Tant saree is a traditional Bengali saree and usually used by Bengali women. It is traditionally made by the weavers from almost all over Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, but typically few places like Dhaka, Tangail, Narayanganj of Bangladesh and Murshidabad, Nadia, Hooghly of West Bengal are famous for tant saree weaving. Since the tant saree are meant for daily use the lowest cost of this saree is $17. Tant saree are woven from cotton threads and distinguished by its lightness and transparency. It is considered to be the most comfortable saree for the South Asian hot and humid climate.
Under the royal guidance the tant (specially jamdani) and muslin became famous in and around Decca (now Dhaka) in the Mughal era. British government tried to destroy this art to protect the textile industry of Manchester, but the tant culture managed to survive.
With the division of Bengal province during the partition of 1947, some of the weavers migrated to West Bengal and continued their craftsmanship their. Thus the tant weavers are now seen in both parts of Bengal.
Weaving of tant saree is famous and an age old crafting of Bangladesh and West Bengal. The craftsmen deftly weave the cotton to thread which is woven to tant saree. Two shuttles are used for this purpose. Traditionally, handlooms were used by the weavers, which have today been largely replaced by power looms to weave these sarees.
Themes and motif
The typical Tant saree is characterised by a thick border and a decorative pallav, woven using a variety of floral, paisley and other artistic motifs. Some of the popular traditional motifs are: bhomra (bumble bee), tabij (amulet), rajmahal (royal palace), ardha-chandra (half moon), chandmala (garland of moons), ansh (fish scale), hathi (elephant), nilambari (blue sky), ratan chokh (gem-eyed), benki (spiral), tara (star), kalka (paisley) and phool (flower). Printed, hand-painted and embroidered patterns are also used to get a larger variety of designs. Different motifs including floral element, solar element and recently even modern art are depicted in this saree. Tant Saree comes with colourful design  and borders are made thicker because it is subjected to tear easily.
Along with ordinary Bengali women of Bangladesh and West Bengal, many prominent Bengali female personalities also prefer to wear tant saree as their regular outfit. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Speaker of Bangladesh parliament Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee are notable among them.
It is recommended that before the first wash, tant sarees should be soaked briefly in warm water mixed with rock salt, to prevent the saree from bleeding colour during subsequent washes. Washing with a mild detergent, followed by starching and then hanging them to dry in a shaded area will ensure the longevity of these cotton sarees.
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