Dhokna/Tribal Weaves All tribal Mech women know how to weave the Dokhna, their traditional dress. It is worn like a sarong from under the arms to the ankle draped twice round the body. Dokhnas are woven in end with bold stripes as borders with a contrasting body and end piece. The more expensive pieces have ornamental designs. Sold at local haats.
Jute Weaving Jute is an indigenous product of Bengal available throughout the state. Previously used only as packing material. Recently revived and developed to suit multiple uses. A vast range of products includes Sika hammocks, shopping bags with cane and bamboo handles, wall hangings, floor coverings. Jute embroidery is done on jute furnishing material, cushion covers, luncheon mats, curtains. Jute embroidery is done on jute furnishing material, cushion covers, luncheon mats, curtains. Jute fibre with Madur sticks, Sar kathi, Bena grass and other natural fiber products is used to weave, durries, chiks, Asan, table mats, coasters, runners, floor mats. New design inputs have created bedspreads woven on loin looms and stitched and jute embroidered shopping bags are aplenty.
Jute work done at Fatehpur in North Dinajpur District, Behala, Kolkata, Crafts Council of West Bengal's centre at Bagha Jatin Colony, Kolkata, and Lalbagh, Shantiniketan, Kundalpal in Sabang, Midnapore District, Fatehpur, South Dinajpur District, Dighirpara, Bhandu near Barasat, North 24 Parganas District. Also available at crafts fairs and haats.
Kantha Embroidery This was originally a leisure craft practiced by women as a labour of love. Kanthas were made out of old discarded cloth, usually saris and dhotis. These are stitched together in two or more layers with a running stitch to generate a rippled surface. This was embroidered using the Kantha stitch with geometric patterns and designs incorporating birds, flowers, animals, scenes and objects from daily life limited only by the embroiderer's imagination. This was usually presented to a loved one. Saris embroidered using the Kantha stitch was introduced in Shantiniketan by ladies of the Tagore family and has caught the imagination of the urban elite. Kantha saris, stoles, scarves, hand bags and wall hangings are today produced in large numbers in Shantiniketan and villages in birbhum, Burdwan, Hoogly and at the Crafts Council production centre at Bagha Jatin Colony, Kolkata. Museum quality Kantha embroidery is available here.
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