Begumpuri sarees are named after the place Begumpur in Hooghly district, West Bengal. Although the handloom history of Begumpuri Sarees goes back to 200-250 years, it wasn’t until dobby and jacquard were introduced to the fly shuttle looms that the current version of Begumpuri sarees was born.
These sarees can be identified by their loosely woven, light-weight, and translucent made and have contrasting borders in red, black, purple, orange, etc, and emphasized by a serrated edge motif.
Normally, the 40s to 100s counts of cotton yarns are used for Begumpuri sarees both for warp and weft. Steel reeds of 56s to 76s are commonly used to keep the texture of the sarees at par with Dhaniakhali Gharana. The picks per inch are almost equal to ends per inch.
As a result, a balanced texture is obtained which gives comfort for wearing. Narrow to broader borders are woven with designs of a variety of stripes and figured motifs using dyed cotton yarn. These broad borders known as ‘maathapaar’ or ‘Beluaaripaar’ were often in two colours- such as black and red with a compact weave thus making it hardier. Hank yarn sizing is in practice in Begumpur. The starch used for sizing is mainly sage, arrowroot, rice, wheat, parched rice (Khai), etc.
Sectional warping machine is used for warping replacing age-old street warping. Local wooden dobby of capacity up to 60 levers is normally used on pit loom or frame loom for weaving Begumpuri Saree with an extra warp of 2/100s or 2/80s cotton yarn. Each saree comes with a pure handloom mark.