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The secret behind the beauty of Bengali women is their selection of unique and luxurious sarees. Bengali sarees are a stunning representation of the rich cultural heritage of Bengal. These elegant drapes enhance their beauty and make them look like eternal beauty. The state of West Bengal boasts a variety of sarees with unique designs, vibrant colors, and exquisite embroidery work. Be it a traditional red-and-white cotton saree of Santiniketan or an ornate silk saree of Murshidabad, all Bengali sarees have a timeless beauty that has been appreciated for centuries. The intricate weaving techniques used in these sarees are a pure representation of fineart. The beauty of handwoven sarees lies in their intricate designs which makes them a treasured part of a woman's wardrobe.
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Kantha Stitch Saree
Kantha saree is a beautifully handcrafted saree from the collection of traditional weaves of Bengal.It is a unique style of embroidery that originates at the Bolpur in Birbhum of west Bengal. Kantha, means "patched cloth" in Sanskrit.
Layers of old saris, dhotis, and other fabrics are stitched together to create a unique attire. Rural women stitched layers of old clothes to give the fabric a rippled texture and a unique pattern. Nowadays, the Kantha embroidery can be seen in saree, kurtas, dupattas, bedcovers, and cushions.
Among all the varieties, the Kantha stitch saree is the most popular among Bengali women. Women love this saree for their soft texture, lightweight feel, and intricate designs which add an aesthetic appeal to the look of its wearer.
Must Read: The History Of Katha Embroidery: From Ancient India To Modern Times
How To Take Care Of Your Handloom Sarees To Keep Their Shine Alive?
It has been seen in many cases that even though Bengalis love to wear traditional sarees they don't know how to take care of them. They think washing them is enough, which is not true.
Kantha stitch sarees are not only beautiful but also delicate. It requires special care to maintain its unique texture and design. To ensure that your Kantha stitch saree stays in pristine condition for years to come, it is important to take proper care of it.
You might have spent considerable money to purchase these sarees. That's why we have shared some points which can guide you about the maintenance procedure. Following these tips will help you to keep them in good quality for a long time.
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A Few Cleaning Tips for Kantha Stitch Saree (cotton)
Remember, experts make Kantha designs on cotton and silk. Therefore, following the same maintenance tips can be a boomerang and even ruin your expensive saree. However, you can apply these tips to cotton sarees.
To our horror, numerous sarees bleed colors after washing them. As a result, the color faded and other clothes that were washed with the saree got ruined. To ensure your Kantha stitch saree does not bleed, you should soak it in some water along with rock salt for a minimum of 15 minutes. It would help if you starched it after every wash to keep it in the best condition.
You must use mild detergents for washing and avoid wringing or twisting the saree to remove excess water. Excessive rubbing or twisting can damage the delicate embroidery of the saree. Instead of twisting the saree, you can hang it on a water tap to drain the excess water from the saree.
After washing the cotton saree, dip the fabric in the starch water to maintain the crispness of your handloom saree. Air dry the fabric in a shaded area and avoid exposure to direct sunlight as it can cause the colors to fade. Store the saree in an airy and dry wardrobe to keep it in good condition for a long time.
Cleaning Tips for a Silk Saree
These sarees require a little more care than a cotton saree. You should not keep it in a bundle to ensure the thread does not get loose. You should not wash or put them in the washing machine for cleaning.
No matter how dirty it gets, it would be best if you always give it for dry cleaning. Also, many women hung them in direct sunlight during winter. They think it'd do good for your saree. But instead, the silk sarees lose their luster. Avoid the same! Avoid storing the silk saree in a plastic cover as it will cause the golden embroidery to turn black. If you want to iron the saree, make sure to keep the heat at a low to medium rate, and don’t iron directly on the embroidery, as this can cause the threads to break.
Ways to Restore the Shine
Kantha stitch saree is Bengal's one-of-a-kind saree which is not meant for single-time usage. Also, it does not belong to fast fashion. However, taking care of it is mandatory to maintain its crispiness and shine year after year. While soaking the cotton saree in starch is all you need to do. But when it comes to silk, you should wash it in a solution of white vinegar and cold water. Do not spray water while ironing as it can leave dark stains on your saree forever.
Ways To Make Your Saree Soft And Starch Free
Kantha stitch sarees are known for their soft and lightweight feel. But sometimes the saree may come with starch, which can make it feel stiff and uncomfortable to wear. Remove the starch from your saree completely by soaking it in cold water for 30 minutes. After this, rinse the saree, dry it, and iron steam the saree to remove the starch. If you want to soften the saree without removing the starch, then just steam iron the saree. Make sure to adjust the correct temperature in the iron as per your fabric.