‘Saree’ has been an indicator of beauty of Bengali women. In any occasion like Eid, Puja, Bengali New Year (Nababrasha) or others, the main dress of the Bengali women to wear is ‘Saree’. Many say that ‘Saree’ is also the indicator of Bengali culture and so it has been an important part of Bangladesh traditional textile industry. However in recent times with a great change in people’s choice and thinking ‘Saree’ generally losing its market share. Many of the young population likes alternative dresses and don’t wear or collect ‘Saree’ as the older generation has been doing.
And so ‘Saree’ producers are going for fusion designs and developing many cost effective fashion oriented trendy ‘Saree’. But definitely they couldn’t leave from the traditional heritage of Bangladesh and its traditional sarees like ‘Tangail Saree’. Modern designers who were making fusion on traditional varities of ‘Tangail Saree’ they were more successful in the market.
However the demand for traditional ‘Tangail Saree’ though has been challenged, still could maintain its strong trend. The traditional ‘Tangail Taant Saree’, ‘Jamdani Saree’, ‘Cotton Saree’ are demandable in the market in the country. The main attractive part of ‘Tangail Saree’ is that it is longer than other; softer, comfortable to wear and long lasting than other sarees. Bangladeshi ‘Tangail Saree’ has strong demand in India and other Middle Eastern countries where Bangladeshis and Indians are living.
How ‘Tangail Saree’ is made
Tangail sarees are made in cotton or by using silk materials with glamorous borders and style. They have different name like Tangail pure cotton saree, soft cotton saree, half-silk saree, pure silk saree, mixed cotton saree etc.
These sarees have been women’s first choice in Bangladesh. So, there is a great scope of popularizing these sarees by addressing it with smart and fascinating fabric and design. These sarees are also available in Jamdani, Half Silk Saree, Mirpur Katan sarees, and other varieties.
Sarees which are used for celebrating a traditional or religious program is usually in red or crimson in previous, but now adding the use of orange, pink and many other shades. Bengali cotton sarees are very popular for their ‘resham’ embroidery works. Sometimes ‘bead’ work and ‘cutdana’ works are also used to enhance the works in Tangile Pure cotton saries. Compound embroidery works and skilled craftsmanship in Bengali sarees make them valuable in their quality. The borders flap and blouse piece are more special chiffon design with muslin materials of these sarees that make extra attraction from other sarees. Extended height and color combinations of the saree represent the production with different fiber, different pattern of sarees with unique characteristics.
Current situation of the artisans
If one visits to the area of Tangail like Bajitpur, Pathrail, Porabari and some of the other villages, one can notice that there are a lot of production house and many people are involved in this business. They produce sarees in their houses by using taant and various ways and then sell them.
Visiting to a saree house in Bajitpur, it has been seen that a lot of buyers come there to buy saree and giving order. The prices of the sarees are very affordable. It has been known that it has been their family business and they have been doing this generation by generation.
They also added that the demand of these sarees are not only in the local market but also have global demand. They export sarees in the foreign market especially in Europe, America, Saudi Arab, Japan and various states of India.
But in this modern days of technology, due to the lack of government provided technological, design and marketing support, the future of Tangail saree is under threat. Thus, they can’t produce new design or combination of various color sarees. Because, nowadays the taste of women has been changed, most of them prefer variety of designs and mixed color sarees rather than one colored sarees.
There is demand for light shades sarees and it is quite difficult to produce them without using modern technology. But still they tried. For this, they dyed the yarn from renowned factories and designed it form somewhere else. These are quite expensive for these small village businessmen. They require technological, design, market development and smooth supply of raw materials from the government.
The traditional ‘Tangail saree’ is a worldwide demandable product. Necessary initiative requires to be taken as if ‘Tangail saree’ remain a Bangladeshi brand in the whole world, then the industrialist, garments industry and government should come forward to give them better technological support so that they can produce quality saree and make the Tangail saree an international brand.