Saree and Bengal are somewhat synonymous and so is Durgapuja. Women in Bengal love displaying their sarees during these four days of festivities, even those who are more comfortable in other dresses in their day to day life. Visit any puja pandals, you will be mesmerized with amazing display of sarees of all sorts. But when it comes to ‘ Asthami Anjali’ or ‘Sindur Khela’ on Bijaya Dashami, it Is the red and white beauty all the way. Yes, today’s presentation is Garad, the simple but elegant beauty from Bengal.
The weaving tradition which is presently known as Garad was started in Dhaka, the then Capital of the Bengal Subeh of Mughal Empire. After Nawab Murshid Quli Khan shifted the capital from Dhaka to Murshidabad of present day West Bengal, many weavers also relocated to the new capital and Murshidabad district gradually became a major weaving centre of silk sarees, including Garad. This way Garad came to be known as a product of Murshidabad.
Garad silk sarees are distinguished by a white or off-white body, sometime with small paisley motifs, and un-ornamental colored border and a striped anchal. Most of the traditional garad sarees have a white body and red border and anchal. The Garad Silk is manufactured from Tussar or Mulberry Silk and is not dyed to retain the natural color of silk. The natural color of silk is regarded as a symbol of purity, hence it is the most preferred saree women prefer to wear a Garad Saree for auspicious occasions. But if you carry it properly with appropriate jewelery, it could be huge fashion statement as well.