Sunday, November 04, 2012

Saree weaving: A heritage in artful utility

Text and pix by:~  Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai

Gorgeous hand woven cotton saree from Tangail

Tangail is a beautiful and quite district situated in the central region of Bangladesh. Tangail is known as the “home for weavers”, it is also popular for its finely designed sarees. Trendy Tangail sarees are hand woven by men and women. Weaving is one of the main livelihoods in Tangail. The area spreads to 3,414.39 kms and has a population of 3.2 million.

Tangail serves as an important handloom and cotton weaving centre in Bangladesh. According to UBINIG, a non governmental organization working on Policy Research for Development Alternatives in Bangladesh, before partition of Bengal, about 12-14 families from the weaving community in “Nowakhali” and Tangail district came with their looms and continued to weave in Hatsimla, Dhatigtram and Nasratpur. The weavers specialise in making Tangail design sarees. They make cotton and silk sarees for any occasion. Earlier, yarn was imported from “Dhakkai Patti” in Calcutta. Now it’s produced in Bangladesh.

Women are the silent force behind the success of the handloom industry in Bangladesh. Men bring the designs according to the demand in the town.
I create designs and weave beautiful sarees” says a passionate weaver Sajunu Begum (32). Men too work at the wheels. “I have been a weaver for nearly four decades, and I like to continue my job” says Sithiq Mia (52).
Younger generation in Tangail is passionately driven to follow the footsteps of their forefathers. “Weaving in an art, and needs a lot of patience” says Fathima Shefali (27). Mothers like Fathima Rina (32) want their daughters to be weavers in Tangail. “A lot of care and concentration are needed to make the best design” says Mohamed Hahmuth (22).

Days, weeks and months are spent to make just one saree depending on its design. Weavers, both men and women in Tangail are early birds, and work tirelessly at wheels to make world famous novel sarees. Continuous sound of “Thak” (the sound of the looms) and swanky sarees keep Tangail lively and vibrant.

Haniffa Begum at a traditional weaving wheel

Mohamed Alim likes to continue as a weaver
Sajunu Begum creates cute designs and makes novel sarees

Kids watch as their mothers make beautiful sarees
Sithiq Mia is a passionate weaver
Tie and dye process before weaving
Curious kids agthered to watch our meeting

Beautiful sunset over an agri field



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12:43 AM  

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