees concept), Textile and Fashion designers, documentation experts and marketing personnel alongwith eminent field Supervisors and Task Linked Forces have given a 100% effort in making production from the Sonamukhi Centre, a huge success.

 

MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Weavers were trained to weave Sonachari.
  • New looms were provided by WBKVIB.
  • Major work with innovative designs with 200 and 300 hooks is currently in progress.
  • Looms re-established.
  • Weavers brought back to work.
Initiative for locality livelihood have been taken for alternative income generation.

 

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